Monday, January 10, 2005

Mental Anguish

That is the only way to describe the confirmation hearings of Bush's AG nominee, Alberto Gonzales. I had some down time this weekend, so in between football and reading the Morison set (I am on volume 4 now) I flipped on CSPAN to watch some of the Gonzales hearings.

It is so sad seeing all of the senators grandstanding in there, waving around copies of the Geneva Conventions, army interrogation manuals and other obscure pieces of literature (acting as though they have read more than the cover).

The biggest dose of mental anguish was administered to me by Pat Leahy, senator from Vermont. He was, of course, hammering Gonzales on detaining American citizens. There was a case of a US citizen who was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan and, of course, that person is being held incommunicado. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court. What Leahy wanted to know was if Gonzalez believed that the President of the US could legally detain US citizens incommunicado if arrested on US soil. Gonzales said yes, if the previous case about the person in Afghanistan were to be tried that possibly the verdict would be to the affirmative, that is to say, that the US citizen may be detained incommunicado. Leahy was asking about a hypothetical case and Gonzales gave him a hypothetical answer.

Well, Leahy kept asking the same question over and over and over and over. He likes to hear himself talk and likes also to put me to sleep.

Joseph Biden's questions were so long and drawn out, I honestly could not make out what the question actually was and I think Gonzales was having a problem deciphering what the question was, too.

I won't even start with Ted Kennedy's line of questioning.

The Republican senators simply pointed out that Gonzales was a good guy and what a really really good and great guy he was.

We are so ill-served by our public servants in Washington.

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