Alberto R. Gonzales is a smart lawyer. However, I question his judgment and historical understanding. Lawyers sometimes lose values to cleverness.
In Thursday's Washington Post editorial titled "A Corrupted Culture," Gonzales is said to have "...derided the conventions [Geneva Conventions] as 'quaint' and 'obsolete' and claimed that setting them aside would, among other things, make it harder for prosecutors to charge Americans under U.S. law for alleged crimes against prisoners -- something he presented as 'positive.' Such contempt for the rule of law pervaded his argument -- and was endorsed by Mr. Bush."
In a New York Times piece on Wednesday, Douglas Jehl and Eric Schmitt reported on the issue of the Red Cross visiting prisons unannounced Gonzales " ... said he had not been aware that the issue of whether the Red Cross should be allowed to conduct such inspections was a point of dispute. He added, however, that he might have had 'concerns' about allowing such inspections. Part of the concerns is whether or not there were interrogations that might be interrupted under a spot check, Mr. Gonzales said. 'Obviously, we would work with the I.C.R.C. to arrange visits' under the appropriate circumstances." 05.21.04