Gonzales' Flaming Trousers

It's not easy dissembling as smoothly as the attorney general. But he outdid himself on Tuesday, when asked about the U.S.'s seizure of an innocent man at JFK airport, and deportation of him to Syria, where he was brutally tortured - sorry, subjected to "coercive interrogation techniques" with a metal cable. No one disputes the facts of this story, but Gonzales said Tuesday:

Well, we were not responsible for his removal to Syria. I'm not aware that he was tortured.

The New York Times takes it from there:

The attorney general's comments caused puzzlement because they followed front-page news articles of the findings of the Canadian commission. It reported that based on inaccurate information from Canada about Mr. Arar's supposed terrorist ties, American officials ordered him taken to Syria, an action documented in public records.

On Wednesday, a Justice Department spokesman said Mr. Gonzales had intended to make only a narrow point: that deportations are now handled by the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Justice.

Ohhh. I see. So it all depends on what the meaning of the word "we" is. Like the president's oft-stated position: "We do not torture."