A reader reminds me that Alberto Gonzales has a strong record of fibbing when it comes to questions of detention and torture:
On November 30, 2001, in an OpEd in the NYT, Gonzales defended the President's November 13, 2001 order, reassuring the American people that it "preserves judicial review in civilian courts." In fact, the order does exactly the opposite, stating that individuals subject to the order "shall not be privileged to seek any remedy or maintain any proceedings, directly or indirectly, or to have any such remedy or proceeding sought on [their] behalf in (i) any court of the United States, or any State thereof, (ii) any court of any foreign nation, or (iii) any international tribunal."
On June 22 2004, in a press conference held the day the White House released the President's Feb 7 "determination" on the Geneva Conventions, Gonzales stated:
"Now, interrogation and detention policies in Iraq were issued by General Sanchez in the field. They do not involve input from Washington and are not related to legal opinions I have discussed concerning the war against al Qaeda."
In fact, General Sanchez himself said that he relied on these legal opinions and that he received input from Washington.
In the same press conference, Gonzales also stated:
"The President's [February 7] determination [regarding the Geneva Conventions] is not controversial within the Executive Branch."
In fact, as is now the public record, Gonzales himself was witness to a massive controversy within the Executive Branch.
He needs a fire extinguisher in his back pocket at all times. But he does what he's told. And that's why he's attorney-general.
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