Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, January 07, 2005

Alberto Gonzales

You probably thought John Ashcroft was the most God-awful attorney general in our history. Unfortunately, there’s room to sink even further. The main culprit behind the American torture of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay – Alberto Gonzales – is about to become the next attorney general.

The Constitution, the Geneva Convention, innocent-until-proven-guilty – all quaint and outdated according to Gonzales. This is the genius who decided to redefine suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners as “enemy combatants” instead of prisoners of war, thereby wriggling out from under the Geneva Convention. Note the boldfaced word in that sentence: suspected. Not terrorists (does the word “trial” ring any bells?) – suspected terrorists.

The White House is adding to the tension between Gonzales and Senate Democrats (and even some Republicans) by refusing to provide additional requested documents that might further clarify Gonzales’ connection to the torture scandal.

During Thursday’s hearings, Senator Patrick Leahy said “America’s troops and citizens are at greater risk” because of administration policies that are “tantamount to torture.” For those American “Patriots” who dismiss Third World citizens as just a bunch of dark-skinned foreigners who worship a different god and don’t even speak English, Leahy’s quote should bring home a very clear point: what goes around comes around. If American soldiers torture their captives, American soldiers are more likely to be tortured by the enemy when they get captured. (Joseph Biden spelled out this same point to John Ashcroft during a hearing several months ago.)

Another item that’s been in the news off and on is the CIA practice called “rendition.” What this nice, bland, innocuous-sounding word means is: transferring suspected terrorists to Egypt, Yemen or Saudi Arabia (as we speak, there’s still a difference between America and those countries – savor the moment) for “questioning.” In these countries, “questioning” includes but is not limited to: electric shocks (in that spot where you’d least want to be shocked), being repeatedly “almost” drowned, beatings, and being left hanging/suspended by the arms for long periods. (This reminds me of a cartoon several years ago in a bodybuilding magazine: two prisoners are being suspended by their arms, and one of them says to the other “the worst part of this is, my lats are getting way overtrained.”)

Anyway, these two stories keep dancing around in my head: 1) Alberto Gonzales luxuriating in a nice soft chair while senators politely question him about his torture policies, and 2) suspected terrorists being electrocuted, kicked and beaten, and having their heads submerged under water for long periods while they’re being “questioned.” It just seems like there’s something wrong with this picture, a certain inconsistency. Hmmm, I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Wait, I’ve got it! Since Alberto Gonzales thinks “exporting” prisoners to Egypt or Saudi Arabia is such a great idea, well, what’s sauce for the goose…Let’s see Gonzales’ answers, and general demeanor, if he’s getting a cattle prod rammed into his unmentionables, or having his head shoved under water while he’s being questioned. After all, the Constitution and Geneva Convention are soooo 1990s. He hasn’t been convicted of anything, of course, but then neither have our suspected terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And those henchmen in the White House who refuse to turn over those aforementioned requested documents – let’s see, where shall we put those electrodes…

So, which is it? If we’re appalled at the way Third World countries treat their suspects, and then we export our own suspects to these exact same countries (while we’re looking for loopholes in the Geneva Convention and the Constitution) – let’s just say we’re sending out some mixed signals. Let’s have a little sanity and consistency here, shall we?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is disgraceful! What the hell is happening to the country I once lived in? As an American living in France I am very embarrassed and ashamed.

Those that would throw out the Geneva Conventions are very short-sighted and foolish.


January 7, 2005 at 4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is deplorable the actions that took place at abu Ghraib. Unquestionably over the line. People have been and will continue to be punished for these actions. If
Alberto Gonzales is found to have been at fault in these actions, then he should be held accountable.

However, be careful in the use of "The Constitution, the Geneva Convention, innocent-until-proven-guilty".

Specifically, the Geneva Convention only applies to the military. More specifically, it only applies to interactions with uniformed military personnel and recognized combatants as well as civilians that are seen to be caught in the crossfire. It has been found not to apply to terrorists.

Again, the Constitution only applies to US citizens and their actions for the US government or while on US Soil. Again, it does not extend to terriorists in other countries.

Further, with this discussion we walk a very fine line between human rights and national security. The last thing we want to do is hogtie security agencies to the point they cannot be effective in protecting US Citizens. I agree with the fact we do seem to be showing a double standard, however, using the The Constitution and the Geneva Convention does not support the arguement.


January 7, 2005 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Dr. Forbush said...

Excellent Blog! You are exactly on point.

I guess Americans no longer believe in Liberty and Freedom. Better to be able to force your will on other countries and other races and other peoples and other religions.

I still can'r believe 59 million Americans voted for this idiot...

January 7, 2005 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberals like you have Hijacked our country! Suggested reading: 1. The Bible , 2. The U.S. Constitution (only after reading the Bible) , 3. Treason by Ann Coulter

Our country was founded on religious freedom and morality, not religious oppression and immorality. The latter two are the key pillars of the Democratic party which is ruled by immoral liberal Communist wannabe's.

U.S. Navy veteran Christian American Patriot

January 10, 2005 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger pri said...

Dean@blueglowworm.com said...
"Further, with this discussion we walk a very fine line between human rights and national security. The last thing we want to do is hogtie security agencies to the point they cannot be effective in protecting US Citizens."

Do you find necessary to use torture and cohercitive methods like the ones that are being used to "ensure" the US national security? I'm sorry but I think that a countries agencies must only use legal tools to protect their citizens. There might be flaws in the system some criminals might use to perpetrate their crimes, and these flaws must be studied so the agencies make it more difficult to the criminals to act again but leaving apart inhumane tools like torture.

Anyways, time judges and history will label the actual US security policy with the name it deserves.

Ps: I'm Spanish, christian, catholic, I've read the Bible, the Mormon's book and the Quraan, I've also read the US constitution, two Spanish constitutions, the French republic constitution and the future European one, I'm neither a war veteran or have ever served in the army and I cannot be called a patriot as I prefer watching someone burning my flag than watching the inmolation of a foreign terrorist who attacked my own country (I still think that one life is worth a bunch of symbols). Do I have to post this definition in every post I make like several US christian veterans do? I just don't find the point in doing so.

January 11, 2005 at 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you might be interested. If you don't want Gonzales to be confirmed by the Senate link the phrase tortured logic to


We are going to achieve a googlebomb

January 12, 2005 at 5:11 PM  

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