Alberto Gonzales, in his capacity as White House counsel, once (OK, twice) suggested that torture might be an acceptable method of interrogation. Not in so many words, mind you. No.
He called parts of the Geneva Convention’s provisions “quaint”, and it’s limitations on interrogation “obsolete”.
He noted that ignoring the Geneva Convention would make it easier to escape war crimes prosecution.
And he wrote that the “new war” on terrorism “places a high premium on… quickly obtain[ing] information from captured terrorists”.
And now, he’s George W. Bush’s selection to be the next Attorney General.
John Ashcroft, the current Attorney General, tendered his resignation after the election, and it was announced today. Ashcroft may be best remembered for his staunch support of the US PATRIOT Act, an amazing piece of legislation which makes it legal to detain U.S. citizens without allowing them access to either a lawyer or their family, and the government can continue holding them, without charges, indefinitely. After all, who needs “due process” anyway? If you’re not guilty of anything, they’d never hold you in the first place, right?
So we’re going from a man who thinks it’s OK to keep you locked up for no reason to a man who thinks it’s OK to use interrogation techniques considered illegal by every other civilized country.