With Ashcroft’s departure, George W. Bush has a chance to make a symbolic gesture towards uniting the nation. Instead, he has chosen Alberto Gonzales as the new Attorney General.
That’s the Alberto Gonzales who wrote the memo urging that the president declare the US exempt from the Geneva Convention, because otherwise US behavior could lead to war crimes prosecutions. If you had any doubt that a vote for the Bush administration would be rewarding those who supported torture, that doubt should now be dispelled.
It was also Gonzales who ignored a subpoena to turn over documents relating to Enron. Not exactly surprising, since he was one of Enron’s corporate lawyers when he worked for Vinson & Elkins.
Gonzales was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Bush in 1999, where he took cash from Halliburton while overhearing a case against them. Surprise, surprise, the case was denied. He also defended the Texas practice of not bothering to alert consulates when foreign nationals were arrested in Texas, stating that international law did not apply to Texas.
Finally, Alberto Gonzales was the guy Bush relied on to summarize the death penalty cases in Texas for him, so he could decide whether to grant clemency or just have ‘em executed. We all know how that turned out.
So, let the healing commence!