Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At Best

The hearings have recessed for lunch. Via Human Rights First which is liveblogging the confirmation hearing:

Durbin: Images of Abu Ghraib are likely to be with us for a lifetime. Scandal to US are likely to be with us for decades. Yesterday we payed tribute to Congressman Matsui – who was sent to a Japanese internment camp. That painful time in US history is still recounted as a shameful chapter – as Abu Ghraib will.

Second area of abuse – interrogation that went too far. You conceded that they might have started at Guantanamo and made it to Iraq. Would you also concede that your decision to call in the definition of torture opened up a permissive environment for torture that had been held as unacceptable for decades?

Gonzales: I thought I broke up categories of abuse. The second type have been dealt with in those docuemtns. Those memos show that the reasons for the abuse was inadequate training and supervision.

Findings in 8 reports were that a great majority of our detention operations had been conducted consistent with our values and with Am. Operations. What happened in Abu Ghraib was limited to nightshift on the block. (1st category) Schlesinger report concludes this. Night shift engatges in this – Day shift doesn’t.

Human Rights blogger Ari Cover responds:

NY Times press accounts from today and the last couple - Kate Zernike reports: "The Pentagon now says 137 military members have been disciplined or face courts-martial for abusing detainees." That's not just from the Abu Ghraib nightshift. Look at the ACLU documents obtained by FOIA litigation

FBI agents have reported on instances of abuse and torture as early as 2002; The military has kept plenty quiet and secret. we are seeing this is widespread, at Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and in Iraq, not just a night shift. Hardly. This is disingenuous and a refusal to accept any responsibility or accountability

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    "Disingenous"? Please. We are all adults here. JC

    Re: Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At B (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 10:55:19 AM EST
    It would be the task of a lifetime to find a character slimier than this guy.

    Re: Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At B (none / 0) (#3)
    by theologicus on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 12:16:05 PM EST
    Note that he still claims that some captured prisoners are not covered the Geneva Conventions. This is contrary to the ICRC understanding of international law, to say nothing of basic decency. It was, in part, by placing prisoners outside the protection of the law that torture and other abuses became possible in the first place. Flying them outside the country in which they were captured, for example, to be interrogated eslewhere, perahps in countries that use torture. Or placing them in "secret detention" centers. Etc. These things are still happening. Mark Danner's OpEd piece in today's NYT is a powerful indictment.

    Re: Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At B (none / 0) (#4)
    by Darryl Pearce on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 12:32:37 PM EST
    ...one "aw, crap" wipes out a lot of "attaboys."

    gonzalez is looking like a typical inhuman politician - he's not answering anything. he just says things like, 'i don't recall' and foists responsibility off on the president and the senate. someone's hand is stuck in his back, just like every other stinking politician in dc. i wonder if it's a corporate hand or another politician? although, really, they're basically the same thing these days!

    If history is any guide, the increasing wave of outrage will be met by a wave of violence, as all the deceptions and lies fall on FINALLY closed ears. The people are coming to judgement, however slowly, and it isn't pretty for the LIARS. You can fool all of the people some of the time, but then the bugjuice wears off, and violence is the only remaining tool of tyranny. I expect a goonish January, to my dismay, a sense of dread and anguish shared with millions of others. But stolen elections and falsified threats for war are the opposite of democracy. When the billionaires won't let the people vote, we are in a state of rebellion, however virtual. The people proved their nonviolence in NYC on 27 Sep 04, a half-million peaceful objections, on behalf of more than half the electorate. On their part, the aristocrats are warming up their tanks. We can only hope for peace, but we will not live under tyranny. --

    You go girl! The Dem politicians will give Gonzales a thrashing... and then confirm him... and then participate in the 'bipartisan' dismantling of SocSec. Pathetic.

    Re: Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At B (none / 0) (#8)
    by theologicus on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 02:12:20 PM EST
    I don't think they pressed him when they should have. I don't think he was subjected to "tough questioning." Today is a day of infamy.

    Sorry about my above comment (wrong thread). Appeasement is a fundamental characteristic of democracy. Rather than fume over failures of courage and missed opportunities, BOLSTER the will of your representatives through direct appeals, letters of gratitude and concern, and mass action. If you want to sit around whining about the appeasement, ask first what YOU have done for your country. These people are actually in the grinder with traitors, and the largest rightwing takeover in modern US history. Our representatives WILL stand up, given enough encouragement and enough opportunity. But they will also fail hopes many, many times. When has it been otherwise? Whining is not fighting. Everyone in the grassroots knows that political momentum has to be built from scratch day to day. Whining only encourages defeatism. It is anger without an outlet. FIND an outlet, and temper the whining and blame games while we ALL try to find a solution, in our own lives, and in the hearts of our representatives. --

    It's nice to know that any scumbag can find a loving home in the GOP.

    in the ny times today. an article about the rising tide of fascism in america. very sobering. gonzales is the perfect ploy for bush. i particualrily liked the photo him following 'w' like an obedient fat chihuahua. he has the right packaging for total corruption. john aschcroft was blantant this guy is a nice guy who believes toruture is kosher, and anything else his master so chooses.

    The Pacifica coverage of the Ohio vote challenge and the Gonzales hearing were great. The whole thing was, however rather depressing. Good people are having to settle for, "Yes, I'll look into that," when it should be "Absolutely not, Senator. I can assure you that it will never happen if I am AG." Republican Rep. Keller from Orlando was disgusting beyond belief with his "Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party" demagoguery in House debate on the Ohio vote certification. And the icing on the cake was Delay having the chutzpah to talk about the honor of the House.

    It would be the task of a lifetime to find a character slimier than this guy.
    A man named Bill comes to mind!!

    Re: Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At B (none / 0) (#15)
    by clio on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 05:28:51 PM EST
    Feel that way about Frist myself.

    RE: "...your representatives through direct appeals, letters of gratitude and concern, and mass action." That's right! Email your Democratic senator and explain in baby terms that "torture B bad" [not good] because they lack even a spit of moral comprehension. If that doesn't work try offering a million-dollar retirement package as a "consultant" like the corporatins do. That usually works.

    a guy slimier than Counsel to the pResident Gonzales? how about Attorney General Gonzales. (it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? you can hear the prison cells clanging shut for all eternity just above the shrieks of pain from untold innocents being 'processed' (neologism soon-to-be invented by the new U.S.A.G.).)

    Re: Dick Durbin Outs Gonzales as Disingenous, At B (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 08:12:43 AM EST
    Torture, just a small part of the neocon utopia called the "new world order", coming soon to a once great nation near you! Once our gov't can lock people up without due process, and then torture them, and the people responsible get re-elected and/or promoted, games over baby....we lose.