Friday, March 23, 2007

Worst Legal Mind Ever

At a recent congressional hearing, Gonzo demonstrates how he will strangle the Constitution

Back in November of 2004, Alberto “Gonzo” Gonzales was up for nomination for Attorney General of the United States. I had been an on-again-off-again follower of Gonzo’s career for some time and had formed an intense dislike for the man. What really fried my cookies was Gonzo’s signing off on Bush’s state-sanctioned murder of 1) a mentally retarded man, and 2) a couple of men later proved to be innocent.

That Gonzo, who never argued a case before a jury in his life, was to become the nation’s highest law enforcement officer was appalling to me. My response was to start this blog and join the “reality-based” online community. Along with many others of the Indy Weblogs (Independent Bloggers Against the Confirmation of Alberto Gonzales), I emailed, phoned, faxed and telegraphed my (and other) senators with all the reasons why Gonzo should not take the AG’s office. Unfortunately, the dark gods who are in charge of this era of American government saw fit to give Gonzo the green light. The results speak for themselves, or would, if we could get them out of the many undisclosed locations that they have been “extraordinarily rendered” to.

True to form since confirmation, Gonzo has been monumentally inept, if not criminal. He has been disingenuous to members of Congress and plainly out of his depth when questioned about basic things like the meaning of “probable cause” as opposed to “reasonable suspicion.” He’s even on recent record as saying that the Constitution doesn’t say what it plainly says, indicating that he either can’t read or just hasn’t bothered to read the Constitution of the United States. Here’s a recent turn at explaining (or ‘splaining’) his take on the writ of habeas corpus from

“…during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings (Jan 18, 2007), Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed there is no express right to habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution. Gonzales was debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo detainees last year cited the constitutional right to habeas corpus. Gonzales claimed the Court did not cite such a right, then added,

GONZALES: I will go back and look at it. The fact that the Constitution — again, here is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away. But it’s never been the case, and I’m not a Supreme — "

[Say that again, Gonzo?]

GONZALES: “There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

SPECTER: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?

GONZALES: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn’t say, “Every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.” It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except by —

SPECTER: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.


“Um,” is right, Gonzo.

There you have it, Gentle Readers. Gonzo’s lack of common sense and his willingness to avoid actually reading the Constitution of the United States, plus his legal hair-splitting over readings of Geneva Convention protocols as well as his support of John Woo’s hair-raising theories of extra-constitutional presidential powers make him unique in American legal history, and right up at the top of the list of Worst.Legal.Mind.Ever.