Bushies Know Best

You’ll like this one. Suzanne Goldenberg writes for the Guardian:

The Bush administration’s most senior legal official said today that US courts were not fit to make decisions on national security and should show deference to the White House.

I should have warned you at the top of the post to sit down and stay calm.

In remarks made after a talk at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative thinktank, the attorney-general, Alberto Gonzales, said: “I don’t think that a judge is equipped at all to make decisions about what is in the national security interest of our country.”

Mr Gonzales’s comments come a few days after a Pentagon official provoked a national backlash after suggesting large corporations boycott law firms that defend detainees at Guantánamo.

You, there! You banging your head against the wall! Stop that right now!

The Associated Press reports (emphasis added),

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says federal judges are unqualified to make rulings affecting national security policy, ramping up his criticism of how they handle terrorism cases.

In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday, Gonzales says judges generally should defer to the will of the president and Congress when deciding national security cases. He also raps jurists who “apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences.”

‘Scuse me while I go bang my head against the wall. At least I didn’t throw up, like some people.

Big Tent Democrat explains,

I think the Attorney General could not be clearer. He advocates the vitiation of the Constitution by the judiciary when the President so desires. He is unfit for the office of Attorney General. He should be removed from office.

On the other hand, AG Gonzales has decided the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program will be subject to FISA approval, after all. (Glenn Greenwald is, as ever, the go-to guy for in-depth explanation of FISA.)

I understand Mr. Gonzales is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow.

Speaking of atrocities, my buddy the Talking Dog (who is not an atrocity; more of a shepherd-newfoundland mix, I think) interviews H. Candace Gorman, one of the attorneys Alberto Gonzales thinks should be boycotted because she represents detainees at Guantánamo. Good stuff.

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11 thoughts on “Bushies Know Best

  1. The proper term is impeachment (of Alberto Gonzalez, at the least).

    Advocating actions contrary to the Constitution is a breach of his oath of office.

    Period. No “if”s, “and”s, “but”s, “or”s, “nor”s, “for”s, “yet”s, or semicolons involved.

  2. Offhand, I can’t think of anythng more stupid to say to federal judges than what Gonzales uttered. To suggest that the courts will NOT be the arbitrers in an issue, particularly one with constitutional issues because they are not QUALIFIED??!!!

    Yeah, right.. wave a big red flag in the face of the bull you will be in the ring with for the next 2 years. Smart move. If I was a rightie, I would be shaking my head.

    My guess is, the administration is trying to condition the rightie troops to think that the coming confrontations which will ultimately be decided in the courts as constitutional questions of the limits on presidentail authority, and the balance of power between the Congress and the Executive Branch .. that these confrontations are NOT about abuses by the Executive branch; they are about ACTIVIST JUDGES. You know, the ones that won’t strike down Roe v Wade.

    What good it will do, I can not fathom. The judges know their job; they don’t face re-election, so the opinion of rightie bloggers is about as important to them as my opinion is to them. Zero.

  3. Oh boy! We’re going back to visit bizzaro world. Why can’t those dumb judges just stick to interpreting the law and leave the heavy issues to the real thinkers?

  4. It’s the law stupid!!!

    Obviously we didn’t win by a large enough margin for this guy to get it. But that’s OK. More speeches like this one and we’ll have both houses AND the White House in 2008.


  5. Strangely i’d have to agree with Gonzalez’ statements as quoted… i don’t know if i’d go so far as to say judges aren’t “equipped at all” to evaluate national security decisions any more or less than the average informed citizen – they seem like a generally competent demographic.

    But last I checked, judges don’t actually make decisions about what is in the national security interest of the country, they make legal decisions about whether or not the national security decisions of elected politicians and their appointees square with the law and the constitution – both of which they, the judges, and said politicians are sworn to the people to uphold.

    The logical circularity of an Alberto Gonzalez admonishing to judges not to “apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences” is actually quite breathtaking…

    (and try to remain calm, doug. when i see so many caps, i hear sonata for skull and wall in d minor.)

  6. I love DVR – and I quote:

    “you have chosen this path, and it is presumed to be the right one because you have chosen it. If the American people disagree with the law the Congress has enacted or a policy of the executive branch, they have right to vote congress or the president out of office.”

    Thankyou Mr. Atty General – I sooo agree with you. And to my knowledge the only way to vote a president out of office is “impeachment’.

    Hear that noise – it’s me banging my head against the wall!!!

  7. It looks as though Abu Gonzales is also known as Judge Roy Bean and looking for some Texas justice.


  8. Great link, Gordon….

    I’m disappointed than Gonzales was able to throw accountability off the trail by a last minute shift toward compliance with the FISA courts. It’s the same tactic they used to avoid scrutiny for Jose Padilla. I’m at a loss to understand why such an obvious ploy is allowed to stand..everybody can see it, but knowbody in a position of power has the willingness to challenge it. I guess it must be my shortcomings that make it unacceptable to be jerked around.

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