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Hedley Lamarr

Re Gonzales' remarks: Whenever I see
someone mentioning a "new paradigm",
I check the location of my wallet.



Your analysis that the speechwriting department is running the show is mostly correct. The Gonzales Memo is notable for its lack of grounding in law AT ALL--at best, it is a semi-crackpot memo of encouragement, the kind that comes when the boss says "find a way around this problem."

It "finds one," which is to say that "this is a new type of war," since apparently terrorism didn't exist in 1949. This strains credibility, and is EXACTLY the sort of thing a young lawyer writes his boss when given a ridiculuous assignment. Yet normally the boss throws it back in their face and says "well, never mind. We tried, but we ain't got nothin'." I know, because it's happened to me a dozen times. Then you trudge back to your office and start down the other path--the real one, the one you didn't like because it cost too much money or was too hard.

Those brakes aren't on this Mexican-built Chevy. From the shallowness, style, and tone of the memo, I'd say Gonzales was asked to find an end-run around Geneva, and he came up with a pathetic attempt (arguing that the U.S. adhered to Geneva during the '89 Panama conflict only for "policy reasons" is shallow at best; at worst, a lie).

Yet this administration is more than happy to have someone say yes to it; that's where not enough Nixon paralells have been looked at--the "yes-man" groupthink of this administration. A good counsellor looks at the law and advises their client accordingly; a bad one looks at it and sees how they might exploit or cheat it. Gonzales is the latter.

Nell Lancaster

I'm no lawyer myself, but given Gonzales' history with Bush (wasn't he the one who did the quickie analysis for death penalty cases when W was governor?) and the partisan, hyper-loyal nature of WH Counsel in general, I'm more seriously perturbed by Justice Department memos that set the framework for "legal" torture.

Release them all and let the lawyering-up begin....

Angry Bear

I believe speechwriting interns running the show was a them in a late 2003 West Wing episode. Can we get Bartlett in for Bush now?


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