I can remember sitting in the Jestaplero's apartment [well, actually, I was pacing, as I'm wont to do] back a few years ago, and Alberto Gonzales and his confirmation as Atty Genl was the topic [I think it flashed on a teevee screen]. Again, as is my wont, I had a strong and good explanation for a couple of things he'd done as White House Counsel, esp. regarding the issue of torture [use of coercive techniques, as
George Oh, Well
might say . . . .]. My insights or arguments were reasonable, analytical, and lawyerly. I think they may even have been accurate and right. Big deal.
My willingness to look for a reasonable explanation, or rationalize, isn't limited to one side of the spectrum; I reflexively do it for "both sides," as I have respective lefty and righty friends who angrily tell me it's so.
It's toned down some in the past few years. Or, more aptly, I have begun to engage in more of the reflexive criticism of pols and public figures, and make lots of the knee-jerk attacks that I hear all the time.
But I don't do it all the time; as some might report, the Scooter Libby "incident" brought out all my instinctive brakes, challenging anyone who said anything about it in a definitive tone to prove their case rather than press their inferences as fact. It was probably a pointless exercise, but it's my way.
But I'm gonna kind of give that up. I can come up with the lawyerly reasons why you don't answer certain questions in quick, definitive ways -- most questions about the application of laws don't have quick, definitive answers! So I would caution anyone from assuming Mukasey is Satan. He probably isn't.
But, like I said, I'm abandoning that. Fuck lawyering, even in the case of the nation's top lawyer. I'm currently rooting for an Attorney General who just says nope; waterboarding is illegal torture. Outlawed. Can't do it. Even if that answer is wrong, that's what I wanna hear.
It might actually sacrifice "safety." It might be dangerous.
Our country was built on the notion of taking those risks to achieve something better [you don't think Amendments I to V don't have huge attendant risks? That piss people off all the time? But that are worth it?]
All this "greatest Nation on Earth" crap will be just that if we don't behave like a great nation.
'til then, he'll be Satan.