"The tools in the reauthorization of the Patriot Act are very important to the success of the Department of Justice in protecting this country," Gonzales told reporters after meeting with lawmakers.
'Berto must not have looked at the 9/11 commission's report card on the administration's efforts over the past four years at making America safer: 1 A, 12 Bs, 9 Cs, 12 Ds, 5 Fs and 2 incompletes. A C- average. It doesn't appear the Patriot Act has done us a whole lot of good.
In arguing the need for the Patriot Act's renewal, Gonzales trotted out an old administration meme: it's necessary to fight our "new kind of war" against a "new kind of enemy." Mister Bush's echo chamberlains have beating the "new war" drum ever since 9/11, claiming that our war on terror is "new" because it involves culture, religion, ideology, asymmetric threats, terror, insurgency, law enforcement, and a host of other things that have, in actuality, been inherent aspects of warfare since Sun Tzu was a buck sergeant. There's nothing about our "war on terror" that the Greek general Thucydides didn't write about in 400B.C. in his History of the Peloponnesian War--and none of it was new then either.
But one wouldn't expect the Rovewellians to let a little thing like history get in their way. They're too busy accusing their critics of rewriting it.
Richard Hooker gives us this interesting synopsis of one of Thucydides' passages:
The Melian Controversy [gave] the Athenian reasons for attacking the small island of Melos in 416, making them say bluntly that those who are powerful need have no regard for justice, human rights, or the gods.
Like I said, there's nothing new about our "new" war.
Speaking of "Torture Guy" Gonzalez, the NYT's Eric Schmitt reports that…
The Army has approved a new, classified set of interrogation methods that may complicate negotiations over legislation proposed by Senator John McCain to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees in American custody, military officials said Tuesday…
…Some military officials said the new guidelines could give the impression that the Army was pushing the limits on legal interrogation at the very moment when Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, is involved in intense three-way negotiations with the House and the Bush administration to prohibit the cruel treatment of prisoners.
Here's another example of the administration's consistent practice of fuzzy constitutionality. Article I of the U.S. Constitution specifically gives Congress the power…
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.
The Constitution makes no provision whatsoever for the executive branch to make rules for land and naval forces, or for the land and naval forces to make their own rules and regulations.
But that surely makes no never mind to administration legal beagles like Gonzales. Gonzales, if you'll recall, is the one who advised Mister Bush that certain provisions of the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and "obsolete."
He no doubt thinks the same of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendments of the Constitution, which would explain why he's so gung-ho on renewing the Patriot Act.