First - Gonzales "Legalizes" Torture.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 - Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House
counsel, intervened directly wi th Justice Department lawyers in 2002
to obtain a legal ruling on the extent of the president's authority to
permit extreme interrogation practices in the name of national
A request by Mr. Gonzales produced the Justice Department
memorandum of Aug. 1, 2002, which defined torture narrowly and said
that Mr. Bush could circumvent domestic and international prohibitions
against torture in the name of national security. The issue was whether
al Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured on the battlefield in
Afghanistan should be accorded the Geneva Conventions' human rights
Gonzales, after reviewing a legal brief from the Justice
Department's Office of Legal Counsel, advised Bush verbally on Jan. 18,
2002, that he had authority to exempt the detainees from such
protections. Bush agreed, reversing a decades-old policy aimed in part
at ensuring equal treatment for U.S. military detainees around the
world. Rumsfeld issued an order the next day to command ers that
detainees would receive such protections only "to the extent
appropriate and consistent with military necessity."
On January 25, 2002, Gonzales wrote a memo to President Bush
arguing that the terrorism fight "renders obsolete Geneva's strict
limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some
of its provisions."
''My judgment was ... that it would not apply to al-Qaida or others - as they weren't a signatory to the convention,'' he said.
When the text was leaked to the public last summer, it attracted
scorn from military lawyers and human rights experts worldwide. Nigel
Rodley, a British lawyer who served as the special U.N. reporter on
torture and inhumane treatment from 1993 to 2001, remarked that its
underlying doctrine "sounds like the discredited legal theories used by
Latin American countries" to justify repression." End of Quote
Second - Gonzales "Legalizes" Repression.
Quote: "WASHINGTON (Feb. 6) -- Attorney Gener al
Alberto Gonzales insisted Monday that President Bush was "acting with
authority" both under the Constitution and federal law in eavesdropping
on Americans without warrants. In a statement prepared for the hearing,
Gonzales called the monitoring program "reasonable" and "lawful."
Gonzales, who was not sworn in, told the committee, "As the
president has explained, the terrorist surveillance program operated by
the (electronic-monitoring National Security Agency) requires the
maximum in speed and agility, since even a very short delay may make
the difference between success and failure in preventing the next
His arguments reiterated those defending President Bush's
decision to allow the NSA to eavesdrop, without first obtaining
warrants, on people inside the United States whose calls or e-mails may
be linked to terrorism.
But in his prepared remarks, Gonzales said he could not discuss
how the program works, as skeptics of the program have demanded . "An
open discussion of the operational details of this program would put
the lives of Americans at risk," he said.
Gonzales argued that Congress did, in fact, authorize the
president in September 2001 to use military force in the war on terror.
He noted that the legislation "calls on the president to
protect Americans both 'at home and abroad,'" and "to take action to
prevent further terrorist attacks 'against the United States.'"
But congressional Democrats have said they did not intend to order domestic surveillance." End of quote
And so - as the Chicago Mafia Gangsters used to say - "The Fix Is In" -
The Bush "legal mouthpiece" has produced "Legalized Torture and Repression" - Just like Germany had in 1933.
Alberto Gonzales is a lot like Franz Gurtner, another
conservative nationalist lawyer and judge - who was appointed by Hitler
to head the Reich Ministry of Justice, and who got along - very well -
with the Nazis despite not being a Nazi himself.
How did the German Legal system change as a result of Nazi 'leadership'?
Fear-mongering was the main tool used to change the law, and to
undermine civil liberties. So, where the constitution was changed, the
code of criminal procedure was also changed, extraordinary powers were
vested in the Executive, including extensive police powers; and the
powers of an independent judiciary were destroyed.
This was all done based on a "terrorist menace." And exactly
what the menace was, shifted from time to time during the Nazi period.
It was a matter of opportunism, or convenience.
Judges couldn't be impartial anymore. They used only Nazi
interpretations in making their decisions. In the everyday practice of
law the ideas of the Fuhrer (Hitler) were silently but loyally
followed. People feared the legal system, but nobody could - legally -
stop Hitler. And even Nazis no longer had the civil rights once
guaranteed by the German constitution.
Hitler was asked - In September 1931: "How do you imagine the
setting up of a Third Reich?" His reply was, " We will enter the legal
organizations and will make our Party a decisive factor in this way.
But when we do possess constitutional rights then we will form the
State in the manner which we consider to be the right one." Hitler was
asked: "This too by constitutional means ?" Hitler replied: "Yes."
Nazi conspirators participated in German elections, the legal
system, and in the Reichstag to undermine the parliamentary and
judicial system of the German Republic and to replace it with a
dictatorship of their own.
On 30 April 1928, Goebbels wrote in his paper "Der Angriff":
"We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, inside the arsenal
of democracy, with its own weapons. We become members of the Reichstag
in order to paralyze the liberal Weimar sentiment with its own
assistance. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and
per diem for the this "blockade" (Barendienst), that is its own
affair." Later in the same article he continued: "We do not come as
friend nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies: As the wolf bursts
into the flock, so we come."
Crucially, Gurtner - like Alito and Gonzales - ruled that vital
"national interests" - as defined by Hitler as head of state - had
precedence over the rule of law. Time and time again, Gurtner supported
unlawful measures and even murders, because they had been declared by
Hitler as crucial for the "survival of the state." That's what makes
the efforts by some American lawyers - like Alito and Gonzales - and
most GOP politicians - to argue that the president can and should be
above the law - so disturbing.
It appears that the GOP has transformed America into a society
where we are ruled by 'special men' - rather than by laws - so we are
all subject to the whims of the president and his appointees.
A president or appointee who imagines himself to be ab ove the
law is mentally and morally unfit to serve in public office; government
lawyers who argue that the president is above the law are apologists
for a dictatorship. They are the modern equivalents of Franz Gurtner,
justifying the Nazi abuse of power and legal authority in the name of
[L]ike Hitler, the top police officials were open about the
fact that they did not see themselves as bound by legal norms. In a
speech to the Academy of German Law in October, 1936, Himmler bluntly
stated: "Right from the start I took the view that it did not matter in
the least if our actions were contrary to some clause in the law; in my
work for the Fuhrer and the nation, I do what my conscience and common
sense tells me is right."
Disregard for the letter of the law was seen as crucial to the
Nazi defense of 'national interests.' The German police styled itself
the "domestic army." Just as the German army on the battlefield could
not be subject to legal regulat ion, so too, it was claimed, the fight
of the German police at home must not be constrained by the rule of
American soldiers and government contractors continue to
violate the Geneva Conventions and laws against torture to serve the
interests of their president and his appointees. They do what their
immediate superiors tell them to do - as directed by both implicit and
explicit statements from others high up the chain of command. Their
actions are wrong, and they justify themselves by the same excuses used
by police and military officials in Nazi Germany.
Today domestic surveillance exceeds that which is permitted by
US law. Police, FBI, and National Security personnel believe that their
attempts to fight terrorism justifies ignoring the law - indeed, they
argue that laws which protect the rights of the accused and the
innocent simply hamper police investigations and need to be curtailed.
Franz Gurtner and Alberto Gonzales certainly agree.
As Himmler explai ned to German army generals on 21 June 1944,
he could not care less whether the actions were legal or not: "What is
necessary for Germany will be done, however horrifying it may be."
The legal system, Hitler warned (in a speech to the Reichstag
on 26 April 1942), must have only one thought: German Victory. It was
high time, he continued, that the legal system realized that it did not
exist for its own sake, but for 'national interests'.
Goebbels said, in 1935: "When democracy granted democratic
methods for us in the times of opposition, this could only happen in a
democratic system. However, we National Socialists never asserted that
we represented a democratic point of view, but we have declared openly
that we used democratic methods only in order to gain the power and
that, after assuming the power, we would deny to our adversaries,
without any consideration, the means which were granted to us in the
times of opposition."
A leading Nazi writer on Constitution al Law, Ernst Rudolf
Huber, later wrote of this period: "The parliamentary battle of the
NSDAP had the single purpose of destroying the parliamentary system
from within through its own methods. It was necessary above all to make
formal use of the possibilities of the party-state system but to refuse
real cooperation and thereby to render the parliamentary system, which
is by nature dependent upon the responsible cooperation of the
opposition, incapable of action."
And today, GOP appointees like Gonzales and Alito and virtually
all GOP elected officials think - and act - exactly like Hitler,
Himmler, Goebbels and Franz Gurtner - and no longer have to care
whether their actions are legal or not, as they impose the "Rule of
Bush" over the stupid US Sheeple.
And they're just as "Legal" as Hitler was in 1933.