Date: Dec 30 2004

Sent to but not published in New York Times

Andrew Rosenthal (op ed, December 30th 2004) has it right. The nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the position of Attorney General is an insult to the rule of law. As White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales, together with civilian lawyers in the service departments, was instrumental in devising rules that permitted torture (maybe it was soft torture, but it was torture nonetheless) of prisoners held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq.

The policy advocated by these civil lawyers is stupendously stupid. The military lawyers are correct in opposing the policy because of the impact on the treatment of American prisoners in foreign hands. The injunction of do as you would be done by is a precious one to adhere to in military conduct. The USs abandonment of this rule will serve it ill.

One step to righting this injustice would be for President Bush to withdraw this nomination. Failing that, the Senate should reject his confirmation.