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September 30, 2006

Gonzales Moves Past Doublespeak Into Triplespeak And Possibly Quadruplespeak

Here's Alberto Gonzales speaking yesterday at "A Conference on the State of the Judiciary" at Georgetown Law School (pdf):

A proper sense of judicial humility requires judges to keep in mind the institutional limitations of the judiciary and the duties expressly assigned by the Constitution to the more politically accountable branches. The Constitution, for example, clearly makes the President the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, and assigns other important war powers to the Congress. The Supreme Court has long recognized, moreover, the Executive's pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. The Constitution, by contrast, provides the Courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during war time.

Now, here's Gonzales testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last February 6th:

GONZALES: There was not a war declaration, either in connection with Al Qaeda or in Iraq.

And here's what he said to the committee on July 18th:

GONZALES: [T]here’s been no declaration of war...there’s been no declaration of war here.

I've long been confused by the weird insistence of Gonzales that "Oh my god we're at war which means everyone must give all power to the preznit! Also, let me emphasize that there's definitely no way never been a declaration of war!" I finally ended up writing an article explaining why he says this, which will be in the November/December issue of Mother Jones.

Posted at September 30, 2006 09:03 AM | TrackBack

I respectfully revert to my mother tongue.

It's pendejospeak.

An explanation of the pendejo culture, which desperately needs to be grafted onto the U.S. culture, can be found at

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at September 30, 2006 09:52 AM

Yeah, that whole have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too thing, "We want wartime powers, but not wartime responsibilities like the Geneva Conventions/treating captives like POWs instead of... subhumans."

Posted by: saurabh at September 30, 2006 01:28 PM

Einstein's failure to explain time's arrow... is closely related to the concept of causality... the notion that effects never precede their causes. Consider a world in which causality is violated. It might mean a pebble could levitate off the ground so that you could grasp it, worse than that, you might be struck down by a stone before it fell, or kill your own grandmother before you were born.

----Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield, "The Arrow of Time"

Bush and Gonzales make an effective pair. First Bush creates a strange universe where causality is violated and up becomes down. At first the universe existed in its normal state, after 9/11 Bush pursued bin Laden into Afghanistan which at least seemed logical as that was where bin Laden was to be found and it was known that bin Laden was behind 9/11. But then something inexplicable occurred, we suddenly veered off course to Iraq and Saddam became the nexus of 9/11 despite all evidence to the contrary, pebbles began to levitate off the ground and many people were injured by falling rocks before they fell.

Enter Gonzales.

As Jonathan points out Gonzales tells we are at war yet not actually really for sure at war, depending on the circumstances. My best guess is Gonzales has been drinking quantities of helium II which only exists at extremely low temperatures. Like Gonzales helium II exhibits some exceedingly strange properties. For one if you had a glass of helium II it would defy gravity and creep up the sides of the glass and over the edge emptying the glass. For another, helium II has the ability to flow in opposite directions in a tube at the same time. Thus we can explain our sudden ability to be at war yet not be at war.

Posted by: rob payne at October 1, 2006 03:25 AM

This has always gone over the public's heads. We are not at war, but we really are.


Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at October 1, 2006 04:35 AM

How mean you are to criticize a great thing like war.

Posted by: at October 7, 2006 08:42 AM