I don't mean to beat up on Hindrocket of Power Line, but his portrayal of the objections to elevating Judge Gonzales to AG is simply bizarre. The objections to Gonzales do not consist solely of disagreements with Gonzales' alleged conclusion that the Geneva Convention does not apply to "enemy combatants" in the service of "pseudo-states," as Hindrocket writes. (We could simply call them terrorist groups, but nooooooo.) Indeed, though such conclusions are hardly "unassailable," the main objection to Gonzales' elevation to AG is his apparent involvement in the so-called "torture" memorandum.
For those who have been in a coma and/or distracted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune's latest outrage, the torture memo is the memo that resulted in headlines like "Torture Memo Key Hurdle for Gonzales" (Tampa Tribune). It's also the memo that defined "torture" under 18 USC §§ 2340-2340A as:
[E]quivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.
Incidentally, the torture memorandum's legal analysis -- which consisted of ignoring relevant authority in favor of irrelevant authority -- was indefensible, whether performed by an experienced DOJ lawyer or a first-year associate. (See this, this, this, this, and this, among many others.) Its legal conclusion wasn't so brilliant, either. Indeed, the DOJ has rescinded memo, effectively repudiating its more outlandish claims.
It's not anti-conservative (or anti-Republican, or anti-American), to be against torture. As I've written before, one also needn't accept the false choice between legalizing torture or prosecuting hero-cops who defuse a ticking atom bomb by slapping around the captured atom-bomber. Nor is it wrong to ask why the President's lawyer apparently signed off on a crappy legal analysis. Indeed, one might call that question fairly important and on-point, given that Gonzales has been nominated to the AG post.
I realize the tendency is to rally 'round your man, but this is ridiculous. Obscuring the issues in dispute and calling legal arguments "unassailable" when they ain't -- well, the nicest thing I can say is that it's not a positive thing for the public good. I hope Hindrocket does better next time.