Ever the pursuer of compromise, I have come up with a solution that will satisfy the conditions set forth by President Bush for Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify before Congress, and still allow Congress to determine what input these two administration officials and other White House staff members had regarding questions surrounding the 2007 Department of Justice Attorney purge.
To review, President Bush’s conditions for the interviews of White House officials are as follows:
1) No subpoenas may be issued to testify before Congress.
2) No interviews may be conducted in public.
3) No recordings or transcripts may be kept of the interviews.
4) Interviewees are not be sworn in to tell the truth.
Not only should Congress accept these conditions, they should leap at the opportunity to follow the president’s request to the letter. They may never again get such a blind acceptance of pursuing these interviews in a manner consistent with the administration’s already accepted principles of justice.
How? It’s very simple.
Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and, especially, Alberto Gonzales should be interviewed at Guantanamo Bay under the direction of interviewers at that facility in conditions that have already been determined by this administration and, especially, Alberto Gonzales, to be proper under United States and international law.
As Attorney General, the nation’s chief law enforcement official, Alberto Gonzales has already written memos outlining the unique advantages of having such a facility and practices in place at Guantanamo Bay. Harriet Miers, the president’s personal legal advisor, has also given her blessing (isn’t that a wonderful word?) to these types of procedures.
Note that the president has given no restraints on the location of these interviews. Nor has he specified the amount of time over which the questioning can take place.
As for the presumed innocence of those being interviewed, well, that hardly matters.
Most of the interviewees at Guantanamo Bay have been released after being interviewed over a period of time because it was determined they, too, were not guilty of wrongdoing. That certainly didn’t stop officials at the facility from engaging in – shall we say – rather extensive interviews.
Having the interviews conducted at Guantanamo Bay also gives interviewers the opportunity to determine guilt without the necessity for trials, lawyers, and such.
The president has clearly shown a disdain for allowing his administration’s officials from participating in these types of legal workups. Surely the president can appreciate avoiding such messy and public displays of what some in opposition to the president might call “the rule of law.”
And suppose the interviewers at Guantanamo Bay determine guilt by one or more of the parties being interviewed. We can eliminate yet another step of traditional legal activities known as “sentencing hearings.”
No, it’s one-stop shopping for these participants.
As for appeals, well, that would involve lawyers, which we have already determined to be an unnecessary and distasteful component to such matters.
You may be wondering about Due Process, which is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution in the 5th and 14th Amendments. Due Process is our method of guaranteeing certain procedures that must be followed to ensure fairness for the accused we presume to be innocent.
Of course, Alberto Gonzales, with the blessing (there’s that wonderful word again) of Harriet Miers, has already determined that the United States Constitution isn’t in effect in Guantanamo Bay.
In fact, Alberto Gonzales has previously determined that much of the United States Constitution isn’t in effect in the United States, either. Did you know that the United States Constitution does not guarantee the right of habeas corpus, which is the alleged right to know what an accused person has been charged with in criminal court? Gonzales’ opinions are so perceptive as to outweigh the forefathers of America as well as the history of Western Civilization dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215.
So you see, having these interviews in Guantanamo Bay is COMPLETELY within the bounds of United States law and the president's infallible political philosophy. We should all thank the president for setting guidelines that allow us the opportunity to properly interview these witnesses under conditions the interviewees have already graciously agreed to.