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WaPo: Bush and Gonzales "deepen friendship" by executing prisoners together

Film at 11: WaPo fluffs Gonzales before his testimony. They just can't help themselves, can they? But this fluffery is even more creepy than usual. WaPo's Peter Baker:

On the Hill, Gonzales Gets His Chance at Redemption

Gack. Here's the quote that made me reach for the bucket I keep handy by the side of my desk whenever I read about Republicans. Of Bush and Gonzales, Baker writes:

Their friendship deepened during the many last-minute death-penalty petitions Gonzales handled for Bush.

['Scuse me. [Heaves.] There. That's better.]

Oh. My. Fucking. God. Do you realize what Baker's writing about? Does Baker? Could Baker?

Baker's talking about the Texas Clemency memos (which alone should have disqualified Gonzales for high office, if the Dems had any stones and the Bush White House wasn't run by sociopaths). From not-Bush-hating, not foily Atlantic magazine:

During Bush’s six years as governor 150 men and two women were executed in Texas—a record unmatched by any other governor in modern American history. Each time a person was sentenced to death, Bush received from his legal counsel a document summarizing the facts of the case, usually on the morning of the day scheduled for the execution, and was then briefed on those facts by his counsel; based on this information Bush allowed the execution to proceed in all cases but one. The first fifty-seven of these summaries were prepared by Gonzales, a Harvard-educated lawyer

Gonzales’s summaries were Bush’s primary source of information in deciding whether someone would live or die.

Each is only three to seven pages long and generally consists of little more than a brief description of the crime, a paragraph or two on the defendant’s personal background, and a condensed legal history. [M]any
have a clear prosecutorial bias, and all seem to assume that if an appeals court rejected one or another of a defendant’s claims, there is no conceivable rationale for the governor to revisit that claim. This assumption ignores one of the most basic reasons for clemency: the fact that the justice system makes mistakes.

A close examination of the Gonzales memoranda suggests that Governor Bush frequently approved executions based on only the most cursory briefings on the issues in dispute.In fact, in these documents Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence.

So, Bush and Gonzales deepen their friendship. Gonzales enables Bush to kill people, through "cursory" memos, and Bush orders the switch thrown. I wonder if He had a pan placed under the chair to catch the drippings?

Can there be any clearer indication of how sick the relations between Bush and his enablers are? But then, what would you expect from a man who killed frogs as a boy by shoving firecrackers up their ass and lighting the fuse*?

* Far from being a bizarre invention of Bush haters, this story originally appeared in the New York Magazine, and was shared by a childhood friend of Bush. Now, of course, Bush has new friends, and more, er, adult needs.

NOTE Now, of course, Texas has abolished their death penalty. I guess Bush's behavior was too bizarre even for the Texas ruling class. Not, apparently, for the Beltway.

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Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

To the best of my knowledge the death penalty has not been abolished in Texas despite the fact that some Texas conservative newspapers have called for the abolution.

In fact, I believe Gov Perry is carrying on the Bush tradition of not considering appeals for clemency seriously.

Bush has screwed up his entire life. I don't expect him to change.