Sometimes these guys just defy parody. When Bush signed the Military Commission Act, there was much furor over the fact that it appears to limit habeas corpus appeals for those accused under this Act. But yesterday's testimony from Alberto Gonzalez takes it a step further with the double-think regarding habeas:
Gonzales: "There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution."
He is of course referring to Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the US Constitution: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”
This exchange with Senator Arlen Specter is priceless:
GONZALES: [...] Again, there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away. But it’s never been the case, and I’m not a Supreme —And to think that Gonzalez was short-listed for the Supreme Court, and rejected as "too moderate!" (shudder)
SPECTER: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?
GONZALES: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn’t say, “Every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.” It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except by —
SPECTER: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.