There were two images that haunted me last night from the news: the image of a wounded, older man shot in the head by a soldier; and the portrait of a man writhing in flames, charred raincoat and attaché case framing his burning body, eclipsed by the overarching shadow of the White House.
I tossed and turned, these images connected in my brain, united by one sentence: "...by their fruits you shall know them."
Other images followed: a youthful, smiling Alberto Gonzales, elated by the good fortune his career has garnered through his legal justifications of unjust actions in an unjust war; and a naked Iraqi prisoner, black hooded, hands hiding his genitalia from the prying camera lens.
And again, the sentence reverberated in my brain: "by their fruits you shall know them."
When I woke up today I decided to call upon my fellow Kossaks, and ask them to do everything in their power to ensure that Alberto Gonzales, who has literally been the devil's advocate in laying the legal foundations for the abuses of the prisoners we have taken during our "war on terror", not be appointed to be the final arbiter of the laws of our land determining US citizen's civil rights. Mr. Gonzales, although probably a very nice, genteel sort of man, is also the most dangerous variety of human being you can encounter. This is a man who does not take the gun and shoot the prisoner, but who - through legal arguments and over-reaching justifications - allows the soldier who does so to feel that his actions may be excused, and even moral. This is a man who does not hold the dog's leash as it bites at a naked prisoner's genitals, but who allows the soldiers who do to feel that their actions may not be criminal, and may in fact be necessary to protect their country.
This is a dangerous man indeed, who can rewrite human justice with a few strokes on a keyboard.
There are many things we can do to stop this man. One action that is easy to take right now is to visit this site: donotconfirm.com, and sign the online petition calling upon our senators to not confirm Mr. Gonzales to the post of US Attorney General. Additionally, I'd like to ask each of you today to take ten minutes of blog-time and write your local congressmen, senators or your favorite media outlets and let them know that a man who lays the legal architecture for subverting civil rights cannot be empowered to preside over the laws of our country.
If we can do this, not only do I feel we can stop this immediate threat to our justice system, but I also believe we can stem the tide of public sentiment that favors the excesses of the Bush administration, and undo their current rhetoric of having a popular mandate.
Thank you, everyone, for your participation in this just and moral cause.