Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Lord High Executioner

Seems Bush sloppiness extends to just about everything ....

Alan Berlow's Atlantic article on Bush's sloppy handling of clemency proceedings made it into WaPo today, in an article by Peter Carlson.
First , YABL:

"I take every death penalty case seriously and review each case carefully," he said while governor of Texas.

Now the reality:

"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," Berlow writes.

Mr. Berlow's advocacy piece is more at home in his usual places of publication," Wassdorf wrote, such as "Salon.com, which is mostly regarded as a cartoon solely dedicated to Bush Bashing."

Gonzales' memos and half-hour briefings were not the entire clemency process, merely the end of it, [Pete Wassdorf, Gonzeles' deputy counsel] says. "Governor Bush's office was fairly informal," Wassdorf wrote in his letter, and "it was not at all unusual after a meeting on a different subject or during an ad hoc meeting to discuss upcoming executions."

Perhaps that's true. But is an informal bull session the best way to delve into the complex details of a murder case?

After reading Berlow's article, and Wassdorf's letter, it's hard not to conclude that both Gonzales and Bush were rather callous, even cavalier, about the most profound decision any government official can make -- the decision to kill another human being.

Sound familiar? It will to the troops.