In a curious passage that tries to make the case that Alberto Gonzales was a True Conservative, Toobin sloppily distorts a Gonzales quote about the Geneva Convention. Here’s Toobin:
Gonzales had taken the most aggressive position among Bush’s allies on the legal basis for the war on terror, dismissing the protections of the Geneva Convention as “quaint.”
We’ve been through this before, noting the distortion that originated with Michael Isikoff, and continued with Maureen Dowd, Sidney Blumenthal, and every liberal blogger under the sun.
Let’s go to Gonzales’s original memo and read the entire quote:
In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments.”
As is clear when one reads Gonzales’s actual quote, Gonzales did not dismiss the entirety of the Geneva Conventions protections as “quaint,” as Toobin falsely claims. Rather, Gonzales was referring to only a curious subset of protections — like providing musical instruments and athletic uniforms to captured prisoners — that actually were quaint.
Yet another mistake by Toobin.