Thursday, November 11, 2010

Human Life.

There are a number of wonderful lines in K-Lo's review of Decision Points -- "He probably should be a role model" and "His is ultimately a message of humility" come to mind -- but this, for its absolute wrongness, is my favorite:

We also get a clearer portrait of his deep appreciation for human life, which goes back to his childhood.

Now, I think, is a great time to dredge up two stories, both from Bush's tenure as governor:

In the week before [Karla Faye Tucker's] execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask.

Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them," he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' "

"What was her answer?" I wonder.

"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."


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 who went on to become the Texas secretary of state and a justice on the Texas supreme court. He is now the White House counsel. ...

Did Gonzales reserve the most important issues and documents in the Washington case for a more extensive oral briefing of the governor? Only he and Bush know. It is highly unlikely, however, given that Gonzales usually presented an execution summary to the governor on the day of an execution and that, as he has acknowledged, his briefings typically lasted no more than thirty minutes—far too little time for a serious discussion of a complex clemency plea. Bush's appointment calendar for the morning of Washington's execution shows a half-hour slot marked "Al G—Execution." ...

George W. Bush was/is a sociopath, and we shouldn't forget it.

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