Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Today's Alberto Gonzales Update

This is from Randy Cohen's blog, "The Moral of The Story". Randy is "The Ethicist", the ethics columnist for the New York Times.

Texas Tech has hired the disgraced former Attorney General (not to be confused with the former Yankee backup infielder) to teach a seminar course in political science. Apparently a fuss has developed over this fact, asserting that Gonzales is overpaid (50 times more than a comparable professor) and unsuited to a role as a professor (due to his numerous ethical failings while in office).

Heck, I'm overpaid. We are paid in proportion to what we are thought to be worth. Since people aren't willing to pay to watch me work, I don't get paid as much as Donovan McNabb.

Is Gonzales unsuited to teach? He is certainly unethical-or at least, performed his duties unethically. But he does bring experience that few others do at the performance of government, however inept.

My feeling is, if the powers that be at Texas Tech see this as a good hire, it's their baby to rock. I certainly would reconsider contributing if I were an alumni, though.


  1. Actually, if you want to be secure, hire a thief to tell you what will screw him up on the way to your goodies.

    I see nothing wrong with this and if he is out of prison... his debt has been paid. He certainly will bring insights that others will not.

  2. Still not sure what Gonzales did wrong. Every President replaces US attorneys for political reasons.

    When I think disgraced attorney generals, Ramsey Clark, John Mitchell, and Janet Reno come to mind.

    Ananda: He never went to prison, actually. But he is reviled a lot, pretty much for being in the wrong political party. A rather partisan matter. Like the guys who said that Bush = Hitler 5 years ago, and a different but very similar group that now claims that Obama = Hitler. Demonizing someone for daring to be on the other side.

  3. "Still not sure what Gonzales did wrong"?

    Lying to Congress and Discarding the Geneva Conventions and Habeas Corpus, for starters.

  4. These accusations, if true, are indeed more serious than the whole US attorney firing matter that is usually named as the worst thing about him.

  5. As for the Geneva Convention, I did some checking into these. These "nationless" terrorists who were detained are not covered under it.

    Even Eric Holder, the current Attorney General under President Obama in 2002 said that Geneva did not apply to these terrorists.

  6. Of course it does.

    Geneva applies to the forces under control of its signatories. We signed it, therefore we are bound to apply it to anyone we capture, terrorist, uniformed officer, or Martian invader. They are not bound by it, (if they are terrorists)being stateless persons.

    That's just one of the ways we are supposed to show that we are better than them.



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