Bush Not Totally Clueless!
Although Gonzales declined to be interviewed by Carlson (or by Berlow), the Post story includes a response by Pete Wassdorf, Gonzales' former deputy counsel, who says that Berlow's article was both "inaccurate and incomplete," and that contrary to Berlow's assertions, the memos were not the only things Bush relied on to make his life-and-death decisions. "Governor Bush's office was fairly informal," Carlson quotes the attorney as writing in a letter to The Atlantic, "and it was not at all unusual after a meeting on a different subject, or during an ad hoc meeting, to discuss upcoming executions."
Let that be a lesson to all who thought Bush didn't take the death-penalty clemency process seriously. (For more on Bush and the clemency memos, see "The Guv's Death Row Secrets," July 11.)