After thinking about it for a while, I'm beginning to believe that Alberto Gonzales may, in fact, be even worse that John Ashcroft.
John Ashcroft was an obnoxious ideologue, but he enforced the laws that were on the books, even if he was extremely selective about which laws received his attention.
As the President's Counsel Gonzales has written options that purport to give the President powers that extend beyond the Constitution and claim that the War on Terror abrogates the need to comply with the Geneva Convention.
For those who don't think much about law this may even seem reasonable: there's an emergency and emergency powers are needed to deal with it.
The basic problem is that all of the powers of the government of the United States are confined by the Constitution, with all other powers reserved to the people and/or states. The government has no power that is not granted by the Constitution, for the granting and restriction of power is the underlying purpose of any constitution. The Constitution is the Law against which all other laws are judged. The Supreme Court was founded with the single purpose of judging legal cases through the filter of the Constitution.
Any actions outside the confines of the Constitution are by definition outside the Law.
The purpose of the Geneva Convention was to establish some minimum Rules of War. Claiming that the Rules of War don't apply to a war is illogical on its face.
What Gonzales has advised the President is the equivalent of saying the police are not required to abide by the law because the criminals have already broken it. Is this the type of thinking that is appropriate for any lawyer, much less the Attorney General of the United States?