Interesting: Slate's Alan Berlow notes that Alberto Gonzales, President Bush's top legal counsel, didn't just start writing documents justifying evasion of international law in the past couple of years -- he did it for Bush when Bush was still governor of Texas.
On June 16, 1997, Gonzales first showcased his proclivity for torturing international law when he sent a letter to the U.S. State Department in which he argued that, "Since the State of Texas is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, we believe it is inappropriate to ask Texas to determine whether a breach ... occurred in connection with the arrest and conviction" of a Mexican national. Or, put another way, he asserted that an international treaty just didn't apply to Texas.
The Mexican in question, Irineo Tristan Montoya, was a fisherman convicted of brutally stabbing and murdering John Kilheffer in Brownsville, Texas, in 1985....
The Vienna Convention, ratified by the Senate in 1969, was designed to ensure that foreign nationals accused of a crime are given access to legal counsel by a representative from their home country. In the absence of a lawyer and without access to Mexican authorities, Tristan, who neither spoke nor understood English, signed a confession that he later said he believed to be an immigration document.
Bush and Gonzales apparently believed that international law, as embodied in the Vienna Convention, was somehow inapplicable to Texas.
What a team.