Arar is the innocent Canadian who was detained by the U.S. and shipped to Syria for interrogation, including severe torture. A report from Canadian commission recently confirmed he had no ties to al Qaeda, and the intelligence work that led to that conclusion was, at best, "sheer incompetence."
On Sept. 19, the day the report was announced, Gonzales was asked about his reaction to it.
"I haven't read the Commission report," he told the reporter.
Gonzales also said he didn't know Arar had been tortured (!), and that "we" were not responsible for his deportation. ("We," he later clarified, was the Department of Justice. And DoJ was, in fact, responsible for the deportation.)
And Vice President Cheney is apparently a reading-hater, also. On Meet the Press Sept. 10, the veep tried to trot out the Iraq-al Qaeda canard. Tim Russert quickly cut him short. "The [Senate intelligence] committee said that there was no relationship," he said, referring to recently released portions of a report concluding there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and the terror organization.
"Well, I haven't seen the report. I haven't had a chance to read it yet," Cheney answered.
Cheney used the same line again when Russert asked him about an explosive front-page Washington Post report that the trail for bin Laden had gone "stone cold."
"I haven't read the article," Cheney said, although he admitted he "saw the headline."
Even later in the interview, Cheney uses the I-didn't-read-it ploy. Russert asks him about a New York Times article about how Cheney's power has shrunk in recent months. "I haven't read the story in any great detail," the veep replied.
Is this any way to set an example for our children? What would Laura Bush, our reader-in-chief, say?