Reject Gonzales 

Reject Gonzales

Introducing his nominee to replace John Ashcroft as Attorney General, George Bush said of Alberto Gonzales "he has an unwavering principle of respect for the law."

Oh, really?

According to Newsweek, Gonzales convened the meetings that resulted in the Justice Department memo that held that laws prohibiting torture do not apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants. In another memo he wrote, he described Geneva Convention limitations on interrogation methods that could be used on prisoners of war as "quaint."

While working for Bush in Texas, Gonzales prepared for Governor Bush memos describing the crimes, trials and appeals of condemned prisoners for the Governor to review while deciding whether to extend clemency. Notably absent from all of these memos were mention of quality of counsel, exculpatory evidence, or mitigating circumstances. As a Texas Supreme Court Justice, Gonzales displayed the kind of indifference to the appearance of conflict of interest that has characterized Dick Cheney, happily accepting campaign contributions from corporations that were litigants in matters before his court.

I understand that the President has the prerogative to select to his cabinet those people whom he believes will best and most effectively carry out his programs and goals. Each Senator, however, has taken an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. Gonzales' record serving under Bush so far offers strong evidence that as Attorney General he will threaten the individual freedoms guaranteed to Americans by the Constitution. The Senate questioning of Gonzales should require Gonzales to explain, if he can, how his previous actions have been consistent with the principals of lilberty and freedom that Americans have fought to establish and preserve for more than two centuries.

This confirmation is a test for the Democrats in the Senate (well, the Republicans too, but we all know already how they'll do). They can, as they did for much of Bush's first term, bend over and let him have his way with them, or they can to the job we sent them to Washington to do. As for my own Senators, I have no doubt that Barbara Boxer will do the right thing. I have little faith in Diane Feinstein.

(Perhaps I'm being overly harsh with Feinstein; she did not vote to confirm Ashcroft, after all. We'll see.)

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Comment I am vehemently, actively opposed to the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) told the Associated Press that Gonzales? confirmation hearing "may be the only remaining forum in which to examine more fully the steps that were taken to weaken U.S. policy on torture in the period that led to the prison scandals at Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan." I have been all over the net for the last two weeks trying to find out some basic information about the Gonzales Confirmation hearings and the appointment process. I have been to high school teachers, history and law professors. I have even been reading about the confirmation hearings of Ashcroft. Can one of your informed readers please tell me: 1) Is there any limit to the questions the Senate Judiciary Committee can ask Gonzales? 2) Can they request documents? 3) Is there a time limit to each committee member? 4) Once it gets to the floor of the Senate, is there any limit on the time each Senator can take? Any limit on questions they can ask Gonzales? Can they request documents? 5) Is there anything that could delay or prolong these hearings? 6) Is filibuster allowed? Is it effective? Once you've notified all the committee members, your Senator, (and everyone else's too), contributed to Veterans for Common Sense ad campaign, is there anything else one can do? Thank you.

Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:21 pm MST by Apian

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