Thursday, November 11, 2004

Alberto Gonzales is a horrendous choice for Attorney General.

Why you're right:

1. Gonzales believes the President can ignore laws prohibiting torture. Gonzales approved a memo, delivered to President Bush in August 2002, which concluded laws prohibiting torture do "not apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants." Further, the memo said that an interrogation tactic only constituted torture if it resulted in injury "such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions." (August 2002 Memo, Newsweek)

2. Gonzales has a cavalier attitude about the death penalty. As counsel to Gov. George W. Bush Gonzales was responsible for writing memos to Bush outlining the fact of each death penalty case. Bush would use the memos to decide whether a defendant should live or die. An analysis of these memos by the Atlantic Monthly found "Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence." (Atlantic Monthly)

3. Gonzales would have a conflict-of-interest in major Justice Department activities. As White House counsel, Gonzales advised the President and others how to stay out of trouble after the illegal outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame by a senior administration official. As Attorney General, Gonzales would oversee the investigation. For 10 years Gonzales was counsel to Enron as a lawyer at Vincent & Elkins. As Attorney General, he would oversee the prosecution of Enron executives. (Knight Ridder, Newsweek)

Why they're wrong:

Bush says Gonzales is a good choice for Attorney General because he has "come to know the character of this man." That is not good enough. The American people deserve to know what Alberto Gonzales believes and what he stands for. Only a handful of the memos Gonzales wrote to President Bush regarding the treatment of detainees have been disclosed. The Senate cannot responsibly take a vote on his nomination until all the memos are made public. (LA Times)