Read More about Alberto Gonzales
The confirmation hearing of Alberto Gonzales for U.S. attorney general on Jan. 6, 2005, lasted more than seven hours and focused mainly on Gonzales’s role in laying the legal groundwork that led to the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Although he condemned torture, he repeatedly refused to clarify whether he believes that the president has the authority to order it. While most commentators continue to believe he ultimately will be confirmed by the Senate, his failure to lay to rest the concerns raised by members of the Judiciary Committee has provoked strong criticism from editorial boards and ordinary citizens alike.
Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
January 12, 2005
"…Making Gonzales responsible for our nation’s conduct is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse."
"This is the man whose counsel was sought in regard to the ethics of torture and who determined that, after 9/11, the rules of the Geneva Conventions no longer applied. This is the man whose opinion shaped a policy that opened the flood gates for the atrocities that took place in Abu Ghraib prison and the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, cited by the Red Cross as "tantamount to torture.""
Macon, GA – The Macon Telegraph
"He promoted abuse"
January 7, 2005
"Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have used beatings, suffocation, sleep deprivation, electric shocks and dogs during interrogations, according to the Bush administration’s own records. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s and President Bush’s ultimate responsibility aside, it was Alberto Gonzales who led the internal discussions of what qualified as torture."
"It was Gonzales who advised President Bush that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to people captured in Afghanistan."
"By nominating Gonzales for a Cabinet position, President Bush has demonstrated not only that he is undisturbed by these aberrations, but that his self-professed morality is nothing more than a sham. It also shows that he really doesn’t understand the nature of the international conflict which he says he is fighting."
Boston, MA – The Christian Science Monitor
"National security is no license to ignore human rights"
January 10, 2005
"What gives us the right to ignore human rights just because it might affect our national security? If any other country did this we would denounce it as evil. Where is the morality in that?"
"Alberto Gonzales, the nominee for US attorney general, has been one of the primary players in this arrogance and in my opinion, has no place in public office in any country that claims to be civil or moral."
Bangor, ME – Bangor Daily News
"Gonzales vs. decency"
January 10, 2005
"…You assert that the best thing in his favor is his compelling personal story and his decency. Whoa! No question concerning his personal story."
"If decent means throwing out the Geneva Conventions prohibiting torturing prisoners, thus endangering the lives of our own soldiers, then your opinion makes sense."
San Jose, CA – San Jose Mercury News
"Don’t promote Gonzales"
January 10, 2005
"White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales was part of a team that advised the president, the CIA and the Defense Department that longstanding prohibitions against torture and adherence to the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and "old-fashioned.""
"Under their guidance, Americans were held in prison without charges and with no access to lawyers. Prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq were tortured."
"Those who make policies that deprive people of due process and allow them to be tortured should be tried for their crimes, not promoted."
Nashville, TN – The Tennessean
"Gonzales’ approval of torture says it all"
January 11, 2005
"…We have one of two ways to think of Alberto Gonzales, our likely next attorney general: Either he supported the use of torture, or he was too ineffective to prevent it."
"How can we let such a man be confirmed? Do we think no better of ourselves than that?"
Hampton Roads, VA – Daily Press
"Bush made a bad choice in Gonzales"
January 9, 2005
"The Senate is considering the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general of the United States. It is difficult to imagine a man less suited to the position."
"The president has the right to nominate whomever he pleases to serve in his Cabinet. But the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate confirm Cabinet appointments must not be taken lightly."
"For the sake of our military and of the country as a whole, the Senate should repudiate Gonzales’ opinion that the provisions of the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners are out of date and reject his nomination."
Winston-Salem, NC – Winston-Salem Journal
January 9, 2005
"The elected officials of both parties will have arrived at a new low point in their rubber-stamp approach to the leadership of this nation if they confirm Alberto Gonzales as the next Attorney General."
"Given his record on supporting the use of torture of prisoners, leading to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, every American should be appalled."