January 6, 2005
His WorkA dozen high-ranking retired military officers wrote the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing concern over his role in shaping and approving Administration memos that justify torture in the "war on terror".
A consortium of over 225 religious leaders of different faiths wrote an open letter asking him to officially denounce all torture.
Various groups, including 130 physicians for human rights, oppose his confirmation.
In hearings that begin today, Alberto Gonzales's record must be exposed to help challenge his possible nomination to the Supreme Court at a later date, even though his confirmation as Attorney General is almost certain. The Democrats, though outnumbered, should not give him a free pass.
An excellent piece from the Center for American Progress provided the background on Alberto Gonzales's record as well as a list of ten crucial questions that should be asked of George W. Bush's nominee for Attorney General:
1. Are there any circumstances under which you believe the President of the United States could legally authorize torture?
2. Has your position on the Geneva Conventions changed since evidence of widespread detainee abuse at U.S. prisons was uncovered? If not, which provisions of the Geneva Conventions do you still consider "quaint" or "obsolete"?
3. In your view, what limits did the September 14 joint resolution passed by Congress place on which countries the president could invade?
4. Do you still believe that the state of Texas does not have to abide by the Vienna Convention?
5. Do you still believe that the president can order the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, without judicial scrutiny, nowthat the Supreme Court has rejected that position?
6. The Department of Justice has issued a revised, more expansive definition oftorture. But John Yoo, who helped write the repudiated memo, still defends the old definition. If you are confirmed as Attorney General, would you consider Mr. Yoo for a position in your department?
7. Do you believe the March 2004 draft memo you requested – authorizing the CIA to transfer detainees to countries that may torture them – was in violation of international law?
8. Would you recuse yourself from all Enron-related matters?
9. Would you recuse yourself from all Halliburton-related matters?
10. Were you aware of Bernard Kerik's long-standing ties to Interstate Industrial, a New Jersey-based firm allegedly run by organized crime? If so, did you inform President Bush before Mr. Kerik was nominated? If not, how was the media able to uncover the connection hours after the nomination was announced?
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