From human rights groups to retired Latino military officers to Democratic Senators, the opposition to the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General is growing:
Senator Joe Biden:
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.), a Judiciary Committee member, said yesterday that he was leaning against confirmation of Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush's choice to be attorney general. Bush's selection of his White House counsel to be the nation's top lawman, "may very well do us more harm internationally because of its relationship with the terror memos," Biden said on ABC's This Week. "My inclination right now is to vote against him," Biden said.
Human Rights First (formerly know as Lawyers Committee for Human Rights):
Opposition to a presidential nominee is a rare step for our organization -- a step we have only taken once before in our 27-year history[.] . . . But Mr. Gonzales helped to open the door to abuses that have undermined discipline in the military, put American fighting men and women at greater risk, and denied the United States the moral high ground. . . . Some have argued that it is unfair to blame Mr. Gonzales for the torture, cruelty, and death inflicted on individuals in U.S. custody overseas. . . . But no one disputes that Mr. Gonzales rejected the applicability of essential provisions of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan, and that he endorsed interrogation methods that law enforcement and military experts advised were unlawful, and that many senior military officers reject today. Mr. Gonzales reaffirmed these views in his statements before the Senate -- telling Senators that he agreed with the conclusions of the memo reducing the definition of torture to meaninglessness, and suggesting that the President could ignore laws
if he thought they unconstitutionally infringed on his powers as Commander-in-Chief. We evaluate Mr. Gonzales based on his own actions, and his own words. And it is on this basis we oppose his nomination.
The first Hispanic Air National Guard officer appointed as an adjutant general in the United States, Maj. Gen. Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF National Guard Maj.):
Like Judge Gonzales, I know what it feels like to be the first Hispanic to be named to an important leadership position in this country," said Montano, a Vietnam veteran
who served 45 years in the military, including 18 years in a command position. "I welcome the prospect of more Hispanics serving in leadership positions in the government, and I respect Judge Gonzales'inspiring personal story. But given Gonzales' record, senators who are afraid to vote against his confirmation for fear of being labeled
anti-Hispanic are doing themselves and their constiuents a grave disservice."
All Democrats -all people of good conscience- must oppose Gonzales' appointment as Attorney General. To support Gonzales is to condone torture.
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