Alberto R. Gonzales

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Alberto R. Gonzales A.K.A. "Gonzo" is the former United States Attorney General, and he was in charge of the United States Department of Justice. He was nominated to this post in 2005, succeeding John Ashcroft, and resigned effective September 2007. Before then, Gonzales had served as an advisor to President George W. Bush for many years.

Contents

Controversies

  1. Gonzales admits that he doesn't know if his grandparents came to America legaly.
  2. Gonzales was largely responsible for the chain of events that led to Abu Ghraib - actually writing a memo to Bush advocating the disregard of Geneva Convention torture rules, one of the so-called Torture Memos.

  3. Gonzeles was the legal architect for the Gitmo detainee system, much of which various courts (including the Supreme Court) have ruled unconstitutional.
  4. Gonzales had a tight financial and political connection to Enron, making him unable to impartially handle the largest corporate fraud in modern history or to enforce the laws needed to prevent the next Enron-like scandal.
  5. Gonzales politicized the Justice Department by firing US Attorneys who were insufficiently partisan, and delegating power to hire and fire senior political appointees at the Justice Department to Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling.


Quite a track record for someone on the short list for the Supreme Court of the United States, huh? Details below:

1. Albert Gonzales, while White House General Counsel, "asked for" and received a memorandum regarding the "Status of Taliban Forces ... Under the Geneva Conventions."  The memo concludes that the Taliban forces are not covered under the Geneva Convention, which protects prisoners of war from torture.  Gonzales let his feelings be known in a January 25, 2002 memo to the President, writing:

In my judgment, this new paradigm [the war on terror] renders obsolete Geneva's [i.e., the Geneva Convention's] strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.

Gonzales's pro-torture memo gave fruit to an Order by the President accepting this rationale, making it part of what what Newsweek called the "root of torture" that led to the Abu Ghraib debacle.

2. Also while at the White House, Gonzales was the author of the Gitmo detainment procedures:

H]e drew up the rules for holding suspected terrorists at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The detainees have been designated enemy combatants, denied prisoner-of-war status under the international Geneva Convention.

These rules have repeatedly been rejected by federal courts as unconstitutional, including the Supreme Court last summer.

3. Gonzales is "inextricably tied" to Enron, casting doubt on his ability to impartially handle the biggest corporate fraud in history.  As the described in the press even now:

Gonzales also has connections to scandal-ridden energy giant Enron. He is a former partner in the Houston law firm Vinson and Elkins, which represented Enron. He also received $6,500 in campaign contributions from the company when he ran for re-election to the Texas Supreme Court.

Indeed, Gonzales got rich off of Enron as a corporate partner at Vinson & Elkins, which is the law firm that was sued for crafting these deals.

Remember, the federal government's case against Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling is still ongoing. Gonzales owes his fortune and much of his early political future to Ken Lay, so his position as the nation's top law enforcement officer while the federal government prosecutes Lay presents an obvious conflict of interest. As it currently stands, the investigation and enforcement of rules against the future "Enrons" have been entrusted to a corporate lawyer who possibly contributed to the Enron debacle in the first place.

Detailed examination by soj - DailyKos diary

Confirmation

Domestic Spying

Gonzales has done nothing to rein-in the NSA's illegal program of domestic wiretapping. As recently as April 6, 2006, he lied under oath to the House Judiciary Committee, saying:

NADLER (D-NY): Number two, can you assure us that there is no warrantless surveillance of calls between two Americans within the United States?
GONZALES: That is not what the president has authorized.
NADLER: Can you assure us that it's not being done?
GONZALES: As I indicated in response to an earlier question, no technology is perfect.
NADLER: OK.
GONZALES: We do have minimization procedures in place...
NADLER: But you're not doing that deliberately?
GONZALES: That is correct.

That testimony was one month before USA Today revealed that the NSA was building a database of every phone call made within the United States. (Source - TPM Muckraker) On May 10th, his own department's Office of Professional Responsibility called off its investigation, because the NSA refused to grant them security clearances.

Prosecuting Reporters

Gonzales said he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security. He also said the government will not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation. Source: AP, May 21, 2006.

Habeas Corpus

Gonzales told the Senate Committee on Judiciary that "There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution." Source: ThinkProgress, Jan. 19, 2007)

End of thje Line

As of August 2007 Gonzo has fled DC with his tail between his legs.

The Question is now can we get a Attorny General like the one Nixon was forced to nominate & with conditions like that?[http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?g=771790dd-c389-4938-9f76-7eb90fb5f70c&f=00&fg=copy]


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