Friday, January 28, 2005

No on Gonzalez

If bloggers could vote in the Senate, we'd have a different outcome that what is likely here in Bush World, where a man who opposes the rule of law is likely to be the next Attorney General. Daily Kos has accumulated a database which is almost up to 400 blogs with statements opposing the confirmation of Alberto Gonzalez for Attorney General. We made our opposition to Gonzalez clear when his appointment was first brought up.

One of the more interesting emails in opposition to the nomination came today from the American Humanist Association. Besides summarizing the reasons why Gonzalez should not be confirmed, their Action Alert has the potential benefit of getting a small victory out of this if it should lead to forcing the release of government documents on torture. Here is their email:

At the behest of the Bush administration, some Senators are pushing for confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general this coming Thursday, February 3rd. There's still a chance to let our voices be heard in the debate.

The key to halting his confirmation is to insist that Gonzales' nomination not be voted on by the Senate but returned to committee until crucial documents are supplied to the Senate. The documents detail how Gonzales decided to recommend to the president that he has the authority to abandon the rule of law, annul the Geneva Conventions, shield lawbreakers from prosecution, and authorize the use of torture by US forces and, even worse, the "rendition" of U.S. prisoners to other countries known to use the most brutal conceivable forms of torture.

While the Gonzales confirmation seemed a sure thing weeks ago, much has changed and the momentum is favorable to shed light on the administration’s torture secrets. There were eight "No" votes for Gonzales in committee--one short of preventing his nomination--and a real debate about Gonzales is scheduled for the Senate floor that will include the first congressional debate about torture since September 11, 2001.

Gonzales's disregard for the constitutional rights of detainees has contributed to a climate that placed U.S. soldiers at greater risk and brought the American system of justice into disrepute. But Gonzales's justification of torture is only one of our concerns. He's testified that, contrary to current practice, he interprets existing law as permitting our tax dollars to be used for discrimination in hiring by faith-based organizations. And back when Gonzales was a member of the Texas Supreme Court, he accepted a contribution from Halliburton just before the court was to hear an appeal of a case where a Halliburton employee had won a $2.6 million trial verdict against the company. Gonzales didn't recuse himself then and might not in the latest lawsuits against Halliburton. Gonzales doesn't seem fit for the office of attorney general.

The Bush Administration has successfully blocked the release of an array of documents related to policy changes that paved the way for the horrors of Abu Ghraib and other American-operated detention facilities. The Senate and the American public must demand that the government come clean on the actions of high-level officials, and that all civilians who engaged in misconduct be held responsible.

TAKE ACTION! Urge your Senators to demand torture-related documents prior to voting on the confirmation of Gonzales.

Call or write your Senator to urge him or her to oppose confirming Gonzales and insist that this crucial information be made available to the Senate. You can call 202-224-3121 and ask for your own Senator. The Senate website also lists the direct office lines and e-mail addresses for every Senator. It is important that Humanist voices be heard!


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