From the November 2004 Idaho Observer:
Attorney general nominee advocates loss of freedom, gun control; snubs international law
White House Chief of Counsel Alberto Gonzales has been nominated by President Bush to replace John Ashcroft as U.S. attorney general.
Ashcroft tendered his resignation in a handwritten memo to the president dated Nov. 2. He cited health problems and a rigorous post-9/11 schedule as reasons for his resignation.
It is expected that Gonzales will be confirmed as the new AG. Though he will go through a Senate confirmation process, the Senate usually upholds the president’s pick for AG.
Perhaps the brightest red flag foreshadowing the legacy Gonzales’ stint as topcop will leave behind is inferred from those who approve his nomination. The nation’s most notorious gun grabbers, senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), have publicly stated their support of Gonzales’ nomination.
Gonzales, who has been one of President Bush’s closest confidants for a decade, will be the first Hispanic to ever assume the nation’s top law enforcement job. The president characterizes Gonzales as having played a critical role in helping to develop the White House’s legal strategy for the "war on terror." President Bush told reporters, "His sharp intellect and sound judgment have helped shape our policies in the war on terror - policies designed to protect the security of all Americans, while protecting the rights of all Americans."
This is truly an Orwellian observation, considering Gonzales’ counsel during passage of the Patriot Act and incremental usurpations of constitutionally-protected civil rights under the guise of anti-terrorism.
Gonzales’ most infamous contribution to White House legal strategy in the war on terror was to encourage the U.S. government to violate well-settled principles of international law. Gonzales is credited for authoring the memo which encouraged President Bush to claim the U.S. has the right to torture prisoners—so long as it doesn’t result in death or organ failure. This "right" resulted in the U.S. being subjected to worldwide scorn for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Gonzales reportedly supported his legal position by stating in the memo that the Geneva Convention, which has been the internationally-agreed upon standard regarding the treatment of prisoners, did not apply to al Quaeda or the war in Afghanistan. The memo specifically stated that some of the Geneva Convention’s provisions were "quaint."
With the help of Gonzales, the Bush administration has been able to justify being in violation of applicable international agreements regarding rules of military engagement, the treatment of combatants taken into custody and civilian noncombatants.
It would appear that Gonzales is a "made man." Born the son of a migrant farm worker, Gonzales, 49, is a graduate of Harvard Law School. After several years in private practice he went to work for Governor Bush and helped the president-to-be justify the execution of more prisoners than any governor in U.S. history. It has become public knowledge that Gonzales is being groomed for a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
There are two people identified by Bush administration officials as likely candidates to succeed Gonzales as White House chief of counsel. One is White House staff secretary Brett Kavanaugh, a lawyer who has been waiting nearly 16 months for confirmation on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The other candidate is Harriet Miers, a deputy chief of staff who was once Bush’s personal lawyer.
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