1.07.2005

Action - Protest the AG Nomination

From Daily Kos, here is a good selection from Alberto Gonzales' confirmation hearings. It was already clear that this man endorsed the administration's use of torture, and that as counsel for then-Governor Bush, he willfully withheld information from clemency petitions that in one case led to the execution of a man who was almost certainly innocent. But as this selection makes clear, Gonzales doesn't even have a firm understanding of the law.

Bush will ram conservatives into his cabinet, the courts and the bureaucracy, and as Democrats, we need to be selective as to who we oppose. Gonzales is someone we need to oppose, especially as he is expected to meet little opposition. If this nomination goes through, the US is once again affirming our support of torture and our disdain for due process. How are we to build any good will in the world if we insist on holding and torturing foreign nationals? Once US soldiers are captured, on what basis do we have the right to object to the very same tactics we endorse? I try not to make such blanket statements on morality, but torture is morally wrong. And whether or not you agree with capital punishment, ignoring due process is wrong. Executing an innocent man is wrong. These things are wrong and they are un-American. We must oppose this nomination. Please send a short message to your Senators (contact forms can be found at http://www.senate.gov/) and tell them about your opposition to this nomination. Email your Rhode Island Senators as well.

Text of my letter to Senators Allen and Warner:

Dear Senator Allen,

I respectfully ask that you oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General.

As I know the President will nominate a conservative, I would not waste my time contacting you if I did not think Gonzalez was particularly dangerous. Also, I would not waste my time trying to convince you to take an action I know you will openly scorn, but I cannot let Gonzales be nominated without speaking out.

We know that Gonzales, as counsel for then Governor Bush, withheld information from death row inmates' clemency requests. If this betrayal of due process were not enough, in at least one case it has led to the execution of at least one person (Henry Lee Lucas) for a crime he did not commit. Even if you support capital punishment, as I know you do, this not only undermines the system you support, but it is also tantamount to murder.

While White House counsel, Gonzales endorsed the opinion that the administration could participate in torture and ignore the Geneva conventions. I ask you, Senator Allen, when our own troops are captured, what right do we have to condemn their captors if they are tortured, if we participate in the same tactics? The answer, of course, is none. Not only is this endorsement of torture immoral, but it endangers our troops.

Opposing this nomination is not a partisan action, as Senator Frist, Congressman Delay and others would have us believe. In fact, Congressional Democrats have so far blocked fewer of Bush's nominees than Congressional Republicans blocked President Clinton's nominees. No, opposing the nomination of Alberto Gonzales is a moral imperative. For the good of Virginians, Americans, and our country, rise above party-line rhetoric and oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales.

Sincerely,
Dan Kachur
Albemarle


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