WASHINGTON -- November 10 -- Citizens for Global Solutions is alarmed by President Bushs selection of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to succeed John Ashcroft to the post of Attorney General and urges the Senate to oppose his nomination.
In his tenure as White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales has defended torture, trashed the Geneva Conventions, and urged the President to ignore the law, said Charles J. Brown, President and CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions. President Bush likes to talk about values. His nomination of Alberto Gonzales certainly does not reflect American values. Instead of truth, justice, and the American way, Mr. Gonzales stands for deception, injustice, and dishonor. Citizens for Global Solutions calls on the Senate to reject his nomination.
Gonzales has been quoted as describing the Geneva Conventions as obsolete and quaint. He claimed that the war on terrorism makes such protections outdated. In a 2002 memo, he advised the White House that the torture of terrorist detainees held on foreign soil may be justified, and that international laws prohibiting torture may be unconstitutional. In remarks before the American Bar Association, Gonzales argued that enemy combatants
need not be guilty of anything to be detained for the duration of hostilities. In the context of a global war on terror without visible end, this could mean lifelong imprisonment without trial.
Gonzales defense of torture during the interrogation of terrorist suspects in many ways laid the foundations for the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. The Justice Department is charged with upholding Americans rights and the rule of law.
Appointing Gonzales, particularly in the wake of the events at Abu Ghraib, sends the wrong message to Americans and to the world, said Don Kraus, Executive Vice-President of Citizens for Global Solutions. We live in a world where telephone companies in Switzerland track down phone cards used in Pakistan to stop terrorist crimes in New York. Nominating Gonzales, who has ridiculed international law, as the chief U.S. law enforcer sends the wrong message to our friends and allies at time when the benefits of cooperation outweigh its cost.