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Old 11-11-2004, 11:07 AM   #61
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Many would call this enforcing the law. If you have a law, and you are incapable of implementing it, you are actually deemed a failure in the legal world.
I agree with that. But there is a difference between realizing the death penalty is a necessary evil and taking pride in being able to kill these people. He said he was proud they died under his watch. I don't know many death penalty supporters that would take pride is supporting the deaths of people. But the death penalty debate is for another thread....

And Schumer is one senator, not all of them. I wonder what he's going to be saying when these confirmation hearings are done. It's going to be messy.
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:11 AM   #62
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That's right, Schumer is just one senator. There is going to be quite a controversy over the guy's views on torture, and perhaps his attitude towards capital punishment as well. This will be very messy, and some big shots are going to vote against him. He'll get confirmed, no doubt, but not without controversy.
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:39 AM   #63
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Ok this sums it up better than me. The story below is from the Center for American Progress -- please notice they note each article they are taking their info from -- Atlantic Monthy, USA Today, New Yorker etc. Pretty well known publications. The CAP link has links to each of these stories.

And here's Amnesty International's release concerning Gonzales.

---------------------------------------------

Alberto Gonzales: A Record of Injustice
As White House Counsel

GONZALES APPROVED MEMO AUTHORIZING TORTURE: An August 2002 Justice Department memo "was vetted by a larger number of officials, including...the White House counsel's office and Vice President Cheney's office." According to Newsweek, the memo "was drafted after White House meetings convened by George W. Bush's chief counsel, Alberto Gonzales, along with Defense Department general counsel William Haynes and [Cheney counsel] David Addington." The memo included the opinion that laws prohibiting torture do "not apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants." Further, the memo puts forth the opinion that the pain caused by an interrogation must include "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions--in order to constitute torture." The methods outlined in the memo "provoked concerns within the CIA about possible violation of the federal torture law [and] also raised concerns at the FBI, where some agents knew of the techniques being used" overseas on high-level al Qaeda officials. [Gonzales 8/1/02 memo; WP, 6/27/04; Newsweek, 6/21/04; NYT, 6/27/04]

GONZALES BELIEVES MANY GENEVA CONVENTIONS PROVISIONS ARE OBSOLETE: A 1/25/02 memo written by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales said "the war against terrorism is a new kind of war" and "this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." The memo pushes to make al Qaeda and Taliban detainees exempt from the Geneva Conventions' provisions on the proper, legal treatment of prisoners. The administration has been adamant that prisoners at Guantanamo are not protected by the Geneva Conventions. [Gonzales 1/25/02 memo; Newsweek, 5/24/04]

GONZALES ADMITTED HIS VIEWS 'COULD UNDERMINE U.S. MILITARY CULTURE': The 1/25/02 memo shows Alberto Gonzales was aware of the risk that ignoring the Geneva Conventions could create for the military. One concern expressed is that failing to apply the Geneva Conventions "could undermine U.S. military culture which emphasizes maintaining the highest standards of conduct in combat, and could introduce an element of uncertainty in the status of adversaries," which is what happened at Abu Ghraib. Secretary of State Colin Powell strongly warned against taking this decision, as did lawyers from the Judge Advocate General's Corps, or JAG. This week, a federal judge ruled that "President Bush had both overstepped his constitutional bounds and improperly brushed aside the Geneva Conventions" when he established military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to try detainees as war criminals. [Gonzales 1/25/02 memo; Bloomberg, 6/14/04; New York Times, 11/9/04]

GONZALES BLOCKS INFORMATION FROM CONGRESS: Historically, senators have been allowed to review some memoranda by judicial nominees. But, in a letter [about nominee Miguel Estrada], Gonzales told the Democrats that the administration would not produce the memos, because to do so would chill free expression among administration lawyers and violate the principle of executive privilege, which protects the internal deliberations of the president's aides. [New Yorker, 5/19/03]

As Texas Chief Legal Counsel

DEATH PENALTY MEMOS: GONZALES'S NEGLIGENT COUNSEL: As chief legal counsel for then-Gov. Bush in Texas, Gonzales was responsible for writing a memo on the facts of each death penalty case - Bush decided whether a defendant should live or die based on the memos. An examination of the Gonzales memoranda by the Atlantic Monthly concluded, "Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence." His memos caused Bush frequently to approve executions based on "only the most cursory briefings on the issues in dispute." Rather than informing the governor of the conflicting circumstances in a case, "The memoranda seem attuned to a radically different posture, assumed by Bush from the earliest days of his administration--one in which he sought to minimize his sense of legal and moral responsibility for executions." [Atlantic Monthly, July/August, 2003]

MEMORANDUM ON TERRY WASHINGTON: A CASE STUDY IN INCOMPETENCE: In his briefing on death-row defendant Terry Washington - a mentally retarded 33-year-old man with the communication skills of a seven-year-old - Gonzales devoted nearly a third of his three-page report to the gruesome details of the crime, but referred "only fleetingly to the central issue in Washington's clemency appeal--his limited mental capacity, which was never disputed by the State of Texas--and present[ed] it as part of a discussion of 'conflicting information' about the condemned man's childhood." In addition, Gonzales "failed to mention that Washington's mental limitations, and the fact that he and his ten siblings were regularly beaten with whips, water hoses, extension cords, wire hangers, and fan belts, were never made known to the jury, although both the district attorney and Washington's trial lawyer knew of this potentially mitigating evidence." Nor did he mention that Washington's lawyer had "failed to enlist a mental-health expert" to testify on Washington's behalf, even though "ineffective counsel and mental retardation were in fact the central issues raised in the thirty-page clemency petition" it was Gonzales's job to review. This all came at a time when "demand was growing nationwide to ban executions of the retarded." [Atlantic Monthly, July/August, 2003]

GONZALES TOLD GOV. BUSH HE COULD IGNORE INTERNATIONAL LAW: In 1997, Alberto Gonzales wrote a memo for then Gov. Bush to justify non-compliance with the Vienna Convention. The Vienna Convention, ratified by the Senate in 1969, was "designed to ensure that foreign nationals accused of a crime are given access to legal counsel by a representative from their home country." Gonzales sent a letter to the U.S. State Department in which he argued that the treaty didn't apply to the State of Texas, as Texas was not a signatory to the Vienna Convention. Two days later, Texas executed Mexican citizen Irineo Tristan Montoya, despite Mexico's protestations that Texas had violated Tristan's rights under the Vienna Convention by failing to inform the Mexican consulate at the time of his arrest. (Slate, 6/15/04)

GONZALES GETS BUSH OUT OF JURY DUTY TO KEEP DUI SECRET: In 1996, as counsel to Gov. Bush, Gonzales helped to get him excused from jury duty, "a situation that could have required the governor to disclose his then-secret 1976 conviction for drunken driving in Maine." Gonzales argued "that if Bush served, he would not, as governor, be able to pardon the defendant in the future." [USA Today, 3/18/02]

As Texas Supreme Court Justice

GONZALES DOES ENRON'S BIDDING: As an elected member of the Texas Supreme Court, "Enron and Enron's law firm were Gonzales's biggest contributors," giving him $35,450 in 2000. Overall, Gonzales raked in $100,000 from the energy industry. In May 2000, "Gonzales was author of a state Supreme Court opinion that handed the energy industry one of its biggest Texas legal victories in recent history." Since Bush brought him into the White House, Gonzales has worked doggedly to keep secret the details of energy task force meetings held by Vice President Cheney. [New York Daily News, 2/2/02]

ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM LITIGANTS: In the weeks between hearing oral arguments and making a decision in Henson v. Texas Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance, Justice Alberto Gonzales collected a $2,000 contribution premium from the Texas Farm Bureau (which runs the defendant insurance company in this case). In another case, Gonzales pocketed a $2,500 contribution from a law firm defending the Royal Insurance company just before hearing oral arguments in Embrey v. Royal Insurance. [Texas for Public Justice]
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:42 AM   #64
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thank you sharky
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:52 AM   #65
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Sharky....

I posted the entire memo.......

I do not quite get why the actual memo does not speak for itself....

I even quoted from your own article where it clearly showed that he was against forms of physical and mental abuse.


As council to the President, he did his job. He interpreted the law, gave the president advice, and provided argumnents for and against. He even outlined consequences of taking the action the President had inquired about. That is is his job.

To continuously take quoted out of context and without giving the job of council to the President.

He did not sit down and say lets torture people. NOWHERE in the document does he say that.

The President chose a course of action and sought legal opinions on the course of action he chose. Council researched it and provided the President with advice, pro and con.

I am sorry, but I do not agree with these newspapers taking out one line from the document, out of context of not onl;y the document, but the intent of the document.

As I said, I am more concerned that he was wrong on one interpretation already.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:08 PM   #66
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Here is a GREAT link to summaries and other documents involving this decision.

It almost sounds as if our potential new AG got involved after the decision was made......

http://lawofwar.org/Torture_Memos_analysis.htm
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:11 PM   #67
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One thing I do not like from looking at this........

Is this feeling that the decision was MADE and then they looked for legal ways to do it.

This is the feeling I get from looking at the memos.....

that web link has links to mamny of the memos in question.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:13 PM   #68
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ok, I think we're going around in circles with the torture stuff. so be it. but what about the death penalty cases? supporting Enron? the fact that he ignored an international law ratified by the Senate so he could execute despite Mexico's protest? Even if you take the torture issue away, the guy is still a sleazebag.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:17 PM   #69
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Um, if was Enron’s counsel during their bankruptcy, his job was to defend them. It may be unfair to say that he violated a law when things like Sarbanes-Oxley were enacted subsequent to his tenure.

Death penalty - he successfully enforced the law.


As was mentioned before, are their suggestions for alternative candidates?
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:19 PM   #70
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when this guy doesn't get confirmed, there will be. I don't know enough about law enforcement to know of any better successors. I do know anybody is better than this guy.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:21 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharky
ok, I think we're going around in circles with the torture stuff.

so be it. but what about the death penalty cases?

supporting Enron?

the fact that he ignored an international law ratified by the Senate so he could execute despite Mexico's protest?

Even if you take the torture issue away, the guy is still a sleazebag.
Torture is the only one that is germain.

Defendants are entiled to council.

that includes Erron and detainees.
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:11 PM   #72
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I think what's more disturbing is his role as cousel to Bush as Govenor. he was in charge of preparing the briefs for W to decide on clemancy in death penalty cases. As usual W only wanted slim precise readings. After reviewing the memos Gonzales presented only the state's side of the argument. Therefore W executed an extremely abused mentally retarded man and publically made fun of a women slated for execution to Tucker Carlson. He also executed said woman and another in Texas.

To my forever anguish the democratic body in the Senate won't fight him to save their "Capital" for the Supreme court fight.
Once again "I cry for America" (sung to Evita Cry for Argetina).

To add another note w/o starting a new thread. for the first time military personnel will be used on our soil to secure the US against itself during the inauguration of the Fueher.
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:17 PM   #73
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Originally posted by Scarletwine
for the first time military personnel will be used on our soil to secure the US against itself during the inauguration of the Fueher.
Thanks for the gratuitous Nazi reference....
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:54 PM   #74
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You are so welcome! And welcome of things to come.

Another evauluationof G
Center for Constitutional Rights Opposes Nomination of Alberto Gonzales to Attorney General Post
Group Cites Gonzales Memo Calling Geneva Conventions “Quaint” and “Obsolete”


Synopsis

On November 10, 2004 in New York, NY the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) voiced strong opposition to the nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to replace Attorney General John Ashcroft. Citing the infamous leaked January 25, 2002, Gonzales’ memo justifying the suspension of the Geneva Conventions in the war on terror, CCR Legal Director Jeffrey Fogel said, “To call the Geneva Conventions, which were put in place after the atrocities of World War II to govern the future conduct of war and prevent such horrors from ever occurring, ‘quaint’ and ‘obsolete’ is to go back down a path we thought we would never travel again.”




In early 2002, Gonzales, then Counsel to the President, sought a memo from the Justice Department addressing whether the Administration could evade current treaties and laws in its treatment of Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees without being open to prosecution for war crimes. Gonzales used that memo to justify ignoring such bedrock guarantees as the Geneva Conventions in the interrogation of prisoners, which led directly to the abuse and torture in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib prison.

Many within the Administration disagreed with the DOJ’s reasoning. Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in opposition saying it would “reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva Conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops”; that it would have a “high cost in terms of negative international reaction with immediate adverse consequences for our conduct of foreign policy”; and that it would make it harder to prosecute terrorists because other countries would have problems sending suspects to the U.S. as a result, among other concerns.

Gonzales flippantly dismissed Powell’s and others’ concerns, writing to the president that the Geneva Conventions had become “obsolete” in the context of the war on terror, and further trivialized the core point of the Conventions by enumerating such “quaint” provisions as affording prisoners athletic uniforms. Since then, the Secretary of State’s dire predictions have been borne out, and the disregard for law has made the U.S. less safe, not more.

CCR President Michael Ratner said, “making Alberto Gonzales the Attorney General of the United States would be a travesty: it would mean taking one of the legal architects of an illegal and immoral policy and installing him as the official who is charged with protecting our constitutional rights. The Gonzales memo paved the way to Abu Ghraib.”

In the same January 25 torture memo, Gonzales outlined plans to use military “commissions” to try prisoners so the Administration could deny them all military and civilian protections. These commissions were suspended indefinitely at Guantánamo due to a ruling by a federal judge this week.



More on Gonzales:

Gonzales is an old Bush crony from back in Texas who supported their friends’ corporate interests and took contributions from Halliburton and Enron when he was a judge.

• As counsel to the Governor of Texas from 1995 to 1997, he provided Bush with what the Atlantic Monthly characterized as “scant summaries” on capital punishment cases that ''repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence.'' He did 57 such summaries, including for the case of Terry Washington, a mentally retarded man executed for murdering a restaurant manager. The jury was never told of his mental condition. Gonzales wrote a three-page summary of the case for Bush, which mentioned only that a 30-page plea for clemency by the defendant’s counsel (including the issue of his mental competency) was rejected by the Texas parole board.

• Gonzales was Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1998-2000. During that time, Vice President Dick Cheney was head of Halliburton, and it was the second-largest corporate contributor to Texas Supreme Court races. Over a period of seven years, five cases involving Halliburton went before the Court, and the Court consistently ruled in favor of the corporation or let a lower court decision favorable to Halliburton stand without re-hearing the case.

• During this same period, Gonzales lawfully accepted $14,000 from Enron, yet he subsequently did not recuse himself from the Administration’s investigation of the Enron scandal when he was White House counsel.

• Gonzales upheld a law requiring parents to be notified before a minor could get an abortion, though the law, like most parental-notification laws, allowed judges to waive the requirement if observing it could be expected to lead to the abuse of the girl in question

• In another nod to corporate interests over those of the people, his decision in Fort Worth v. Zimlich eliminated a key shield protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.

• As White House Counsel, from 2000 to the present, Gonzales led the Bush Administration’s blocking of access by the Government Accountability Office to documents from Cheney’s secret energy policy meetings.
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:12 PM   #75
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Ugh. That's damning stuff. But quite frankly it doesn't surprise me.
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