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January 4, 2005

Gearing up for the Gonzales hearing

AG nominee Alberto Gonzales' role in the "torture memos" is the top story going into his confirmation hearings this week (as detailed in this law.com article and How Appealing's collection here).  But Gonzales' memos advising then-Texas Governor George Bush on clemency decision-making in the late 1990s are also garnering some attention and criticism.  Today, the People For the American Way issued this lengthy statement opposing the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales in which one extended section assails his "Irresponsible Death Penalty Review."

Here are some prior posts relating to Gonzales' clemency work since he was nominated for AG:

January 4, 2005 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

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Above the law or outside it

Beyond the legal limits of torture

By D. Lindley Young
The Modern Tribune - January 10, 2005

"Gonzales will do nothing but advance this country into a greater state of fascism. His commitment to follow the law and protect American rights means nothing if he views the rest of the law though the same lens that he used to view the 'torture' laws."

WASHINGTON, D.C. (1/10) - The central issue during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this past week on the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as the attorney general of the United States, was whether White House policy condones torture and whether torture is justified. The official position of the White House is that there has never been a policy condoning torture. However, according to a number of authorities, U.S. and international laws against torture and inhume treatment of prisoners have been repeatedly violated by the U.S.

The problem started at the top. According to Gonzales, there was a point that important information was needed to save innocent lives and a decision on torture had to be made. Gonzales admits that the President was involved in the debate and decisions on the White House torture policy which sought the outer limits of permissible lawful torture in order to obtain information and further the President's agenda. The widely disseminated Gonzales/Bush "torture memos" sent a signal to U.S. troops that torture is permitted. and resulted in torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gauntanamo and in other countries to which the U.S. delivered prisoners.

The "torture memos" argued in essence that Bush was above the law in war. By seeking to redefine torture the President invaded the province of Congress by creating new Presidential laws on torture which were in complete contradiction to existing law. The dissemination of the "torture memos" - which instructed on guidelines for the outer limits of permissible torture - constituted de facto approval of torture by the President.

See full article:
http://www.themoderntribune.com/gonzalez_bush_u_s_policy_on_torture.htm

Posted by: D. Lindley Young | Jan 10, 2005 3:14:52 PM

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