human rights news----USA // death penalty implications
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Feb 3 16:26:42 CST 2005
Senate confirms Gonzales as attorney general
Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation today as attorney general
despite Democratic accusations that he helped formulate White House
policies that led to overseas prisoner abuse and was too beholden to
President Bush to be the nation's top law enforcement official.
The Senate voted 60-36 to put the first Hispanic ever into the job, with
all of the "no" votes coming from Democrats. Last week, 13 Democrats voted
against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's confirmation.
Gonzales will replace John Ashcroft, who four years ago won confirmation
by an even smaller margin, 58-42.
Republicans and some Democrats praised Gonzales' life story: the grandson
of Mexican immigrants who worked his way up to being President Bush's top
lawyer in the White House.
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., the first Cuban-American senator, even broke
with Senate tradition and praised Gonzales in Spanish on the Senate floor
on Wednesday. "This is a breakthrough of incredible magnitude for
Hispanic-Americans," he said in English.
Democrats praised Gonzales as well, but many said they couldn't look past
his participation in administration policies they said had led to abuses
that occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They also
complained that he refused to answer their questions on how those policies
were created inside the White House.
"Mr. Gonzales was at the heart of the Bush administration's notorious
decision to authorize our forces to commit flagrant acts of torture in the
interrogation of detainees," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty