Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. In this case, we, the
undersigned bloggers, have decided to speak as one and collectively author a
document of opposition. We oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the
position of Attorney General of the United States, and we urge every United
States Senator to vote against him.
As the prime legal architect for the policy of torture adopted by the
Bush Administration, Gonzales's advice led directly to the abandonment of
longstanding federal laws, the Geneva Conventions, and the United States
Constitution itself. Our country, in following Gonzales's legal opinions, has
forsaken its commitment to human rights and the rule of law and shamed itself
before the world with our conduct at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. The United
States, a nation founded on respect for law and human rights, should not have as
its Attorney General the architect of the law's undoing.
In January 2002, Gonzales advised the President that the United States
Constitution does not apply to his actions as Commander in Chief, and thus the
President could declare the Geneva Conventions inoperative. Gonzales's
endorsement of the August 2002 Bybee/Yoo Memorandum approved a definition of
torture so vague and evasive as to declare it nonexistent. Most shockingly, he
has embraced the unacceptable view that the President has the power to ignore
the Constitution, laws duly enacted by Congress and International treaties duly
ratified by the United States. He has called the Geneva Conventions "quaint."
Legal opinions at the highest level have grave consequences. What were
the consequences of Gonzales's actions? The policies for which Gonzales provided
a cover of legality - views which he expressly reasserted in his Senate
confirmation hearings - inexorably led to abuses that have undermined military
discipline and the moral authority our nation once carried. His actions led
directly to documented violations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and widespread
abusive conduct in locales around the world.
Michael Posner of Human Rights First observed: "After the horrific
images from Abu Ghraib became public last year, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld insisted that the world should 'judge us by our actions [and] watch how
a democracy deals with the wrongdoing and with scandal and the pain of
acknowledging and correcting our own mistakes.'" We agree. It is because of this
that we believe the only proper course of action is for the Senate to reject
Alberto Gonzales's nomination for Attorney General. As Posner notes, "[t]he
world is indeed watching." Will the Senate condone torture? Will the Senate
condone the rejection of the rule of law?
With this nomination, we have
arrived at a crossroads as a nation. Now is the time for all citizens of
conscience to stand up and take responsibility for what the world saw, and,
truly, much that we have not seen, at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. We oppose the
confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, and
we urge the Senate to reject him.
Signed, Daily Kos Management (past and present):
A Gilas Girl
Also signed by a ton of other bloggers (including myself). Follow this link to see the list.