Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Pointed Questions for Torture Legal Guru Alberto Gonzales

An excerpt below from Pacific Views. Be sure to read their blog regarding the nomination for US Attorney General of Bush Texas crony Alberto Gonzales who provided legal counsel to President Bush that permitted horrific prisoner torture methods, and may have allowed abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and more.

Today, The Washington Post also has an extraordinary, in-depth story "Gonzales Helped Set the Course for Detainees" about this nominee who is staunchly opposed by a cadre of high-ranking retired generals.

"The American Prospect has provided a set of 10 questions that need to be asked of Alberto Gonzales when he goes before the Senate this week.

1. Are there any circumstances under which you believe the President of the United States could legally authorize torture?

2. Has your position on the Geneva Conventions changed since evidence of widespread detainee abuse at U.S. prisons was uncovered? If not, which provisions of the Geneva Conventions do you still consider “quaint” or “obsolete”?

3. In your view, what limits did the September 14 joint resolution passed by Congress place on which countries the president could invade?

4. Do you still believe that the state of Texas does not have to abide by the Vienna Convention?

5. Do you still believe that the president can order the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, without judicial scrutiny, now that the Supreme Court has rejected that position?

6. The Department of Justice has issued a revised, more expansive definition of torture. But John Yoo, who helped write the repudiated memo, still defends the old definition. If you are confirmed as Attorney General, would you consider Mr. Yoo for a position in your department?

7. Do you believe the March 2004 draft memo you requested – authorizing the CIA to transfer detainees to countries that may torture them – was in violation of international law?

8. Would you recuse yourself from all Enron-related matters?

9. Would you recuse yourself from all Halliburton-related matters?

10. Were you aware of Bernard Kerik’s long-standing ties to Interstate Industrial, a New Jersey-based firm allegedly run by organized crime? If so, did you inform President Bush before Mr. Kerik was nominated? If not, how was the media able to uncover the connection hours after the nomination was announced?"

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