We are a nation at war--a war in Iraq and a war against terrorism -- but this war does not give our civilian leaders the authority to cast aside the laws of armed conflict, nor does it allow our Commander in Chief to decide which laws apply and which laws do not apply. To do so puts, I repeat, our own soldiers and our Nation at risk. But that is what has occurred under the direction and coordination of the man seeking to be Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, a man I personally like, but whose judgment on these very serious matters was flawed and is flawed. I have heard a great deal on this Senate floor about Judge Gonzales's background over the last few days, how his parents were migrant farm workers, and how he worked his way up from poverty. It is an inspiring story, and it is one that resonates with me. I met with Judge Gonzales after the President sent his nomination to the Senate. We talked about our childhoods, about coming from small rural towns, some would say without many advantages. The fact that someone from a place called Humble, TX, and someone from a place called Searchlight, NV, have had an opportunity to achieve their dream is what America is all
But, embodying the American dream is not a sufficient qualification to be Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney General is the people's lawyer, not the President's lawyer. He is charged with upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. The Attorney General must be independent, and he must be clear that abuses by our Government will not be tolerated. Judge Gonzales's appearance before the Judiciary Committee raised serious questions about his ability to be that force in the Justice Department. That is why I am going to vote against him.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Reid on Gonzales: No on torture.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's statement on the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General:
Posted by Michele at 7:59 AM