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Statement On The Nomination Of Mr. Alberto Gonzales To Be Attorney General

February 1, 2005

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today made the following statement in opposition to the confirmation of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to be Attorney General of the United States:

I take very seriously my Constitutional duty to give advice and consent on nominees to the President’s cabinet.

The Attorney General is our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, tasked with upholding the Constitution and our laws.

While I believe Mr. Gonzales has a truly remarkable personal story, the poor judgment he has exercised in his role as White House Counsel has resulted in serious consequences that cannot simply be overlooked when considering this nomination.

Mr. Gonzales was the legal architect of this Administration’s policies on torture and the treatment of detainees– policies that resulted in the despicable torture of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. The vast majority of these prisoners were never charged with any crime, and even our own State Department had grave misgivings about redefining our torture policy.

The torture policies that Mr. Gonzales pursued on behalf of the Administration have done immeasurable damage to America’s standing in the world, have undermined our military rules and traditions, and exposed our own soldiers and citizens to greater risks.

In addition, Mr. Gonzales called the Geneva Conventions “obsolete” and “quaint.” The Geneva Conventions have protected our soldiers since 1949. This attack on the Geneva Conventions should not be condoned with a yes vote on this nomination.

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