Civil Rights Groups Urge Full Investigation of Alberto Gonzales

Based on a series of leaked White House memos, Human Rights First and other civil rights groups have strong reservations about Alberto Gonzales' record on human rights and adherence to established domestic and international law. Human Rights First, has launched a campaign to ensure that the Senate obtains all the necessary information regarding Mr. Gonzales.

As the New York Times reported today, the Red Cross is calling the U.S. treatment of detainees “tantamount to torture”. Yale law prof Jack Balkin weighs in, as does law prof Michael Froomkin of Discourse.net.

As White House Counsel, HRF says the leaked memos show:

  • As White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales advised the President that the United States need not be bound by its obligations under the Geneva Conventions in the conflict in Afghanistan — a position vigorously disputed by Secretary of State Colin Powell and others.
  • Mr. Gonzales was centrally involved in the preparation of a series of highly controversial legal memos justifying the use of torture during interrogations. The legal arguments set forth in these memos helped lay the groundwork for the widespread incidents of torture and abuse from Iraq to Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay.

It is imperative that the Senate has access to all information necessary to fully evaluate Mr. Gonzales' record on human rights and torture. Go here to join the campaign.

Update: More than 220 military vets have signed a letter opposing Gonzales' confirmation.

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