Alberto Gonzales was introduced this past Wednesday by President Bush as his selection for the Cabinet position of Attorney General! He will be replacing Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Up to this time Hispanics have been confined to appointments in the areas of the Small Business Agency (SBA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Surgeon General, not to demean these positions, but none of them rank in significance or area of impact that the Attorney General’s office has.
Alberto Gonzales is one of seven children who grew up in a two-bedroom house in Texas. His parents were migrant workers who worked to ensure that their children went to school. Gonzales studied at Rice University and at Harvard Law School. Counsel Alberto Gonzales has been a long time confidant of President Bush. He served as his chief legal advisor during the President’s first term as Texas governor and as his appointed justice on the Texas Supreme Court.
Gonzales followed Bush to the White House where he has served as Counsel to the White House. Gonzales supports Bush’s on the war on terrorism. He is credited as being the architect of the system of military tribunals in Cuba that led to the holding of suspected terrorist without giving them their rights as prisoners of war. This led to certain suspects being jailed for over two years. He also solicited a legal opinion that “international torture laws did not protect suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.” This led to the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
In accepting the nomination, Alberto Gonzales asked: “Just give me a chance to prove myself.” Often times when responsibility and authority are trusted upon a person they rise to meet the challenge. Let us hope that Gonzales, if he is confirmed, that he keeps in mind that Americans treasure their Civil Rights and Liberties. Perhaps he can undo some of the serious damage that has been inflicted upon the American physic by the first four years of President Bush’s Administration.