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Published:August 30th, 2007 14:00 EST
President's Abuse of Power still not Pardon after Gonzales Resignation

President's Abuse of Power still not Pardon after Gonzales Resignation

By SOP newswire

 

While the departure of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, one of the worst attorneys general in our nation`s history, certainly gives all of those who cherish freedom and justice something to celebrate, our work is far from over.

Leaders in Congress need to know that Gonzales` resignation doesn`t wipe away this Administration`s ongoing abuses of power and it certainly doesn`t excuse its rubber-stamping of the Bush administration`s illegal wiretapping program. If anything, his resignation requires further congressional investigation into the Bush administration`s systematic abuse of power.

Attorney General Gonzales twisted our Constitution and created a legal framework that paved the way for tremendous and growing abuses of power by the executive branch, " said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. He spied on Americans, attempted to justify torture, and worked to strip away our most sacred rights and freedoms all to further the President`s political agenda. Congress must not accept Gonzales as the administration`s latest sacrificial lamb. Congress must conduct more oversight and restore our Constitution, our world status and American values. "

During his tenure as attorney general, Gonzales championed policies that eroded civil liberties protections. Among them:

  • He failed to investigate and prosecute criminal acts committed by civilians in the torture or abuse of detainees and repeatedly rebuffed congressional inquiries into the matter.
  • He failed to investigate and prosecute criminal acts and violations of laws as a result of the National Security Agency`s warrantless spying program. Recent reports indicate that Gonzales may have recommended to the President that he block the Office of Professional Responsibility`s investigation since he himself may have come under scrutiny.
  • He championed renewal of the Patriot Act despite serious civil liberties concerns from Republicans and Democrats alike. A recent audit by the Justice Department`s Office of the Inspector General found that the FBI underreported, misused and abused the National Security Letter authority.
  • He failed to demonstrate necessary independence from the White House and President Bush, as evidenced in the recent scandal involving the dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. Under Gonzales` tenure, experienced attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department were forced out or replaced by less experienced, politically loyal staff.

A full report on Gonzales` civil liberties record is available at: http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/30052res20070611.html

ALCU