Raoul Lowery Contreras
February 14, 2005
"The confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general yesterday was
depressing." New York Times Editorial, February 4
"But beyond his other failings, Mr. Gonzales has come to
represent the administration's role in paving the way for the abuse and
torture of prisoners by American soldiers and intelligence agents. Giving
him the nation's top legal post is a terrible signal to send the rest of the
world, and to American citizens concerned with human rights," wrote the
"Other failings?" The Times didn’t elaborate but it is clear the
Times simply did not approve of Hispanics reaching the highest levels of
They never spoke up when President Bill Clinton ignored the
Hispanic legal community and pool of very qualified Hispanic federal judges
when he went out of his way to nominate two (2) Jewish justices to the
Supreme Court. The court that had never had more than one Jewish person on
it since the first was appointed early in the 20th Century.
The Times: "But this debate had a sinister overtone as well: in a
ham-handed way, the Republicans tried to portray a vote against Mr. Gonzales
as an act of bigotry."
How brazen of Republicans to point out that Democrats in the
Senate and throughout the Party consistently prove they truly hate
Hispanics, educated, business oriented Hispanics who own companies and sign
It’s true, of course, that Democrats hate accomplished Hispanics.
Never in the history of the United States had the minority party in the
Senate ever filibustered an appeals court nominee—never. They did against
Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, declared: "I suspect there's more
than politics being played here."
The Times and Democrats hide behind this statement, "Mr. Gonzales
was a bad choice for attorney general because of his record, not his ethnic
Both the Times and Democrat Senators blame White House Counsel
Gonzalez for "torture" at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and alleged
"mistreatment" of terror detainees at Guantanamo, Cuba, where we have
warehoused people captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan
First, no "torture" has been uncovered at that or any other
prison. Mistreatment and humiliation of "men" by making them wear female
underwear is not "torture" nor is laughing at men "forced" to commit Onanism.
Secondly, what happened at that prison had nothing to do with
Gonzalez, nor, as several investigations have proven, nothing to do with
anyone outside the prison.
Thirdly, what crimes have occurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq
by rogue soldiers has been charged in dozens of cases and almost to the
person, those charged have been convicted and imprisoned.
Gonzalez did request a legal memo on the subject from the
Department of Justice—he did not write it. He endorsed the concept that the
Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War does not apply to terrorists, captured
That is as it should be. The Convention is designed to protect
uniformed soldiers of a sovereign state, not terrorists who kill innocent
civilians, here and abroad.
In any event, however, Gonzalez did not make policy for the
Department of Defense, he simply offered the President a LEGAL OPINION
written by someone else. That was his job as lawyer to the President.
The Times accuses Gonzalez of offering "the Orwellian argument
that the president can declare himself above the law and can order illegal
actions like detaining prisoners without a hearing and authorizing torture."
Clever, that use of the word "Orwellian" but not very honest.
Honesty by the Times is hard to find under any circumstance, but to side
with irregular terrorists on the question of whether or not they are covered
by the pre-terrorist Geneva Convention as bona fide soldiers is plain
Republicans, on the other hand, honor Alberto Gonzalez and his
poverty background and his immigrant parents with statements like those of
United States Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL): "— Confirming Alberto R. Gonzales
as the new U.S. attorney general will resonate throughout the Hispanic
"This is a breakthrough of incredible magnitude for Hispanic
Americans and should not be diluted by partisan politics," said Florida Sen.
Mel Martinez, the nation's first Cuban American senator," wrote the Los
Why, because Hispanic Americans are much smarter than Democrats
consider them to be.
We know, for example, that irregular terrorists are not the same
as soldiers; we also note that President Bush appointed a man who grew up in
poverty and worked his way up to the highest levels of American society and
life, all the time speaking Spanish with a Texas accent.
Most of us don’t speak Spanish with a Texas accent, but we do
appreciate the man who now is the Attorney General of the United States
becoming, in fact, the first Hispanic American to be placed the
Constitutional list of Presidential succession, ever.
Alberto Gonzalez, Attorney General of the United States, is a
tiny but giant step in the long journey to the Presidency of the United
States by someone with a Hispanic background who comes, like General
Gonzalez, from poverty.
Contreras’ newest book—THE ILLEGAL ALIEN: A DAGGER INTO THE HEART OF
AMERICA??—is available at