HispanicVista Columnists

Democrats Commit Hispanic Suicide

By 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 Times.
 
           "Other failings?" The Times didn’t elaborate but it is clear the Times simply did not approve of Hispanics reaching the highest levels of government.
 
           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 payroll checks.
 
           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 Miguel Estrada.
 
           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 background."
 
           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 anywhere.
 
           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 stupid.
 
           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 community."
 
           "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 Angeles Times.
 
           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.
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 Contreras’ newest book—THE ILLEGAL ALIEN: A DAGGER INTO THE HEART OF AMERICA??—is available at www.floricantopress.com  or www.amazon.com