Although the contents of some of Alberto Gonzales’ memos rationalizing the use of torutre by the Bush administration have been leaked to the press the administration, without invoking executive priveledge, is refusing to provide Congress with copies of the memos themselves.
Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales’ confirmation hearing this week may become more contentious because the White House has refused to provide copies of his memos on the questioning of terror suspects.
“We go into the hearing with some knowledge of what has occurred because of press reports or leaks but without the hard evidence that will either exonerate or implicate Judge Gonzales in this policy,” complained Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, on Monday.
Durbin, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, says the White House has refused to give those memos to Democrats so they can determine exactly how the policies were crafted.
“We asked them to produce the memos that they have and can release that were given to Judge Gonzales or were generated by him, and so far they have not claimed executive privilege but have refused to produce this documentation,” Durbin said.
“The fact that officials in this administration’s own Justice Department felt compelled to repudiate an earlier torture memo approved by Mr. Gonzales should itself be sufficient to persuade the senators that he is not fit to be the top law enforcement official in the land,” said Ron Daniels, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Dems on the Judiciary Committee should refuse to participate in confirmation hearings until Gonzales’ records are made available for their consideration.