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POLITICS: Specter Grills Gonzales on Patriot ACT

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posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 06:43 PM

Today's Senate Judiciary Commitee hearing on the appointment of Alberto Gonzales to position of Attorney General was marked by tough questions posed by Chairman Arlen Specter about comments Judge Gonzales made concerning the handling of terrorist suspects in terms of the Geneva convention. Senator Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, has caught heat from fellow Republicans following statements he made that it would be tough for someone with a pro-life stance to be approved. This has only added fuel to the fire.
Raising the gavel with a grin, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter opened his first hearing Thursday by allowing more criticism of the Bush administration than his predecessor and by questioning some of the Patriot Act's police powers....

..."While Judge Gonzales is the appointee of the president ... he's representing the people of the United States, a key distinction which I'm pleased to say in advance that Judge Gonzales has noted in the statement which he has submitted," Specter said.

The Pennsylvania Republican traveled a bruising path to the chairman's seat. He almost lost his claim to it last fall when he said just after Bush won re-election that anti-abortion judges might not win Senate confirmation. Administration officials were displeased, and conservatives flooded Republican Senate offices in protest....

....He questioned extending some of the police powers in the Patriot Act passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks, particularly language requiring judges to issue warrants without making police or prosecutors justify them.

"Why can't we have that traditional probable cause requirement on the obtaining of those records?" asked Specter. The law comes up for renewal by Congress this year.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It's good to know that Senator Specter isn't taking a party line and rolling over for Judge Gonzales. He also allowed on the panel two professors on human rights that will be testifying against Gonzales.

Text from the hearing (thanks to the Washington Post):

The focus of media attention has been on the issue of Judge Gonzales' roles in analysis and recommendations on the handling of detainees. Judge Gonzales had issued an opinion to the president that the Geneva Convention did not apply with respect to certain of the combatants. In his memorandum of January 25th, 2000, he said, quote, "In my judgment, this new paradigm" -- referring to the war on terrorism -- "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."

The committee will seek further amplification on a number of substantive issues from that memorandum, including Judge Gonzales' statement that, "In the treatment of detainees, the United States will continue to be constrained by its commitment to treat the detainees humanely and to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Convention."

Specter(about the PA):
But there are other questions which have been challenged by a wide array of people on all facets of the political spectrum with the issue of probably cause to obtain records, library records and the so- called sneak-and-peek orders. And we will be interested in what Judge Gonzalez has to say about that very important matter.

We will also be interested to know Judge Gonzales' views on the issue of detention and standards of detention.

The attorney general has exercised the authority to overrule conclusions by the immigration judge and a board of immigration appeals. And this is an issue which lingers after considerable questioning of Attorney General Ashcroft as to what standards ought to be used.

There is much, much more to this, but that get's at the crux of the matter. Something tells me this is going to be a fight.

Related News Links:

[edit on (1/6/0505 by PistolPete]

posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 07:10 PM
I've been hoping that the new AG would be against the patriot act (or not supporting it so much), and this will be the point where we all find out Gonzales's true beleifs on this law that violates several of the rights we have been guaranteed for more than 200 years. Can't wait for more info on this. If this is going to be a fight, it should be a remarkable one.

posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 08:47 PM
Pro-life, Pro-torture,

I guess these far right republicans need more people to torture.
maybe that makes sense.

I wish they were as Pro-life when it came to trees and birds and other living things.

Maybe trees and birds and such are too difficult to torture.

Kudos to Specter for being more of a statesman than one more sycophant republican.

posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 09:28 PM
Finally, a voice, this man gets my respect that's for sure.


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