ACLU: New questions for Gonzales

Jan. 3, 2005 at 2:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union said Monday it has new questions on torture memos before White House counsel Al Gonzales is confirmed as attorney general.

Gonzales is tapped to succeed Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Senate confirmation hearings are expected to begin this week. The ACLU neither opposes nor supports the nomination.

"There are too many questions swirling around Mr. Gonzales' role in developing the legal framework that may have led to the torture and abuse we all saw in those Abu Ghraib photographs (in Baghdad)," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero in a statement. "The Senate has a duty not to soft-pedal in its questioning."

The ACLU said the most-pressing question concerns whether a document obtained under suit from the FBI is true. In it, an agent describes highly aggressive interrogation tactics, including the use of military dogs, he says were approved by "executive order."

The ACLU also said the Senate must investigate Gonzales' role in developing legal arguments for interrogation tactics after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

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