Carper Votes Against Bush Pick for Attorney General

Questioned Nominee’s Ability to Act Independently of White House

WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2005) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., issued the following statement, opposing the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be the next Attorney General of the United States: “A former governor myself, I feel strongly that a chief executive has the right to be surrounded by people of his choice. It’s not lightly, then, that I oppose Mr. Gonzales for Attorney General. It is imperative that an Attorney General implement policies consistent with the Constitution and other international accords free from political pressure from the White House. I do not have confidence that Mr. Gonzales, with his close ties to the president, could operate effectively as an independent arbiter of our nation’s laws, nor as its chief law enforcement officer. He also failed to answer adequately the role he played in developing the Bush administration’s stand on torturing detainees in the war on terrorism. The images of prisoner abuse in Iraq and elsewhere are a shameful blight on our nation’s history of protecting and fighting for civil rights. When asked to clarify his position on torture, however, Mr. Gonzales was less than forthcoming and failed to condemn it outright. We should expect more from a potential Attorney General nominee, and so it’s with much regret that I oppose this nomination.”