By Natalia Muñoz, LinkLatinos.com founder and president
I have regretted the rise of Alberto Gonzales to U.S. attorney general ever since he was nominated to the post, a view that cast me as a traitor in the eyes of some Hispanics who believe any Hispanic in power is better than none.
Back then, my reasons were limited to the ease with which he sent death row convicts to their gruesome deaths when he carried water for then Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
The mainstream media, eager to show that it as a behemoth is not racist even though people of color account for less than 10 percent of its workforce, bestowed flowers on Gonzales because he was raised poor, a circumstance that is considered a badge of honor by everyone except the poor.
Once installed as the nation’s top cop, Gonzales ruled that the Geneva Convention could be ignored because it was his interpretation that Afghanistan was not a full-fledged country but a fledging one “because the Taliban did not exercise full control over the territory and people, was not recognized by the international community, and was not capable of fulfilling its international obligations.” Therefore, torture of prisoners was legal, he said.
To me, he’s always sounded like an Augusto Pinochet out of uniform, another Hispanic, whose despotic rule in Chile was supported by the United States. Ask a Chilean about Sept. 11, and they will tell you two stories: one about Pinochet’s bloody rise on Sept. 11, 1973, the other about the fall of the towers in 2001.
When Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee probing the politically-motivated firings of eight US attorneys, he replied “I don’t recall,” or a variation on that, close to 100 times on wide-ranging questions from senators. Nothing less than television's premiere political comedy show had the chutzpah to show the nation Gonzales’s failed memory.
Despite a notorious record that vacillates between indifference and incompetence he remains AG. The 24-hour news cycle has moved on. The media and, therefore politcians, are focused on the 2008 elections.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continually result in deaths of civilians and American soldiers.
Health care is unavailable to millions of Americans. The cost of medicine is too high for many. Food banks nationwide are stoking up for the long hot summer to feed millions of Americans who would go hungry if not for the soup kitchens and survival centers.
Gas prices are at $3 per gallon and it appears that many are resigned to it this time, unlike last year.
Of course Gonzales remains as AG. It makes sense. It is part of the administration's chaotic handling of everyday life for people here and abroad.