Person of the Day: Alberto Gonzales

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ALBERTO GONZALES, attorney general, faced Patrick Leahy and other Democrats yesterday on the Bush gang’s various assaults on the Constitution. He heard a particularly forceful discussion of “extraordinary rendition,” as symbolized by the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian who ended up in a cell, being tortured in Syria, after U.S. officials grabbed him on a stopover in New York. “We knew damn well if he went to Canada he wouldn’t be tortured,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont. “He’d be held and he’d be investigated. We also knew damn well if he went to Syria, he’d be tortured. And it’s beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights to send someone of another country to be tortured. You know and I know that has happened a number of times in the past five years by this country. It is a black mark on us.” Leahy noted that U.S. officials claimed to have had assurances that people sent to Syria would not be tortured. “Assurances,” he snorted, “from a country that we also say now that we can’t talk to them because we can’t take their word for anything.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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