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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Wiretapping
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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has played a major role in recent wiretapping issues. Being the Attorney General
means that he is the chief legal advisor of President Bush and the head of the United States Justice Department. This results in the fact that when the Bush administration was under fire about wiretapping in 2005 (and from then on) he has also been apart of those activities. In December 2005, the New York Times uncovered the fact that the National Security Agency (NSA) was wiretapping without warrant. This program began when he was not the Attorney General, but Gonzales was on the President's counsel at the time of the authorization. The article was published when he was Attorney General and it has been apart of his job to deal with the uproar it brought about wiretapping. The article put the Bush administration in the hot seat about wiretapping (which included Gonzales). Gonzales announced on January 18, 2007 that the Bush administration would now use FISA court to warrant all wiretapping. The authorization of the Terrorist Surveillance Program is how the Bush administration allowed warrant less wiretapping. When this knowledge became public, Mr. Gonzales had to defend this program. Eventually the Bush administration changed its way. It has been considered that the President did not have the power to do this, but it is defended that at the time it was necessary. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has been through all of this, including when the course of the White House began to get warrants for wiretapping. This is how Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was and now is an important part of the civil rights of wiretapping.

History/Biography:
Alberto Gonzales was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 4, 1955 and was the son of Mexican immigrants. He served in the U. S. Air Force starting in 1973 and two years later he began to study in the U. S. Air Force. He got his bachelors degree in 1979 from Rice University and he got his law degree in 1982 from Harvard Law School. After he graduated, he went on to work for Houston law firm and became established in corporate law. He did that until 1995, which then Governor George W. Bush of Texas chose him to be his chief legal advisor. Gonzales has been appointed more powerful jobs since then. Two years later he became Texas secretary of state and he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1999. When George W. Bush became President of the United States, Bush chose Gonzales to become part of his counsel. In 2005, Gonzales became Attorney General of the United States. He is the first Attorney General of the United States to be Hispanic-American. Not only is Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General rapped up in wiretapping now, but it was discovered in January that the firing of eight Attorney Generals was not correct. Gonzales claims that they were fired because of poor performance on their part. This is mostly denied by the former Attorney Generals and it is speculated that they were really fired in order to improve the political status of the Justice Department. Also, those who were doing the hiring and firing were given the job to do so by Gonzales. It is now considered that the two, Mr. Sampson and Monica Goodling, were not qualified for the task. Due to the scandal, they have both resigned. Time magazine claims that some are asking for Gonzales to resign. Gonzales is to be questioned by a Senate Judiciary Committee on the scandal of the firings of the eight Attorney Generals soon. He continues to be in office as the U.S. Attorney General.

To listen, read or watch an interview of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales with Jim Lehrer go to: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june06/gonzales_1-23.html#

Bibliography:
Holscher, Louis M. "Gonzales, Alberto R." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007. Harrison Middle School. May 17, 2007. <http://www.worldbookonline.com>

Tumulty, Karen and Calabresi, Massimo. "Inside the Scandal At Justice." Time. 21 May 2007:45, 46, 49.

Picture citation:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/gonzales-bio.html

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