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January 5, 2005

Posted 1:00 AM Eastern

On November 10, 2004, President Bush nominated Alberto R. Gonzales to replace outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft. This nomination immediately drew fire from both sides of the political spectrum over Gonzales' record. The top of the list seems to be over the infamous memo written in August 2002 by Gonzales who was Bush's chief counsel at the time. This memo was drafted following White House meetings brought forth by Gonzales along with William Haynes, Defense Department general counsel and Dick Cheney's counsel, David Addington. Contained in the memo is the opinion that laws forbidding torture don't "apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants." Adding fuel to this fire, the memo also asserts that any pain inflicted during an interrogation must include "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions�in order to constitute torture."

It appears this wasn't the first memo by Gonzales to draw criticism. In a January 25, 2002 memo written by Gonzales, it reads "the war against terrorism is a new kind of war" and "this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." Gonzales was also a crucial hand in getting the so-called USA Patriot Act passed which has been rejected by hundreds of cities across the country.

Others maintain that the only reason Bush nominated Gonzales was to repay him for keeping Bush's drunk driving conviction in 1976 a secret until it was finally revealed too late to make a difference in Bush's first bid for the presidency. (search)

However, it is Gonzales' military stint that raises questions. According to every source checked by NWVs, Gonzales' bio pretty much reads the same. Few individuals ever attain the fast track in the way Gonzales did (search):

Both of Gonzales parents were Mexican migrant workers. There is no mention anywhere if they ever legally became U.S. citizens.

"After high school, Gonzales joined the Air Force and was posted to Fort Yukon, Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle. He won an appointment to the Air Force Academy, but after two years he grew restless studying science. In 1977 he transferred to Rice University, where he earned a degree in political science in 1979. He then was accepted to prestigious Harvard Law School where he earned a law degree in 1982."

A remarkable feat seems to have been accomplished. A high school graduate goes into the Air Force, not as an officer, but as an enlisted rank. Two years later, Gonzales "wins" a coveted nomination to the United States Air Force Academy. In two years, this cadet is bored, gets "transferred" to Rice University and earns a degree in less than two years. Unfortunately for the story, one doesn't get "transferred" out of the military because they're bored and wish to attend a college someplace else.

The term of commitment for the United States Air Force Academy as a cadet is four years. One doesn't just up and leave after two years because they "grew restless studying science." If Gonzales had been transferred from Ft. Yukon to perform other duties for the Air Force Academy for two years, that would constitute a completion of his four year stint. However, as far as we have been able to ascertain, Gonzales wasn't transferred, he was nominated - meaning cadet - to the Academy.

There are strict guidelines involved in nominating an individual for a cadet slot at the United States Air Force Academy. The competition is tough, application time is considerable and not a process done at the drop of a hat.

Mr. Gonzales is being nominated for Attorney General, the highest law enforcement officer in the U.S. Government. The American people have a right to know the factual details of how this nominee moved in such an unconventional method through the military and then to a top ranking college. We find this a reasonable inquiry considering Gonzales deliberately kept quiet about Bush's drunk driving conviction - the very same individual who has nominated him for this top law enforcement position. has filed a Freedom of Information Act request as follows:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. � 552) as amended and the regulations there under, including those of the Treasury Department. I am willing to pay any reasonable research and copying fees for responding to this request. However, if the costs thereof should exceed $100.00, please inform me in advance of producing the requested documents.

Subject of FOIA: Alberto R. Gonzales, current nominee by President Bush for Attorney General

Alberto R. Gonzales attended the United States Air Force Academy as a cadet from 1975-1977. Under this FOIA, we are requesting a copy of the DD 1870 Nomination Form which gives the entire history of when and who nominated Mr. Gonzales for a slot at the Academy.

Additionally, we are requesting any and all memos, electronic or hard copy, giving the history of Mr. Gonzales' departure from the Air Force Academy before his required four year commitment was fulfilled. This should include any discharge documentation and all memos, electronic or hard copies, from your legal staff regarding Mr. Gonzales' attendance and departure from the Academy.

We are also requesting any SAT or ACT test scores for Mr. Gonzales for qualification to the Academy.

Please mail documentation to: News Editor,, P.O. Box 370, Merlin, Oregon 97532

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Both of Gonzales parents were Mexican migrant workers. There is no mention anywhere if they ever legally became U.S. citizens.