Some facts about Attorney General Gonzales

 @ibtimes on August 27 2007 11:06 AM

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose tenure has been marked by controversy over civil liberties and the firings of prosecutors, has resigned, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

Following are some facts about Gonzales.

* Gonzales has been touted by the administration as an American success story. The son of migrant workers, he was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1955 and grew up in a two-bedroom house in Texas with his parents and seven siblings.

* He said the family spoke English at home, so although he has an understanding of Spanish and his Latino roots are often highlighted, Gonzales is not comfortable speaking Spanish in public.

* After attending the Air Force Academy, he received his undergraduate degree from Rice University and studied law at Harvard University.

* Gonzales worked as a corporate attorney for a Houston law firm before being named general counsel to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

* He served as secretary of state of Texas from 1997-1999 and was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 1999.

* After Bush won his first term as president, Gonzales was named White House counsel in January 2001, holding that job until becoming attorney general in February 2005.

* Gonzales eventually won confirmation as the 80th attorney general but he squeaked through with the second highest number of no votes ever for a successful nominee for the post.

* The battle over Gonzales' suitability as attorney general focused largely on an August 1, 2002, memo he approved that stated that only the most severe types of torture were not permissible under U.S. and international agreements. The memo was withdrawn and rewritten after a public outcry.

* Gonzales also drew fire for writing in January 2002 that parts of the half-century-old Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war were obsolete and some provisions were quaint.

* He was criticized for Bush's warrantless domestic spying program adopted after the September 11 attacks. In January he reversed himself and said the program would be subject to court approval.

* Gonzales was at the center of a political firestorm for Bush over the dismissals of eight federal prosecutors, which critics in Congress complained were politically motivated.

* Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress called for Gonzales to quit. In a hearing in July Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said Gonzales had lost the confidence of the Congress and the American people while Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania told him, I don't trust you.

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