Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales stops by the KCBD to discuss his new book.
Source: Alberto Gonzales
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is in Lubbock to speak at the Lubbock Women's Club on Wednesday evening.
Gonzales will share excerpts from his newest book, Truth Faith and Allegiance: A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace.
"There's been a lot that's been written and said about the Bush administration and some of our policies, and I thought it would be important to get my voice in the conversations. Also, I wanted my sons to have a better understanding of the things that we did and the motivation behind some of the decisions we made," Gonzales said.
Looking back at his time in Washington D.C., Gonzales said he believes the Bush administration could have done a better job of communicating.
"We were concerned about releasing too much information. After all, we had hijackers, terrorists in our country living and operating for a period of time before carrying out the 911 attacks.We worried about what else did we not know and sharing too much information.as a result the American people and the congress to some degree, they sort of believed the worst," Gonzales said.
He said achieving a balance between communicating effectively without compromising sensitive sources, methods or national security is difficult.
Gonzales said he hopes the book clarifies how things really happened during the Bush administration.
"I don't shy away from anything controversial. We talk about the application the Geneva convention, how we came upon Guantanamo Bay, we talk about the development of enhanced interrogation techniques, we talk about development of electronic surveillance programs, so I try to lay it all out," Gonzales said.
Gonzales said he was so specific in his writing that his book had to be approved by the U.S. Government.
"It took about six weeks for the National Security Counsel, the NSA, CIA, DOJ to look at the book, make redaction and suggest changes," Gonzales said.
Gonzales said he visited with President Bush about the book and offered to let him read it before it was published, but President Bush said he didn't need to.
Gonzales said initially, he was a little worried since the president was a central player in the book.
"There are two reason why I think he would give that answer. One, he trusts me. Two, it's already been said and done," Gonzales said.
Gonzales said once the book was published, he sent President Bush a copy.
"I sent him a copy and he sent me back a very gracious letter saying he was pleased with the book," Gonzales said.
Gonzales also spoke about our current administration, saying he always give the benefit of the doubt to the President of the United States.
We asked him about President Trump's immigration policy.
"His policy is clearly border security and in a post-911 world, we have to know who is in this country and why they are here, but we also have to recognize the fact that we are a nation of immigrants and we are a compassionate nation. We have to accommodate our needs for immigration, legal immigration, because we need both skilled and unskilled labor," Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the key is finding the right balance.
He said while additional fencing is appropriate, there are other solutions to achieve border security besides building a wall.
"Half of the people who are here unlawfully today, came here lawfully through visas, so a wall would not prevent those people from coming over," Gonzales said.
On the other hand, Gonzales said you have to admire Trump for following through on a promise he made during his campaign.
Gonzales is the Dean and the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee.
He did spend time teaching in Lubbock at Texas Tech University.
Before entering public service, he practiced business law for 13 years in Houston.
In 1995, he resigned his law partnership to serve as General Counsel to the Governor of Texas.
After three years, he was appointed to Texas Secretary of State.
In 1999, he was appointed as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court.
He served in the White House as Counsel to the President from 2001 to 2005.
Gonzales served as the 80th Attorney General of the United States from 2005 to 2007.