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Gonzales faces stiff questioning from Democratic, Republican senators

[JURIST] Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales faced almost six hours of Senate grilling Thursday during his portion of a day-long confirmation hearing that was by turns effusive, gruff, and scathing. Democratic Senators challenged the nominee on his handling of a wide range of legal issues as White House Counsel and counsel to then-Texas governor George W. Bush, from torture and the Geneva Conventions to civil liberties and executions. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a former military lawyer, also criticized policies that Gonzales had been associated with, suggesting that his narrow construction of the Geneva Conventions was not in the interests of US military personnel who might be captured during conflict. "Getting cute with the law", Graham suggested, "dramatically undermined the war effort" and weakened the nation by making it "become more like your enemy instead of like who you want to be." When Gonzales objected, Graham countered "When you start looking at torture statutes and you look at ways around the spirit of the law, you're losing the moral high ground. ... I do believe that we've lost our way." AP has more on Gonzales testimony and responses to questions. The Washington Post is building a full transcript of today's confirmation hearing here.

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