SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson is quoted in the following
article from the Aug. 27, 2007, edition of USA Today
Analysis by Kevin Johnson
• CNN interview.
• The New York Times
In his role as White House counsel and later as attorney general, (U.S. Attorney General Alberto) Gonzales had a pivotal role in developing some of the administration's most provocative legal tactics in the war on terrorism, from treatment of terrorist suspects to the government's warrantless surveillance program. He was instrumental in decisions to detain citizens and non-citizens for indefinite periods without charging them as part of the war on terrorism. He supported the formation of military tribunals — rather than using civilian courts — to try foreign suspects on war crimes charges. He helped draft the now-famous memo that supported harsh and controversial interrogation tactics.
His support of the controversial programs and the prosecutors firing scandal only served to undermine his integrity and the department's credibility, some analysts say. Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, says whoever succeeds Gonzales walks into a department whose credibility and morale may be at its lowest levels since Watergate.
"The attorney general drew together a group of people who would push the envelope as far as they could to support the president," Jillson says. "They pushed it to the breaking point."
President Bush, who has stood by his longtime Texas counselor despite repeated calls for the attorney general's resignation, repeatedly dismissed the controversy as "political theater."
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