MI: GONZALES ADDRESSES FIRINGS, ARAB-AMERICAN CONCERNS IN SPEECH
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took full responsibility for the controversy surrounding the handling of the forced resignation of eight federal prosecutors today, saying he "should have done a better job" and has learned a lot from the ordeal.
"I should have done a better job in supervising the people who handled the situation,'' Gonzales said, after first laughing at a question posed to him at a luncheon by the Detroit Economic Club at the Dearborn Inn Marriott.
President George W. Bush and his administration, specifically Gonzales, have come under fire by many who said the firings, including that of Margaret Chiara, the U.S. attorney for Michigan's western district, were politically motivated.
Gonzales spoke today about the U.S. Justice Department's track record when it comes to civil rights, religious rights and voting rights.
Earlier, Arab Americans discussed civil rights issues with Gonzales at a private meeting in Detroit, urging him to end a program that requires Arab and Muslim immigrants to register with the government.
Gonzales said he was committed to a dialogue with the Arab-American community, according to those who attended the meeting.