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Alberto Gonzales: Wheels of Justice
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Attorneys general; Job descriptions; Sons; Elementary school students
Author: Blumenfeld, Laura
Date: Apr 11, 2006
Start Page: A.19
Section: A SECTION

[Alberto Gonzales]'s wife, Rebecca, stood at the door, videotaping his arrival. [Gabriel], in a rugby shirt and braces, smiled and waved, stiffened by the cringe and thrill of having a parent speak at school. Then his father told the assembled students, "I'm the top cop in the country," and Gabriel relaxed. "I go after the bad guys," Gonzales said.

How does Gonzales explain this to his 10-year-old son? He started pedaling, blurring past a man with a boy on a tricycle. It was easier to understand what his own father had done. Gonzales used to get up at 6 a.m. to eat tortillas and eggs with him, before his father left for the construction site. His parents, Mexican American migrant workers, had met while picking cotton. They raised eight children in a two-bedroom home in Humble, Tex., that had no phone or hot water. Gonzales had watched his father build their house, looked up at him hammering shingles to the roof.

His work bag held a fat leather briefing book. He opened it to a chapter heading: "WAR ON TERROR." How does he explain this to his son? For a while, Gabriel was waking up, crying from nightmares. It was after 9/11. He dreamed someone was trying to kill his father. Gonzales's own father had died on the job; he fell from a grain silo at a rice mill. But when Gonzales held Gabriel that night, he told him that everything would be okay. Gonzales told him, "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you're safe."

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