Alberto Gonzales has been formally sworn in as U.S. attorney general, saying he welcomes the opportunity to serve as the country's top law enforcement official.

President Bush introduced Mr. Gonzales, the country's first Hispanic attorney general, at a ceremony in Washington D.C. Monday. 

The president said Mr. Gonzales will lead efforts to protect the United States against another terrorist attack and will pursue criminals at home while protecting the liberty of all Americans.

The president called his former White House counsel a good friend.

Mr. Gonzales accepted the post of attorney general earlier this month, after winning Senate confirmation in a 60-to-36 vote.  He replaced John Ashcroft.
Many Democrats criticized the nomination, saying Mr. Gonzales has helped shape Bush administration policy that contributed to prisoner abuse overseas.