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Thread: Eric Holder

  1. #1
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    Eric Holder

    TPM has highlighted some of the key moments from his confirmation hearings. Sounds like he intends to go Elliot Ness on the DOJ.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5uCq...e=channel_page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFGRy...e=channel_page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt6xm...e=channel_page
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    Chuck Schumer FTW

    Has President Obama ever dispatched you to the bedside of a sick justice department official?
    Last edited by SmthBluCitrus; 01-15-2009 at 07:59 PM.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    Of any moment of all the confirmation hearing clips I've seen in this cycle (although I admit I haven't watched that many, because they're generally pretty officious and dull), that one gets my vote for play of the day.
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    Agreed.

    I've watched quite a bit of it, but I couldn't deal with it too much today. But, that was good stuff.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

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    See, this is what happens when people actually use vetting... no fireworks, no disasters, no shockingly unqualified or out of their league nominees. Good for government and the democratic process, bad for entertainment value. Google is sad - even the most headline grabbing and controversial names are barely registering a pulse.
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    You mean results over dramatically built up story lines and side bars!?


    What a thought!


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    Quote Originally Posted by DenButsu View Post
    See, this is what happens when people actually use vetting... no fireworks, no disasters, no shockingly unqualified or out of their league nominees. Good for government and the democratic process, bad for entertainment value. Google is sad - even the most headline grabbing and controversial names are barely registering a pulse.
    you mean obama's not going to have a harriet miers?

  8. #8
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    Senate Republicans Delay Holder Confirmation Over Torture Prosecutions

    Senate Republicans Delay Holder Confirmation Over Torture Prosecutions

    Senate Republicans delayed a vote on the confirmation of Eric Holder to become attorney general for at least a week in order to pressure him to say whether he will prosecute intelligence agents for torture if they were following orders and acting within what they believed to be legal guidelines.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, convened the panel Wednesday and asked for an immediate vote to send Holder's nomination to the Senate. Republicans called for a one-week delay, permitted by committee rules.

    Holder told the Judiciary Committee last week that waterboarding is "torture" and therefore illegal. Susan J. Crawford, the top Bush administration official overseeing the trials of detainees, told the Washington Post that at least one individual held at the prison center at Guantanamo Bay was "tortured."

    The question Republicans want answered before Holder is confirmed: Will you prosecute those who took part in that torture?

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that he would block committee proceedings, scheduled to resume at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, if he did not receive answer from Holder. "I'm not going to allow things to proceed," he said. He added that it was "physically impossible" for Holder to get the answers to him by then, thus assuring a conflict would ensue.

    Other GOP members of the committee, said Cornyn, are also concerned about the potential for prosecutions. The intent of the Military Commissions Act, he argued, was to provide immunity from prosecution if agents believed they were acting lawfully.

    "Part of my concern, frankly, relates to some of his statements at the hearing in regard to torture and what his intentions are with regard to intelligence personnel who were operating in good faith based upon their understanding of what the law was," said Cornyn.

    "There were provisions providing immunity to intelligence officials based up on good faith and what they understood the law to be," said Cornyn. "I want to know if he's going to enforce congressional intent not to second guess those things in a way that could jeopardize those officials but also could cause our intelligence officials to be risk averse -- the very kind of risk aversion...that the 9/11 commission talked about when they talked about what set us up for 9/11."

    Sen. Leahy said that Holder can't predetermine who he'll prosecute.

    "I think no prosecutor should say, 'This is who I will prosecute and this is who I won't prosecute,' and he knows that as a former prosecutor," said Leahy of Cornyn's demand.

    Leahy noted that Republicans "enthusiastically support[ed]" Bush's appointee, Michael Mukasey, "who couldn't even say that waterboarding an American abroad would be torture," and also "enthusiastically support[ed] Alberto Gonzales, the least qualified attorney general in decades."

    Having supported those men, said Leahy, it's hard for them to be against Holder. "To say they want to hold up Eric Holder, the most qualified, I'm wondering, 'Why the double standard for this person above all others?"

    UPDATE: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, agreed with Leahy that Holder can't rule out prosecutions before he becomes the top prosecutor.

    "What I believe we should do is not politicize this, the idea of prosecutions coming from the hard left. Making a commitment that we'll never prosecute someone is probably not the right way to proceed, either," he said. "I think President Obama's administration is going to have a forward look on this, unless there's something egregious out there I think they'll move on. But no I don't expect him to rule it in or rule it out."

    "In individual cases, if there's allegations of mistreatment judges can handle that and you can determine what course to take," he added. "If we've committed -- if we've made mistakes in the past, let's clean them up. But this idea of criminalizing policy differences would be bad for the country and would create a bad precedent."
    huffpo
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    It's kind of a dilemna. If I'm working for the Bush White House, and I'm told with a wink and a nudge that torture is of course wrong but to go ahead and do it it's legal thanks to a signing statement I made, I'll proceed to do my jobs.

    So do you prosecute for following the law? It's another one of those situations where the morals don't match up perfectly with the law.
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

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    Quote Originally Posted by blenderboy5 View Post
    It's kind of a dilemna. If I'm working for the Bush White House, and I'm told with a wink and a nudge that torture is of course wrong but to go ahead and do it it's legal thanks to a signing statement I made, I'll proceed to do my jobs.

    So do you prosecute for following the law? It's another one of those situations where the morals don't match up perfectly with the law.
    Correct me if I'm wrong - most of what I know about the military comes from movies, so I can only assume it's somewhat wrong and/or simplified - but is it not required of military personnel that they disobey a direct order if that order is to break the law? That would be one question I have.

    Personally, though, I'm not interested in seeing anything happen if it doesn't go right up to the top of the chain of command, or at least very high up. Accountability should lie ultimately with those who gave the orders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blenderboy5 View Post
    It's kind of a dilemna. If I'm working for the Bush White House, and I'm told with a wink and a nudge that torture is of course wrong but to go ahead and do it it's legal thanks to a signing statement I made, I'll proceed to do my jobs.

    So do you prosecute for following the law? It's another one of those situations where the morals don't match up perfectly with the law.
    Gee BB,

    You said that you were a Republican because you were for personal responsibility. Is there a question in your mind that people have been prosecuted for torture? It seems to me that your basic position should be that if you break the law, you pay the price. I donít need anyone giving me my moral compass.

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    To Prosecute Torture or Not to Prosecute? Cornyn's Holder Holdup Splits GOPers

    Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) decision today to force a week-long delay in Eric Holder's Judiciary Committee confirmation vote has opened an unexpected fissure in the GOP. On the one side are Republicans who want Holder to echo President Obama's promise to "move forward" -- widely interpreted as a hint that Bush-era officials and operatives would not be prosecuted for the torture of detainees -- and on the other side is, well, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

    During today's Senate vote to confirm Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I talked to both senators. And Graham, a former attorney in the JAG Corps, has a more even-handed view of the torture-prosecutions dilemma than Cornyn's. When we spoke this afternoon, Graham echoed Judiciary panel chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-VT) judgment that Holder should not be expected to unilaterally rule out all prosecutions related to torturous interrogations.

    "The idea for prosecutions is coming from the hard left," Graham said. "Making a commitment that you'll never prosecute somebody is probably not the right way to proceed either ... I don't expect him to rule it in or rule it out."

    But Cornyn certainly does. "I liked what President Obama said -- we need to be looking forward and not backward," he said this afternoon. "We've got huge problems facing this country ... I want some assurances that we're not going to be engaging in witch hunts."

    Cornyn paid little heed to the political risk of holding up new leadership at the Justice Department just to stand behind Bush advisers who gave the legal go-ahead for torturous tactics that were used at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. I asked how he would proceed if Leahy moves forward with a committee vote on Holder before his prosecution query is answered, and Cornyn said he would place a Senate "hold" on the attorney general nominee if he has to.

    Even if Holder is cleared through committee a week from today, then, the wrangling over his nomination could be far from over. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who until now has been one of Holder's key GOP supporters, told me that "we have an obligation to help the president get his own Cabinet officials through" ... but when I asked how he would react if Holder did not promise to eschew torture prosecutions, Hatch switched gears: "That would really bother me."

    Will Graham stop his party from making the torture issue its first stand against Obama? The list of questions for Holder could grow by tomorrow now that the new president has halted all military commissions at Guantanamo. Jon Kyl (AZ), the No. 2 Senate GOPer, told me that he wants Holder to answer questions about that Obama move before any confirmation vote.

    Every detainee at Guantanamo is headed for his day in court, Graham said. And if something emerges during that process that suggests criminal conduct worthy of prosecution, he added, "we'll do it."

    Late Update: A Senate GOP aide describes Holder's predicament as the result of playing it coy on prosecutions while being direct on his view of waterboarding. (The New York Times saw a similar undercurrent in its analysis of the confirmation hearing.)

    "Holder put himself in a position of legal and rhetorical checkmate when he unequivocally described waterboarding as torture yet refused to tell the committee whether he would prosecute members of the intelligence community," the GOP aide said. "Holder can't have it both ways."
    TPM


    So, basically, Cornyn is trying to hold up Holders confirmation until he approves immunity for those on the right that would be accused of torture?

    I'm sorry -- it's something that needs to be looked into.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

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    Quote Originally Posted by DenButsu View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong - most of what I know about the military comes from movies, so I can only assume it's somewhat wrong and/or simplified - but is it not required of military personnel that they disobey a direct order if that order is to break the law? That would be one question I have.
    Yeah that's a great question. If that's the case, then the people who allegedly committed the acts of torture will probably get punished. Unless they get a great lawyer and argue they were coerced. But someone will answer for it eventually imo.

    Personally, though, I'm not interested in seeing anything happen if it doesn't go right up to the top of the chain of command, or at least very high up. Accountability should lie ultimately with those who gave the orders.
    Agreed. And like I said I see that happening. But hopefully that doesn't happen until Obama gets **** done with the economy and Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Quote Originally Posted by cabernetluver View Post
    Gee BB,

    You said that you were a Republican because you were for personal responsibility. Is there a question in your mind that people have been prosecuted for torture? It seems to me that your basic position should be that if you break the law, you pay the price. I donít need anyone giving me my moral compass.
    Drop the constant *****ing about everything I type. And good for you and your moral compass. I was merely saying that people can follow the law and do immoral things (unless DB is right about what he was saying).
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

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