Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Republican Senators resort to extortion on Holder nomination

In an effort to derail the nomination of Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, it seems Senate Republicans are now resorting to extortion. They'll confirm Holder if he promises not to prosecute any Bush Administration officials for any involvement in acts of torture, according to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI).
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have asked Eric Holder to make a commitment, before he is even confirmed, that he will not prosecute any Bush Administration officials for their involvement in acts of torture during the last administration.

Anyone familiar with the criminal justice system - especially those with experience as prosecutors or judges - should know that a prosecutor should make no determination about who to prosecute before he or she has all the facts, and particularly not in response to legislative pressure.
Senator Whitehouse makes a good point about the separation of powers. It isn't for the legislative branch to hold up executive branch appointments, in order to extract promises from those appointees, especially with regard to potential future prosecutions. But it's much more than that.

I understand that President Obama wants to get beyond the partisan divisions and rancor and look to America's future. That's all good and well, but the United States was founded on the rule of law. You often hear that "we are a nation of laws, not men." If the rule of law were not important, what would separate our nation from countries like Myanmar (Burma) or North Korea?

If Eric Holder, or any other Obama appointee subject to confirmation by the Senate, were to agree not to investigate alleged wrongdoing Bush Administration officials and forward alleged crimes for potential prosecution, it would be an egregious abdication of responsibility, not to mention an act of questionable legal ethics. It would say to future generations that at a time when the Bush Administration felt it was above the law, Democrats did nothing but stand idly by and let it happen.

And then we'd be no different than them.


Blogger mike doty said...

I think that the solution to this problem is "sunshine." Obama should hold a press conference and inform all of the American people what is happening. Once that is done, those senators would stfu and not dare to opose this confirmation,lest they be associated with the Bush crimes. We all know that the MSM will not report this, so it falls to a press conference that they can not ignore. Obama is going to have to "BULL" his way past the corporate owned media if he wants to make any changes. Including changes in the media.

January 25, 2009 5:34 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Incredible, but not surprising!

January 25, 2009 7:22 AM  
Blogger godistwaddle said...

Holder might even hold people to account!! How wrong!! Bush, because of his position, is allowed to be treasonous, murderous, and larcenous. How wrong it is to think the wealthy should be held to account!!

January 25, 2009 8:10 AM  
Blogger joedotdar said...

These republiscum senators are the same SCUM who let bush and cronies put America where it is today.

January 25, 2009 8:22 AM  
Blogger Fredjack said...

The bush administration must be held accountable for its sins, for its crimes against mankind and this nation, for crimes against the world, for the lies that led to so many deaths and damage within the United States and the world and to the misuse and abuse of its military. To exempt them from the law means there is no law on which to base justice for one and all, only selective use to protect those who abuse power, and only law that is used agaist the weak, defenseless and those unable to fight back. There is more than one definition for terrorism and the bush administration must not be allowed to get away from crimes and sins against all the world in the name of natinal security, a lie to big to cover up.

January 25, 2009 8:56 AM  
Blogger drew said...

WHICH Republican Senators Whitehouse refers to is what I'd like to know?

If they really did this, why not name them? If they're actually attempting to commit Obstruction of Justice, then they need to be arrested and tried for so doing, never mind simply being publicly Named and Shamed.

January 25, 2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger columbuscharlie said...

Why are these repugliscum afraid of an open and non-partisan investigation into the Bush cabal???? If crimes were committed (we know there were)against America and the World, what HONORABLE AMERICAN PATRIOT would be against punishing those responsible???? Let's make the arguement simple, so any right-wing, knuckle-draging ameba brain moron can understand, if you are against justice, you are either a traitor or you hate America. You know, "with us or against us", that should sound familar.

January 25, 2009 7:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Camp said...

@ Drew - perhaps it's all of the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee as Senator Whitehouse's statement says.

January 25, 2009 9:54 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Gee, one wonders why the nominee doesn't just use the "L" word for what the GOP is doing and as a side say, "In case you haven't noticed, Bill Clinton is no longer President. And guys, this was 10 years ago now. Wouldn't it be nice if we moved forward from here and gave the people of the United States equal protection under the law?"

January 26, 2009 11:36 AM  
Blogger staceyl11 said...

I would say that any promises made under duress are not enforceable. Thats what they told us in law school anyway...

January 27, 2009 8:53 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home