Republican Senators Resort to Extortion on Holder Nomination

Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:54 am
Republican Senators Resort to Extortion on Holder Nomination
Friday 23 January 2009
by: Ken Camp, The Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate

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.

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).

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.
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Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 12:36 pm
Sounds reasonable. Let's make a deal is the name of the game in Washington.

I also think it would not be a good idea to have any administration personal prosecuted. I am sure many Democrats feel the same way as their names will also be brought up in any investigation.

the old saying...Be careful what you wish for... comes to mind.
Diest TKO
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:21 pm
Then let that happen Woiyo. I don't want corrupt democrats anymore than I want corrupt republicans. Based on what I see around here on the behalf of the conservatives, I don't know that many here can say the same.

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