Hello Bloggers - I am very excited that Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) finally dropped his opposition and voted to nominate Eric Holder as our next Attorney General. He should be confirmed very soon.
This is a great day for America. The abused and abusive Justice Department will finally have a new boss to clean house. Not only is Eric Holder considered a highly respected constitutional expert, he will be the first African-American attorney general.
Before the vote, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) praised Holder for the "two short declarative sentences uttered at his confirmation hearing -- without caveats, without parsing words, without equivocation," which "signaled a new direction for the Department of Justice and a turning of the page in the constitutional history of this country. 'Waterboarding is torture.' 'No one is above the law.'"
That is GREAT NEWS for Americans who care about REAL justice - NOT Republican justice!
Of course, there were two Republican malcontents who voted against Holder: John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Cornyn criticized Holder's role in "controversial pardons" during the Clinton years, despite the fact that Holder apologized for not properly vetting Marc Rich and expressed deep regret over the mistake.
Both Senators question whether Holder will "protect intelligence agents who participated in harsh interrogations," the Associated Press notes. "Harsh interrogations?" That's nothing but Republican political-marketing-speak for TORTURE! Republicans are good at lying that way.
I'm sorry Senators, but that's a ridiculous assertion. Whether military or intelligence, "following orders" is not a sufficient defense. People should not be "protected" from breaking the law. Mr. Holder, the majority of Americans want major crimes under the Bush Administration investigated, so please do your job.
Senators Cornyn and Coburn, like so many of their associates on Capitol Hill, turned a blind-eye to Bush's "harsh interrogations" and lawbreaking, and are now partly responsible for US domestic and international lawbreaking. Unlike Bush who - at least - admitted to breaking the law, on issues like torture and eavesdropping, they hid and hoped to avoid the problem. They were cowards, and they were wrong.
The Justice Department should investigate whenever possible, and even if we don't get convictions, for whatever reason, at the very least expose exactly what despicable things happened over the past eight years. Even the lesser crimes need some kind of South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Committee to find the truth. We Americans need to know who broke the law, and why, and make sure that it never happens again.
Anyway, I'm just happy things may begin to change. I, like so many Americans, will be watching to see if Eric Holder restores American justice. In the same way evangelicals cherry-pick bible scripture, Republicans cherry-pick the US Constitution. That Republican BS approach to American justice must change. President Obama and Eric Holder must ACT FAST to restore equal justice under law, and the US Constitution.
Wednesday's Political Rave #1 - Michael
PS - The BAD NEWS is that the conservative Washington Times is reporting that Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond, a Republican from Missouri and the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an interview that he will support Eric Holder's nomination for Attorney General because Holder assured him privately that Mr. Obama's Justice Department will NOT prosecute former Bush officials involved in the interrogations program." That makes me VERY NERVOUS, and it better be WRONG! Please join me in writing President Obama and Eric Holder to DEMAND REAL JUSTICE! Thanks.