Friday, December 12, 2008

STONEWALL in Bush's Dept. of Justice

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) met with Attorney General Designate Eric Holder on Monday December 8, 2008 in his Washington office. Leahy said he supports Holder's nomination and he intends to hold nomination hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early January. Above, Holder and Leahy met with reporters before a private meeting.

On US Senator Patrick Leahy's Website:

In Final Days, Bush Administration Continues To Stonewall: Senator Patrick Leahy, Washington Friday, Dec. 12, 2008

Even in the final days of the Bush administration, the Department of Justice continues to stonewall congressional subpoenas for documents from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), according to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday underscored the Department’s continued obstruction and hit the Department on going back on its word to provide the Committee with copies of six documents related to a subpoena issued in October for OLC documents.

In a letter dated November 14, Justice Department officials said the Department was “prepared to make available for Committee staff review at the Department” two national security-related OLC opinions subpoenaed on October 21. The Department also wrote that it was “prepared to provide the Committee with copies of additional OLC memoranda on November 17, 2008.” Upon receipt of the letter, followed by a verbal assurance on November 17 that the documents were being delivered to the Committee, Leahy postponed the return date of the subpoena, which was scheduled for November 18. To date, the Department has provided the Committee with copies of just two documents, one of which was not listed in the October 21 subpoena and was already widely available in the public domain. The remaining six documents have been made available at the Department only for staff review.

“Bush administration officials at the Department of Justice have provided nothing to explain their sudden change of position concerning the documents previously promised the Committee,” said Leahy. “Now we hear through the press that they are stonewalling access of the President-elect’s transition team to OLC documents as well. Regrettably, the Bush administration’s initial pledges of cooperation with the transition team seem to be falling short, and that mirrors their lack of cooperation with the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Leahy continued, “The Bush administration talks about working together, but they care more about continuing their secretive practices. Just as there is no justification for denying the incoming administration legal opinions that were the basis for Executive Branch policy, there is no justification for denying them to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The next administration and the next Congress will be left to clean up the mess at the Department. Rather than continue to delay, the Bush administration should be working to help the Congress and President-elect Obama and his team to hit the ground running on January 20. The right people are ready to begin working to restore the integrity of the Justice Department and they cannot do that without access to this information. President-elect Obama has identified his pick to lead the Justice Department, Attorney General designee Eric Holder. We will be working hard to have the Justice Department leadership team in place as soon as possible so we can begin to peel back the layers of secrecy that has defined this administration.”

The two documents provided to the Committee, a memorandum dated November 6, 2001, entitled “Re: Legality of the Use of Military Commissions to Try Terrorists” (subpoena item 1.H), and a memorandum dated February 7, 2002, entitled “Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949”, are available online. The remaining six documents have been identified as read-only, and copies have not been provided to the Committee for discussion and disclosure.
For the documents Go Here

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just watched Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on C-SPAN where he discussed a report about abuse in Department of Justice, and how New Leadership Needed At Justice Department Without Delay. He went on to talk about how those "civil rights" lawyers in DOJ that had been pushed aside to make way for "liars" and those that abused hiring practices. He further stated that we need these good men and women in DOJ to protect "civil rights" and uphold one's constitutional rights.

Well, Senator Leahy, why don't you start over at HUD, with the very people that are supposed to uphold the law. These people have been working with those "honest DOJ" lawyers that you have talked about for over a decade. If those DOJ folks that you talked about were such honest and ethical people, then why did what happened years ago at HUD, still happen today?

If these shakedown tools are merely "settlement" or "conciliation agreements", why do they need a clause that says they are "volunatry" and "not coerced". If they are not, then HUD need not worry. Also, they request a "donation". I always thought a "donation" was by definition voluntary and not coerced. But then again, I don't have the 2009 Blagojevich Dictionary. And why another clause that makes those that sign agree not to tell. If it is on the "up and up", then why the "you can't tell anyone" clause.

So, Senator Leahy, please don't stand up and tell everyone how dishonest the current DOJ is, when for years those folks that you spoke of as upstanding public servants have allowed and contributed to this happening. It just makes your words seem empty.