Attorney General Michael Mukasey has decided to make being a doublespeak political appointee a priority over his sworn duty to upheld the law, AG denies details in CIA tapes inquiry
Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike angrily denounced Mukasey’s refusal, which they said blocks congressional oversight of the Justice Department.
Additionally, lawmakers from both parties accused the Justice Department of obstructing a House Intelligence Committee inquiry by advising the CIA against cooperating.
“Earlier today, our staff was notified that the Department of Justice has advised CIA not cooperate with our investigation,” House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, and the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, said in a joint statement Friday.
Congress can in Mukasey’s view have all the oversight committees they like, but they are not to be allowed to do any actual oversight in their capacity as a co-equal branch of government. If we do end up with a Democrat in the Whitehouse in 2008 the question be not be whether these same supporters of extraordinary executive branch powers will do a 180, but how fast.
In a letter Thursday to CIA Director Michael Hayden, the House panel had asked the CIA to hand over by Friday all documents and cables regarding the interrogation tapes and their destruction. Based on the Bush administration’s response Friday, it appeared likely the administration also would block testimony by acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo and Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the National Clandestine Service. Both have been summoned to testify to the committee on Dec. 18. Rodriguez ordered the tapes destroyed.
What would Bush have to gain and what is he hiding by blocking testimony from one the most compelling witnesses. Dumb rhetorical question, since we all know that you don’t block testimony unless you’re hiding something. Scooter Libby didn’t get up one morning and lie about what he knew about Whitehouse leaks in regard to revealing a NOC agent’s identity. He lied to protect his buddies. Mukasey is playing his end to protect the Whitehouse as the clock ticks away on their term and the Whitehouse is doing their part by claiming to have rights and privledges that they have invented out of thin air.
It pains me to be critical of Senator Harry Reid, but what the hell is he thinking, Notes from the global war on terror
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, seems intent on doing the president’s bidding. He has indicated that instead of the Judiciary Committee’s bill, he may put on the floor a deeply flawed measure from the Senate Intelligence Committee that dangerously expands the government’s powers and gives undeserved amnesty to the telecommunications companies. The White House says amnesty is intended to ensure future cooperation but seems truly aimed at making sure the public never learns the extent of the companies’ involvement in illegal wiretapping.
More here, Stop the FISA sellout
More to the point, if the Senators don’t know for a fact that your rights have not been violated, then why are they proceeding with this bill? Shouldn’t they wait to act until after they have gotten full information about the nature of the abuses? Why the rush to legalize those abuses?
It is that Beltway mentality at work. That small nugget of truth in the bromide about there not being much difference between Conservatives and Democrats. They get elected, they all become friends, adopt the club’s mentality and look out for each other when one gets in trouble. It is mostly a one way street though with Democrats always so willing to just let things go so we can supposedly move on to more pressing issues. Republicans didn’t think that way about Iran-Contra, going after Bill Clinton like rabid dogs, or lying us into the Iraq tar pit. Senator Reid is goofy if he thinks all this forgiving and forgetting is ever going to be reciprocated.