Thursday, October 18th, 2007
Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey Defends Bush Admin on Post-9/11 Measures, But Vows Independence
The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee appears set to back Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, following his first day of confirmation hearings. On Wednesday, Mukasey defended many of President Bush’s most controversial post-9/11 policies, including holding prisoners without charge and denying them habeus corpus. We get reaction from Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]
Confirmation hearings began on Wednesday for Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey. And after a day of questioning, the Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee appears set to support his confirmation. President Bush nominated Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales after Gonzales quit in August amidst a series of scandals involving the firing of U.S. attorneys and for approving a secret warrantless domestic surveillance program. Mukasey is a retired federal judge who handled several high-profile cases, including the 1995 trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh,” and the initial detention of Jose Padilla. On Wednesday, Mukasey defended many of President Bush’s most controversial post-9/11 policies. He said the President has the right to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge. He refused to recommend the closing of the military prison at Guantanamo. And Mukasey said he does not believe prisoners at Guantanamo should be allowed the right of habeas corpus.Meanwhile, Mukasey was harshly critical of a 2002 Justice Department memo on torture, which he described as “worse than a sin.” Mukasey promised to maintain independence from President Bush’s White House. He told Senator Arlen Specter that he would resign if he couldn”t dissuade the president from taking action that he determined to be illegal. In a moment we will be joined by Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. But first we turn to Wednesday’s hearings.
- Excerpts of Michael Mukasey’s confirmation hearings.
To talk more about the Mukasey nomination, Attorney Michael Ratner joins us here at the firehouse. He is president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
- Michael Ratner. President of the Center for Constitutional Rights.