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Posts Tagged ‘Attorney General Eric Holder’

Holder: Bin Laden Made No Attempt To Surrender

TPM Muckraker

Ryan J. Reilly | May 4, 2011, 12:46PM

“There was no indication” that Osama bin Laden wanted to surrender to U.S. forces who killed him on Sunday night, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Holder says Osama bin Laden killing was legal and justified.

“It was justified as an act of national self-defense,” Holder said. “If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate.”

In his address on Sunday night, President Barack Obama said that bin Laden was killed “after” a firefight at his compound in Pakistan. But senior administration officials spiced up the narrative a bit. John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, said at a televised press conference that bin Laden had used his wife as a human shield. But hours later, the administration walked back that account.

Since then, the White House has said that bin Laden did not have a gun but did say he was “resisting.”

“Resistance does not require a firearm,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

“Let me make something very clear, the operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed was lawful,” Holder said Wednesday. “He was the head of al Qaeda, an organization that had conducted the attacks of September 11. He admitted his involvement.”

CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview Tuesday that “the authority here was to kill bin Laden.”

“Obviously under the rules of engagement, if he in fact had thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn’t appear to be representing any kind of threat then they were to capture him,” Panetta said. “But they had full authority to kill him.”

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Middle East Online, Sep 3, 2009



Documents show ‘assistance provided by certain foreign governments’

US spy agency says further documents too sensitive to release amid public shock in America.

WASHINGTON – The CIA has refused to release further documents related to its controversial suspect rendition, detention and interrogation programs.

In a 33-page court statement made public on Tuesday, the Central Intelligence Agency said the documents contained sensitive information “that implicates intelligence activities, sources and methods, and information relating to the foreign relations and activities of the United States.”

Last month the Department of Justice revealed details of a report by a CIA inspector general that outlined methods used during interrogations of suspects during the presidency of George W. Bush, including threats of rape of family members of detainees and murdering their children.

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Doug Bandow, The Huffington Post, Aug 24, 2009

Buzz up!

Attorney General Eric Holder is appointing a special prosecutor to review CIA interrogations of terrorist suspects. However, the investigation shouldn’t stop at the agency. No one should be above the law, especially top policymakers.

Investigating Bush administration policies and officials is bound to be controversial. President George W. Bush and his aides undoubtedly did what they thought was right. However, much of it was wrong. The Iraq war was foolish and unnecessary.

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A Low-Level Investigation

By Joanne Mariner, Counterpunch, Aug 13, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder appears to be on the verge of appointing a federal prosecutor to investigate Bush-era interrogation abuses.

Citing current and former US officials, the Los Angeles Times said Holder was planning an inquiry that would be narrow in scope. The investigation, which would focus solely on CIA crimes, would examine “whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized” in memos issued by Bush administration lawyers.

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Independent’s Day

Obama doesn’t want to look back, but Attorney General Eric Holder may probe Bush-era torture anyway.

By Daniel Klaidman | NEWSWEEK
Published Jul 11, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Jul 20, 2009

It’s the morning after Independence Day, and Eric Holder Jr. is feeling the weight of history. The night before, he’d stood on the roof of the White House alongside the president of the United States, leaning over a railing to watch fireworks burst over the Mall, the monuments to Lincoln and Washington aglow at either end. “I was so struck by the fact that for the first time in history an African-American was presiding over this celebration of what our nation is all about,” he says. Now, sitting at his kitchen table in jeans and a gray polo shirt, as his 11-year-old son, Buddy, dashes in and out of the room, Holder is reflecting on his own role. He doesn’t dwell on the fact that he’s the country’s first black attorney general. He is focused instead on the tension that the best of his predecessors have confronted: how does one faithfully serve both the law and the president?

Alone among cabinet officers, attorneys general are partisan appointees expected to rise above partisanship. All struggle to find a happy medium between loyalty and independence. Few succeed. At one extreme looms Alberto Gonzales, who allowed the Justice Department to be run like Tammany Hall. At the other is Janet Reno, whose righteousness and folksy eccentricities marginalized her within the Clinton administration. Lean too far one way and you corrupt the office, too far the other way and you render yourself impotent. Mindful of history, Holder is trying to get the balance right. “You have the responsibility of enforcing the nation’s laws, and you have to be seen as neutral, detached, and nonpartisan in that effort,” Holder says. “But the reality of being A.G. is that I’m also part of the president’s team. I want the president to succeed; I campaigned for him. I share his world view and values.”

These are not just the philosophical musings of a new attorney general. Holder, 58, may be on the verge of asserting his independence in a profound way. Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter. Such a decision would roil the country, would likely plunge Washington into a new round of partisan warfare, and could even imperil Obama’s domestic priorities, including health care and energy reform. Holder knows all this, and he has been wrestling with the question for months. “I hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the president’s agenda,” he says. “But that can’t be a part of my decision.”

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OEN is participating in the call for a special prosecutor for Bush and Cheney.

*GROUPS REQUEST SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR BUSH, CHENEY*

OpEdNews

For Immediate Release

February 24, 2009

Contact: David Swanson david@davidswanson.org <mailto:david@davidswanson.org

*Statement on Prosecution of Former High Officials *

We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.

Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations. The former president has confessed to violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

We see no need for these prosecutions to be extraordinarily lengthy or costly, and no need to wait for the recommendations of a panel or “truth” commission when substantial evidence of the crimes is already in the public domain. We believe the most effective investigation can be conducted by a prosecutor, and we believe such an investigation should begin immediately.

Drafted by The Robert Jackson Steering Committee

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/robertjackson

Signed By:

Center for Constitutional Rights

http://www.ccrjustice.org <http://www.ccrjustice.org/>
The National Lawyers Guild
http://www.nlg.org/
After Downing Street
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org <http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/>
American Freedom Campaign
http://www.americanfreedomcampaign.org <http://www.americanfreedomcampaign.org/>
Ann Wright, retired US Army Reserve Colonel and US diplomat http://www.voicesofconscience.com/
Backbone Campaign
http://www.backbonecampaign.org <http://www.backbonecampaign.org/>
Brad Blog
http://www.bradblog.com/
Cities for Peace
http://citiesforprogress.org/

CODE PINK: Women for Peace

http://www.codepink4peace.org <http://www.codepink4peace.org/>

Daniel Ellsberg, Truth-Telling Project

http://www.ellsberg.net/
Defending Dissent Foundation
http://www.defendingdissent.org/

Delaware Valley Veterans for America

http://www.delvalvets4america.org <http://www.delvalvets4america.org/>
Democrats.com
http://www.democrats.com/

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

http://www.space4peace.org/

Gold Star Families for Peace

http://www.cindysheehanssoapbox.com/
Grandmothers Against the War
http://www.grandmothersforpeace.org/gatw
Grassroots America
http://www.grassrootsamerica4us.org/

High Road for Human Rights Advocacy Project
http://www.highroadforhumanrights.org
Iraq Veterans Against the War

http://ivaw.org/
Justice Through Music
http://www.jtmp.org <http://www.jtmp.org/>
Marcus Raskin, co-founder of Institute for Policy Studies, member of editorial board of the /Nation/, member of the special staff of the National Security Council in the Kennedy Administration

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

http://www.projectcensored.org/
Naomi Wolf, author of /End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot/, and /Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries/
http://naomiwolf.org/

National Accountability Network
Northeast Impeachment Coalition

http://www.neimpeach.org/wp/
Op Ed News
http://www.opednews.com/
Peace Action
http://www.peace-action.org/
Peace Team
http://www.peaceteam.net/
The Progressive
http://www.progressive.org/
Progressive Democrats of America
http://www.pdamerica.org/
Republicans for Impeachment
http://republicansforimpeachment.com/

United for Peace and Justice

http://www.unitedforpeace.org/
Velvet Revolution
http://www.velvetrevolution.us/

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/vips
Veterans for Peace
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/
Voters for Peace
http://votersforpeace.us/index2.php
War Crimes Times
http://www.warcrimestimes.org/

Wisconsin Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition

http://www.impeachwi.com <http://www.impeachwi.com/>
World Can’t Wait
http://www.worldcantwait.net <http://www.worldcantwait.net/>

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Leahy: Investigate Bush Now

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

February 9, 2009 11:44 AM

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy insisted on Monday in firm and passionate terms that a comprehensive investigation be launched into the conduct of the Bush administration, saying anything less would prevent the country from moving forward.

Speaking at a forum at Georgetown University, the Vermont Democrat suggested the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission to uncover the “misdeeds” of the past eight years.

“Many Americans feel we need to get to the bottom of what went wrong,” said Leahy. “I agree. We need to be able to read the page before we turn the page.”

The Senator also stated that Attorney General Eric Holder never gave assurances to Republican Senators that he would not prosecute Bush administration officials who may have been involved in illegalities such as authorizing torture or warrantless wiretapping.

“There are some who resist any effort to investigate the misdeeds of the recent past,” he said. “Indeed, during the nomination hearing of Eric Holder, some of my fellow Senators on the other side of the aisle tried to extract a devil’s bargain from him in exchange for the votes — a commitment that he would not make… That is a pledge no prosecutor should give and Eric Holder did not give it. But because he did not it accounts for some of the votes against him.”

At one point, Leahy slammed the lectern with his right fist, underscoring the emotion he brought to the debate. His remarks referred to claims that Holder had provided Republicans on the Judiciary Committee a pledge not to prosecute Bush officials — claims that the Obama administration denied.

Leahy framed his commission idea — which he had not discussed publicly prior to Monday — as a middle ground of sorts between those who adamantly oppose investigations and those who say “we must prosecute Bush administration officials to lay down a marker.”

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