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Posts Tagged ‘Senate Judiciary Committee’

Senate to announce investigation of torture under Bush, senators say

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Wednesday February 25, 2009

‘This is going to be big,’ senator says

The Senate is quietly preparing plans to investigate allegations of torture under President George W. Bush, according to comments published Wednesday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The Senate Judiciary Committee could announce a hearing to consider various plans to probe allegations of torture as early as today, according to Salon‘s Mark Benjamin, citing Committee Chairman Pat Leahy and members of his staff. A call placed Wednesday morning by Raw Story to Leahy’s office was not immediately returned.

Sen. Whitehouse said he’s “convinced” the investigation will move forward.

“Stay on this,” he told Benjamin. “This is going to be big.”

Whitehouse, Senator from Rhode Island, is “spearheading” the efforts,
and as a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, “is
privy to information about interrogations he can’t yet share,” the magazine noted.

Plans to establish the commission still remain in their infancy, as senators and staff look at previous panels, such as the 9-11 Commission, and investigations following Watergate. Whitehouse, a former U.S. attorney, noted that a torture commission might need the power to immunize witnesses on a case-by-case basis. The prospect of future prosecutions, he said, are beside the point. Most important was putting a spotlight on abuses committed by the Bush administration.

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Senate Committee Approves Holder

Finally…

After weeks of delays, the Senate Judiciary committee has voted by 17-2 to send Eric Holder’s nomination to the full Senate.

In a statement, committee chair Pat Leahy said:

Mr. Holder has demonstrated that he is committed to restoring the rule of law, and, as President Obama said in his inaugural address ‘to reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,'” said Leahy. “I am more convinced than ever that Eric Holder is a person who will reinvigorate the Department of Justice and serve ably as a key member of the President’s national security team. He will pursue the Justice Department’s vital missions with skill, integrity, independence and a commitment to the rule of law.

The two “no” votes were from conservative Republicans John Cornyn and Tom Coburn.

Leahy’s full statement follows after the jump…

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