FROM Noel Francisco
Is the Obama Administration Tough on Terror...or Not? Some Republicans in Congress, along with former Vice President Cheney and his daughter Liz, are attacking President Obama for being soft on terrorism. The allegations raise a question that dates back to the Bush Administration: should foreign terrorism suspects be tried in civilian courts or in military tribunals?
Is the Obama Administration Tough on Terror...or Not? Republicans are up in arms because Attorney General Eric Holder wants Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in a civilian court . Will the White House move the case to a military tribunal? Will that help close Guantánamo Bay? The opposition's divided over another charge: that Holder's Department of Justice has become "in-house counsel to al-Qaida." What does that have to do with the standards of the legal profession — and Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz?
The Dark Side of America's War on Terror Lawyers, military figures and Bush Administration insiders believed that so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques really were torture. But Vice President Cheney insisted they were the only way to head off another September 11, despite warnings about prosecution for war crimes. A new book, The Dark Side , also reports that dissenters lost their jobs, even as "enhanced" interrogation produced false information that derailed the war on terror. Will there be a call to accountability?
Can Bush's Lawyers Be Tried for War Crimes? Abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib were revealed in photographs that are now infamous worldwide. Just seven people have been disciplined, all soldiers, none of whom rose above the rank of sergeant. Former sergeant Javal Davis, who spent four months as a guard at the prison, pleaded guilty to assault and served three months in a military brig. Yet, there's ample evidence of much worse treatment, possibly torture. The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff and other lawyers who approved harsh tactics against detainees captured after 9/11. Were they doing what was necessary to prevent another attack or should they be put on trial? What were the roles of Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush?
Gonzales Responds to White House Firing of US Attorneys Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is under increasing fire from Democrats on Capitol Hill over the firing of eight US Attorneys around the country. Federal prosecutors, who serve at the pleasure of the President, are supposed to be independent of politics. Last week, two former US attorneys told Congress they felt "leaned on" by Republicans to pursue partisan agendas. Today, Gonzales’s top aide resigned after reports that the White House was deeply involved in the firings. New York’s Democratic Senator, Charles Schumer, called for Gonzales to step down.
Fired US Attorneys: Poor Performance or Politics? The Bush Justice Department fired eight US Attorneys last December without telling them why. Yesterday, six testified before Congress , and two said they'd been approached by Republicans in Congress about cases that might have embarrassed Democrats. Were they fired for political reasons, as Democrats claim, or is this "an overblown personnel matter" as insisted today in USA Today by Alberto Gonzales? In the editorial , the Attorney General concedes that his failure to notify them why they were asked to resign led to "wild and inaccurate speculation" about his motives. Who are the US Attorneys and how much power do they have in the federal justice system? We hear from journalists, attorneys, and current and former Justice Department officials.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.