Of course most of us have suspected something like this would come down the line. Now Senator Whitehouse is calling them out on it. We have to wonder what went on behind the closed door of Sen. Arlen Specter when he met with Eric Holder, the Obama choice for Atty. Gen.
"Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have asked Eric Holder to make a commitment, before he is even confirmed, that he will not prosecute any Bush Administration officials for their involvement in acts of torture during the last administration."
"Anyone familiar with the criminal justice system - especially those with experience as prosecutors or judges - should know that a prosecutor should make no determination about who to prosecute before he or she has all the facts, and particularly not in response to legislative pressure."
Senator Whitehouse went on to say,
"After all we have recently been through at the Department of Justice, I would hope and expect that upon calm reflection, no one on our Committee would expect the Attorney General of the United States to make prosecutive decisions based on legislative pressure."
There are many reason to protest this behavior from the Right. One of the most pressing imho is something that Emptywheel pointed out to Sen. Whitehouse just the other day.
In particular, I believe, they are delaying Holder's nomination to shorten the time between the day Holder takes over and the day the statute of limitations on violations of FISA Bush committed on March 11, 2004 start to expire--that is, March 11, 2009, just seven weeks away.
At yesterday's Progressive Media Summit, I had an opportunity to remind Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of that timeline. I reminded him, too, that Bush seems intent on delaying the time when an Article III judge assesses the evidence in the al-Haramain document, which probably proves Bush broke the law. Emptywheel to Senator Whitehouse: We Only Have 7 Weeks to Indict Bush
If the Republicans can hold up Holders being voted in we have to wonder what other damage will be done ?
Joshs new addition to TPM has more on this, enough to make everyone wonder.
When last we left the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Cornyn (TX) was taking a stand against accountability by insisting that Attorney General nominee Eric Holder promise not to prosecute any intelligence official for possible interrogation abuses at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took a more pragmatic view of Holder's ability to promise such sweeping immunity before court action on detainee cases is complete. But where is Arlen Specter (PA), Judiciary's senior Republican, in all of this?
Specter Still Playing it Coy on Holder Nomination
Several people around dkos have been asking about the Statues of Limitation for over yrs now, myself included. It appears we were right to worry. This cannot be allowed to happen, but who can stop it ?