In the first place, Mr. Mulkasey, the vast majority of Americans have not been concerned enough with the attack on American rights, under the Constitution. That is why those who are become hysterical. It takes a mega-hammer upside the head to get the attention of Americans who are on the proverbial hamster exercise wheel, working harder for less and still in debt up to their eyeballs with 2.5 kids to raise and educate.
You seem to forget that the men who wrote and ratified our constitution did not trust government any further than they could throw it and advised us not to and their personal writings.
As far a trust goes, Mr. Mulkasey, it seems to me that, if anything, Americans do give their government the benefit of the doubt, especially in times when they should be the most observant, if not suspicious, as in times of war.
All American governments are not equal when it comes to whether or not they should be given the benefit of the doubt. This Bush government has given us no reason to trust them as they have yet to tell us the truth about anything of any significance.
Trust must be earned. Conspiracies to deceive the people of a democracy, especially when fear is used as a tool of deception, are despicable and the perpetrators of such deception must not be trusted by the people, for to trust such a government is a betrayal of one's country, not to mention stupid in the extreme.
Considering Mr. Mukasey
Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s nominee to be attorney general, is being promoted as a “consensus choice,” which is meant to signal the Senate that it should be grateful and confirm him without delay. Mr. Mukasey is clearly better than some of the “loyal Bushies” whose names had been floated, but that should not decide the matter. The Senate needs to question him closely about troubling aspects of his record, and make sure he is willing to take the tough steps necessary to repair a very damaged Justice Department.
Mr. Mukasey has attributes that could make him a good attorney general. He has been a lawyer and federal district court judge in New York, where he enjoys a good reputation. Although he is not divorced from politics (he is on an advisory committee to Rudolph Giuliani’s campaign), it is unlikely that he would run the Justice Department as an adjunct of the White House, or a booster of the Republican Party, as Alberto Gonzales did.
Aspects of his record, however, are troubling. As a judge, he was too deferential to the government. In the case of Jose Padilla, who was accused of participating in a dirty bomb plot, he ruled that the president may detain American citizens indefinitely as “enemy combatants.” His dangerously narrow reading of the Constitution was rightly reversed by a federal appeals court.
In a 2004 Wall Street Journal op-ed article, Mr. Mukasey denounced the “hysteria” of Patriot Act critics, and lashed out at the American Library Association for trying to protect patrons’ privacy. He also made the dubious claim that based on the structure of the Constitution, the government should “receive from its citizens the benefit of the doubt.” And writing in The Journal this year, he promoted the truly awful idea of a separate national security court that would try suspected terrorists.
The Senate should question Mr. Mukasey about all of this, and about the government’s domestic spying program, which has operated illegally, and about which Mr. Gonzales has been unable to tell the truth.
Mr. Mukasey also needs to be asked, in detail, how he intends to fix the Justice Department. There is strong evidence that federal prosecutors brought cases to help Republicans win elections. Mr. Mukasey needs to promise that he will get to the bottom of these matters, and that he will make available the critical documents and witnesses that the administration has withheld.
Mr. Mukasey also needs to explain how he plans to remove the partisan political operatives put in nonpartisan positions under Mr. Gonzales and, more broadly, how he plans to restore the department’s integrity.
Mr. Bush also announced yesterday that he was replacing Acting Attorney General Paul Clement, who was to serve until the Senate confirmed Mr. Gonzales’s successor, with Peter Keisler, a hard-line movement conservative. Mr. Bush’s sleight of hand in installing Mr. Keisler is an unfortunate indication that he intends to keep the department politicized for as long as he can.
Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said yesterday that the Senate would be reluctant to confirm Mr. Mukasey until the White House handed over key documents on issues like domestic surveillance. It should be. Senators also need to ask for more information directly from Mr. Mukasey. He may be worthy of confirmation, but the nation can only know for sure after careful, probing hearings.
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.