Holder Called in June for Closing Gitmo
With Covington & Burling partner Eric H. Holder Jr. President-elect Obama's apparent pick for attorney general, a speech he gave in June suggests he would make a top priority of closing Guantanamo Bay. In the June 13 speech to the American Constitution Society, Holder called Guantanamo an "international embarrassment" and said the next president must close the detention facility and transfer prisoners to military prisons. A WorldNetDaily report quotes extensively from the half-hour speech and ACS has the full video.
The speech provides insights into the positions Holder would take as attorney general, if only with respect to the war on terror, which was the exclusive focus of his remarks. He called Gitmo a "moral hazard" and said the fact that the Supreme Court "had to order the president to treat detainees in accord with the Geneva Convention" was disgraceful. "In the months and years since 9/11, the Bush administration took many steps that were excessive and unlawful," Holder said. "We authorized torture and we let fear take precedence over the rule of law, as we overreacted to perceived danger."
According to the WorldNetDaily report by writer Jerome R. Corsi, Holder called on the next president to:
- Declare without qualification a policy that the United States will not torture political detainees, engage in forced interrogations or submit people to degrading treatment in prison.
- End all programs, covert or otherwise, to transfer detainees to nations that practice torture.
- Stop domestic search and seizures without warrant and end wiretapping of citizens.
"There is evil in the world and we face grave threats to our national security," Holder said, "but we must reclaim our moral leadership by no longer letting fear rule our reactions."
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 19, 2008 at 02:43 PM | Permalink
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