Eric Holder Confirmation Morning Session Jan 15

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Click image to watch the hearing on CSPAN3

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Holder Confirmation Hearing has just begun a few minutes ago with Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter making opening comments.

You can watch the hearing live on CSPAN3 (Windows Media Player) or through the committee’s Real Player Live Webcast.

To save time I’ll quote here BarbinMD’s post this morning at DKos:

Holder has the support of the Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee, along with the backing of Orrin Hatch, the endorsement of three former Deputy Attorney Generals, not to mention former Senator John Warner introducing and offering his support at today’s hearing, along with testimony from Louis J. Freeh, the Former Director of the FBI. And while the level of support Holder will enjoy might cramp attempts to delay his confirmation, it certainly won’t stop the Republicans from trying.

Taking the lead in these efforts has been Arlen Specter, who went from not having “taken any position” on Holder, to denouncing him on the Senate floor, comparing him to Alberto “I don’t recall” Gonzales, and Chuck Grassley, who has attempted to tie Holder to the scandal-plagued Rod Blagojevich. Throw in the Republican requests for documents related to Clinton’s impeachment, fund-raising by Al Gore, and the case of Elian Gonzalez, and you can see that the attempt to force Obama “to spend political capital early,” is on.

By all means, every Senator should ask the hard questions, explore the pardon of Marc Rich, or any other areas of concern they may have. But the Republican Senators may want to consider two things: the overwhelming support that Obama enjoys and how the last two elections have worked out for them. If they overplay their hand here, they might find themselves hoisted by their own petard peg.

A complete witness list for today’s hearing is available here.

If anyone watching the hearing has not yet signed the Formal Petition to Attorney General-Designate Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes… please sign it now.

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    • Edger on January 15, 2009 at 15:51


    We want Eric Holder confirmed as Attorney General. We want him confirmed because of statements like this…

    Washington, D.C. — Eric H. Holder Jr., Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration, asserted in a speech to the American Constitution Society (ACS) that the United States must reverse “the disastrous course” set by the Bush administration in the struggle against terrorism by closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, declaring without qualification that the U.S. does not torture people, ending the practice of transferring individuals involuntarily to countries that engage in torture and ceasing warrantless domestic surveillance.

    “Our needlessly abusive and unlawful practices in the ‘War on Terror’ have diminished our standing in the world community and made us less, rather than more, safe,” Holder told a packed room at the ACS 2008 Convention on Friday evening. “For the sake of our safety and security, and because it is the right thing to do, the next president must move immediately to reclaim America’s standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights.”

    We want the man who said those words to be our next Attorney General. Because in truth and in a logical world the best way, perhaps the only way, to “reclaim America’s standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights”… to investigate and then prosecute those who have criminally destroyed that standing. They destroyed it by using torture.

    • Edger on January 15, 2009 at 15:55

    please do!

    I have some appointments to deal with this morning so I’ll be in an out and can’t do it myself.

    John Warner is speaking right now…

    • Edger on January 15, 2009 at 16:32

    I agree with you Mr. Chairman, waterboarding IS torture.

    Mr. Chairman, NO ONE is above the law.

    It is my belief that the president DOES NOT have the power, as indicated…

    • Edger on January 15, 2009 at 16:44

    two minutes ago, who is live blogging the hearing:

    Eric Holder just told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the behavior of president Bush has been illegal, and that he, Eric Holder, will uphold the rule of law.  It will be very hard to maintain those positions and not prosecute or appoint a Special Counsel to prosecute Bush’s crimes.

    Here’s roughly what was said:

    10:29 a.m.  Leahy: is “waterboarding” torture and illegal?

    Holder: yes, it is torture.

    Leahy: Can other nations legally torture Americans?

    Holder: No.

    Leahy: Can President of the United States immunize acts of torture?

    Holder: Nobody is above the law.  President has Constitutional obligation to enforce the laws.  We have laws and treaties.  The president acts most forcefully and has the greatest power when consistent with Congressional intent and directives.  The president does NOT have the power that you have indicated.

    Leahy: Washington Post yesterday reported that the top Bush Admin. official on military commissions says we tortured a detainee.

  1. I don’t see him as someone who’s overly partisan, so I may be wrong, but I don’t see his objections as obstructionist. And his arguments are all over the place. Like he’s concerned that Holder won’t support the Patriot Act and “enhanced interrogation” and yet he has taken a pretty strong stand against torture (for a Republican).

    What keeps coming to mind is that he’s scared.  

  2. pardon.  Specter apparently is very concerned about “politicization” (as defined by himself) when it involves a Democrat–when it involved 8 years of politicization by the republican bushies in the DoJ–not so much.  Neither is Specter concerned about his own politicization when it comes to the good of the nation vs the good of the GOP–he’ll continue to put the GOP first as he always does.

    Specter has dates, times, etc, ect concerning Quinn & Holder.  Too bad he wasn’t as up on or “concerned” about the firings of the 8 US Attorneys by the bushies or about Gonzo’s law breaking as AG or his extreme “memory loss” under Congressional questioning.  What a self-serving GOP’er jackass Specter is.  


    • Edger on January 15, 2009 at 17:47

    Almost 2000 overnight.

  3. sorry for yelling, but wexler posted diary at dk about how obama will ban torture in the future and recommmit US to complying with Geneva Conventions.

    so i posted this comment:

    does renewing our compliance with Geneva (0+ / 0-)

    Convention mean that Pres. Obama will enforce the Geneva Convention mandates that the US actually seek out war crime violators?

    I just received your email and am glad to see it posted at Dk, and have greatly appreciated your hard work in the past, i just hope my question may be answered.


    “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” — Jacques Cousteau

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 09:08:48 AM PST

    [ Reply to This ]

    good thread to ask him more questions!

    • Edger on January 15, 2009 at 18:25

    I hope everybody will continue to blog about the hearing today? Holder said something concerning things in reply to Hatch’s questions… maybe somebody can analyze that?  

  4. legitimizes GWOT.

    Inevitable but disappointing.

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 20:34

    talking about Joe Biden, is this the correct c-span channel?

  5. Acknowledges GOP suppression tactics

    Parts of War on Drugs (crack cocaine) unfair. Agrees with “tough on drugs” tho…

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 20:50

    world!  lol   ah yes, “terrahists!”  “clinton!”  “sex!”  (wait, has he mentioned sex yet?)

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 20:52

    amazing how fast my blood pressure shoots up while watching this stuff, which is why i had to quit.  mutherfucker.

    i’ll shut up now.  muterfuckers.  9/11.  fur fucking sakes.

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 20:53

    “ticking time bomb” vs “waterboarding”

  6. .

    Hypothetical, iow…..myth. Under ticking time bomb bullshit would you waterboard.

    Holder says torture only gives what we want to hear. we have other techniques.

    Won’t accept waterboard is only way…..Cornyn LET’S PRETEND IT IS the only way


    • sharon on January 15, 2009 at 20:58

    defintitely got the sense that they were sharpening their knives.  i think he is on our side.  now we see..

  7. Waterboarding IS torture

  8. Streamlining… below legal standards….

    Holder…must be perceived as fair and be fair.

    everybody gets due process, commit to it

    Due process is a test for America

    Durbin, will you review?


  9. will you uphold the current laws?

    Holder, duh…it is THE LAW

    More change from Bushco, lol!

  10. Check this out

  11. Bushco lies!

    Go Sheldon!

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 21:31

    c-span3 on-line cutting out too often to make sense of anything.  teeveetubes onto something else.  sigh.  someone call brian.  why is this on c-span3?!

    • sharon on January 15, 2009 at 21:32

    that he wants him to go ahead with prosecutions?  

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 21:32

    Brownback on.  on-line coming in clear!   Leavenworth.    

  12. Grab yer barfbags!

  13. officials that lied to congress.   Called some of them ‘cold-blooded’ lies.  

    • kj on January 15, 2009 at 21:36

    students will leave if gitmo is relocated to leavenworth!

    it is messing with the primary mission!  arg!  cutting out again!  but gist is mission is harmed if gitmo is moved to leavenworth.  because it’s bad for business, apparently.  not that the idea concept and physicallity of gitmo is bad.  no, business.  

    not a great answer, from what i can tell inbetween the cutouts.

    now downs syndrome.  really wish this was being televised.  damn intertubes!

  14. on and off, but haven’t been able to comment.

    But did I just hear Brownback right???

    He wants to apply the ADA to fetuses????????????????

    Oh my F’ing Gawd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. ADA for fetus’s…..OY!

    When does life begin question.

    Holder, I will follow the law, doesn’t fall for trap

    Back to Rich

  16. Our ass is covered now, right?

  17. I was able to get, now I can’t get it!!!???????

  18. plane downed by flock of geese.


  20. Or maybe it is C-span 1

  21. where does politics end and basic law begin? So we have these sacred documents the ones we started with the ones we’ve managed to keep intact through politics horrendous, civil war, world wars, and endless assaults from those who seek to minimize our democratic roots. Seems  we have taken this to a point where we no longer even respect the basic tenets of international law. We instead insist our safety, security, whatever that is , is more imporatant then our human rights or all humanities human rights. I Smell sulfur. Be it from O bama, Bush, Gonzo, or Holder, any asshole who tells me justice is negotiable to ensure my safety or my politics. It actually is the opposite as all rights are human rights and the ‘enemy’ becomes us.      

    • sharon on January 15, 2009 at 23:17
  22. C-SPAN

    I don’t know when this started again but I just saw the tail end of DiFi’s questions.

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