Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top Republican Implies Sotomayor UnAmerican

Read the complete transcript (Face the Nation, 7-12-09) of Senator Sessions', while appearing on Face The Nation (7-12-09), critique of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. He somehow suggests her views are un-American and that she wouldn't be a fair judge while on the Supreme Court in confirmed:

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, let’s turn to the hearings that open tomorrow on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. She has visited now with over 89 senators over these past weeks. There is also an overwhelming Democratic majority. And there’s an overwhelming Democratic majority on the committee that you chair, Senator Leahy.

Some people are saying it’s already a done deal. That she’s going to be confirmed and that’s there’s nothing Senator Sessions and other -- and the Republicans can do about it. Is she going to be confirmed?

LEAHY: I suspect she will be confirmed. But you know, I would hope that it does not turn into a partisan fight for the good of the courts and for the good of the Supreme Court. Now Chief Justice Roberts is not somebody I would have recommended as a nominee to President Obama. But I voted for him when he was nominated by President Bush because I felt chief justice of the United States should not be on a party-line vote.

I just want to read something about -- there’s a profile today of Judge Sotomayor. Says she was inspired by the ideal of neutrality. She said: “I’m not going to be playing for the Hispanic team, the Democratic team, the Republican team. I’m going to be playing for the Constitution team.”

I don’t know what more you could ask of a judge. And here is...


LEAHY: And here she is, she has been a judge longer than anybody who has gone on the Supreme Court in almost 100 years.

SCHIEFFER: Well, let’s ask Senator Sessions. What more can you ask?

SESSIONS: Well, I wish she had been saying that in her speeches over the last 10 years than what she has been saying. It’s absolutely critical that whoever sits on the bench -- and no one should sit on the federal bench who is not committed to the principles of the oath, which is that you should be impartial and do equal justice to the rich and poor alike, and not respect persons but do justice every day.

And in her -- a number of her speeches, for example, she has advocated a view that suggests that your personal experiences, even prejudices -- she uses that word, it’s expected that they would influence a decision you make, which is a blow, I think, at the very ideal of American justice.

Every judge must be committed every day to not let their personal politics, their ethnic background, their biases, sympathies, influence the nature of their decision- making process. It’s the core of the American system.

LEAHY: Well, that’s...

SCHIEFFER: So would you oppose her because of that?

SESSIONS: Well, I think she’s going to have to answer that. Because this is a mature judicial philosophy that she has stated. She has criticized the idea that a woman and a man would reach the same result. She expects them to reach different results. I think that’s philosophically incompatible with the American system.

LEAHY: I totally disagree with that.

SESSIONS: Well, I’ve read her speeches in great depth. And I am convinced that’s what she said. And it wasn’t just the one line: a wise Latina will do a better job than a white male.

But what about her record?
LEAHY: That’s grasping at straws and I’ll tell you why. Here’s a woman who is a mainstream judge. She deserves respect as a judge. During her time actually for the days that she was a very tough prosecutor to her days as a trial judge to a court of appeals judge, that’s what we base it on. She has a track record. She has shown to be a mainstream judge. You don’t have to guess what kind of a judge she’s going to be.

I’ve asked her about her speeches. And she said ultimately and completely, the law controls. And as a judge, she’s shown over and over again that ultimately and completely, the law controls. We’ve had a lot of judicial nominees of both Republicans and Democrats talk about the background, how that has influenced them. Former President Bush talked about empathy when he nominated a Republican to the Supreme Court. You know, the fact is her answers are these. Ultimately and completely, the law controls. And she has the experience and the cases to be a mainstream judge. Anything else is nitpicking.

Cheney Ordered CIA to Hide Spy Program from Congress

It is clear Dick Cheney directed efforts to misleed Congress while vp. It is time for him to be prosecuted for his criminal conduct during the Bush years. If the Obama administration does not bring Cheney to justice they will betraying the American people; President Obama will be violating his oath of office.

Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney gave direct orders to the CIA to conceal an intelligence programme from Congress, US media reports say.

The existence of the programme, set up after 9/11, was hidden for eight years and even now its nature is not known.

CIA director Leon Panetta is said to have abandoned the project when he learnt of it last month.

He has now told a House committee that Mr Cheney was behind the secrecy, the unnamed US sources say.

There has been no comment from Mr Cheney.

War of words

The claims come amid an increasingly bitter row between the CIA and Congress over whether key information was withheld about other aspects of the agency's operations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed that the CIA misled her about interrogation methods including waterboarding, while other senior Democrats have quoted Mr Panetta as admitting that his agency regularly misled Congress before he took office.

This has Watergate written all over it:
So what are the "significant actions" that these seven lawmakers insist were kept from Congress? Another theory being bandied about concerns an "executive assassination ring" that was allegedly set up and answered to former Vice President Dick Cheney. The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, building off earlier reporting from the New York Times, dropped news of the possibility that such a ring existed in a March 2009 discussion sponsored by the University of Minnesota.

"It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently," Hersh said. "They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...

"Congress has no oversight of it," he added. "It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths. Under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us."

Asked if this was the basis of her letter to Panetta, Eshoo said she could not discuss what was a "highly classified program." She did, however, note that when Panetta told House Intelligence Committee members what it was that had been kept secret, "the whole committee was stunned, even Republicans." A Republican committee member told Who Runs Gov's Greg Sargent it was something they hadn't heard before.

Why wasn't something done or said about years ago? Where was the press in all this? Where were the Democrats? We knew about Cheney in 2004:
Vice President Cheney was aware of a meeting held by his staff that started a chain of events that ended with the "effective betrayal of our country," former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson charged Thursday in an interview with USA TODAY.

That betrayal was the revealing of his wife's identity as an undercover CIA operative, said Wilson, who served in diplomatic or White House posts in the first Bush administration and the Clinton administration before leaving government service in 1998.

Wilson did not accuse Cheney of leaking his wife's identity or of knowing about the leak before it was made. But he said Cheney had to have known that his staff was investigating Wilson in a probe that led to the discovery of his wife's job.

Knowingly revealing a CIA operative's name is a federal offense. Last July's leak of the name and CIA status of Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife, mushroomed into a red-hot controversy by fall. The leak is being investigated by the Justice Department. Columnist Robert Novak, who first reported the news about Plame, has said his original source was "two senior administration officials."