Judge Mukasey repeatedly defied the demands of the Bush administration, ruled against them, excoriated them on multiple occasions for failing to comply with his legally issued orders, and ruled that Padilla was entitled to contest the factual claims of the government and to have access to lawyers. He issued these rulings in 2002 and 2003, when virtually nobody was defying the Bush administration on anything, let alone on assertions of executive power to combat the Terrorists. And he made these rulings in the face of what was became the standard Bush claim that unless there was complete acquiescence to all claimed powers by the President, a Terrorist attack would occur and the blood would be on the hands of those who impeded the President.
In demanding that Padilla be denied access to lawyers, the Bush administration argued that access to counsel would destroy its ability to interrogate Padilla, and that "enemy combatants" had no such rights. Mukasey emphatically rejected both contentions, concluding in his first decision (.pdf) in December, 2002:
Even giving substantial weight, as I do, to the President's statement in the June 9 Order that Padilla is "a continuing, present and grave danger to the national security of the United States" and that his detention "is necessary to prevent him from siding with al Qaeda in its efforts to attack the United States," there has been no fact presented to me that shows that the source of that danger is the possibility that Padilla will transmit information to others through his lawyers. By contrast, Padilla's statutorily granted right to present facts to the court in connection with this petition will be destroyed utterly if he is not allowed to consult with counsel. On the facts presented in this case, the balance weighs heavily in Padilla's favor.
The rule of law is a very powerful thing..even with an Asshat like Bush in the Oval office. Mukasey is a conservative, no doubting that..but will he be beholden to BushCo when he comes nose to nose with him over an issue that Alberto Gonzales would of undeniably given in to his BFF Bush about? Mukasey thinks all the 'hullabaloo' about the Patriot Act is for the most part..nonsense..We shall see my dear reader..we shall see.
Greenwald's article is a good one..I suggest you take a few moments and read it if you want to know about the 'new' AG that King George is going to nominate according to several wire services this Sunday evening.
Tags: Attorney General, Mukasey, Jose Padilla