Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gorsuch grilled on Torture


Which is only fair as he was one of the Bush administration lawyers involved in torturing the law tofind a way to legitimize torture and extend Dick Cheney's life.
Senator Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, pressed Judge Gorsuch about a torture-related document from his time as a senior Justice Department official in 2005-6. It was a set of questions about the C.I.A. program, including: “Have the aggressive interrogation techniques employed by the administration yielded any valuable intelligence? Have they ever stopped a terrorist incident? Examples?” In the margin next to this, Judge Gorsuch had scribbled, “Yes.”

Ms. Feinstein, who was the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee when it conducted an investigation into the Bush-era torture program that concluded otherwise — asked Judge Gorsuch what information he had received that led him to write “yes.”

He replied: “My recollection of 12 years ago is that that was the position that the clients were telling us. I was a lawyer. My job was as an advocate, and we were dealing with detainee litigation. That was my job.”

Senator Leahy, of Vermont, also returned to the question of whether Judge Gorsuch believed in the Bush administration’s theory that the president, as commander-in-chief, could override torture and surveillance laws.

Asked about that on Tuesday, Judge Gorsuch had repeatedly said the president was not “above the law.” Mr. Leahy pointed out that Mr. Bush’s legal team did not argue that he was “above the law,” but rather that “the law” meant the Constitution gave presidents inherent authority to lawfully bypass such statutes.

The senator pressed Judge Gorsuch to be more specific. He replied that “presidents make all sorts of arguments about inherent authority — they do — and that is why we have courts, to decide.”

Mr. Leahy followed up, asking whether Judge Gorsuch could think of a case in which a court decided that a president could override a statute. Judge Gorsuch said he could not think of one, and Mr. Leahy agreed.
Gorsuch did so well at his legal justifications that he was appointed to his current position. Imagine that! An unindicted felon sitting in judgement of others.

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