• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Feingold accuses Gonzales of misleading Senate

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Oh, this is good stuff. During Gonzales's Senate confirmation hearing, Feingold asked him about warrantless surveillances. Gonzales claimed it was a hypothetical question and talked around it. I love how this information keeps coming out about how conniving the Bushies are. It just goes to show you why Bush's popularity is still at 39% and why the majority of Americans trust Congress more than they trust the president. Woo hoo!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/30/AR2006013001318.html

From the Senate Judiciary Committee:

SEN. FEINGOLD: . . . Let me switch to a subject that’s come up a lot here today. In the August 2002 memorandum, the Justice Department concludes that the president, as commander in chief, may authorize interrogations that violate the criminal laws prohibiting torture and that the Congress may not constitutionally outlaw such activity when it’s authorized by the president. This is the claim, essentially, that the president is above the law so long as he is acting in the interest of national security. The December 30 rewrite of the August memorandum does not repudiate this view. It simply says the issue is irrelevant because the president has prohibited torture.

Today, in response to questions on this subject, you have been unwilling to repudiate this legal theory. You’ve danced around the question of it, but as I understand your answer so far you have said there may be a situation where the president would believe a statute is unconstitutional and would therefore refuse to comply with it, but would abide by a court’s decision on its constitutionality. You also, I am told, said that many presidents have asserted the power not to enforce a statute that they believe is unconstitutional. But there is a difference between a president deciding not to enforce a statute which he thinks is unconstitutional and a president claiming to authorize individuals to break the law by torturing individuals or taking other illegal actions.

So what I want to do is press you on that because I think perhaps you’ve misunderstood the question, and it’s an important one. It goes to a very basic principle of the country: that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law. Of course, the president is entitled to assert that an act of Congress is unconstitutional.

This president did so, for example, with respect to some portions of our McCain-Feingold bill when he signed it. But his Justice Department defended the law in court, as it is bound to do with every law duly enacted by the Congress. And his campaign and his party complied with the law while a court challenge was pending. No one asserted that the president has the power to ignore a law that he thought was unconstitutional.

The question here is what is your view regarding the president’s constitutional authority to authorize violations of the criminal law, duly enacted statutes that may have been on the books for many years, when acting as commander in chief? Does he have such authority? The question you have been asked is not about a hypothetical statute in the future that the president might think is unconstitutional. It’s about our laws and international treaty obligations concerning torture. The torture memo answered that question in the affirmative, and my colleagues and I would like your answer on that today. And I also would like you to answer this: does the president, in your opinion, have the authority acting as commander in chief to authorize warrantless searches of Americans’ homes and wiretaps of their conversations in violation of the criminal and foreign intelligence surveillance statutes of this country?

MR. GONZALES: Senator, the August 30th memo has been withdrawn. It has been rejected, including that section regarding the commander in chief authority to ignore the criminal statutes. So it’s been rejected by the executive branch. I categorically reject it. And in addition to that, as I’ve said repeatedly today, this administration does not engage in torture and will not condone torture. And so, what you really are -- what we’re really discussing is a hypothetical situation that --

SEN. FEINGOLD: I -- Judge Gonzales, let me ask a broader question. I’m asking you whether in general the president has the constitutional authority, does he at least in theory have the authority to authorize violations of the criminal law under duly enacted statutes simply because he’s commander in chief? Does he -- does he have that power?

MR. GONZALES: Senator, I -- you -- in my judgment, you phrase it sort of a hypothetical situation. I would have to know what -- what is the -- what is the national interest that the president may have to consider. What I’m saying is, it is impossible to me, based upon the question as you’ve presented it to me, to answer that question. I can say, is that there is a presumption of constitutionality with respect to any statute passed by Congress. I will take an oath to defend the statutes. And to the extent that there is a decision made to ignore a statute, I consider that a very significant decision, and one that I would personally be involved with, I commit to you on that, and one we will take with a great deal of care and seriousness.

SEN. FEINGOLD: Well, that sounds to me like the president still remains above the law.

MR. GONZALES: No, sir.

SEN. FEINGOLD: Again, you know, if this is something where -- where it -- you take a good look at it, you give a presumption that the president ought to follow the law, that -- you know, that’s -- to me, that’s not good enough under our system of government.

MR. GONZALES: Senator, if I might respond to that, the president is not above the law. Of course he’s not above the law. But he has an obligation, too. He takes an oath as well. And if Congress passes a law that is unconstitutional, there is a practice and a tradition recognized by presidents of both parties that he may elect to decide not to enforce that law. Now, I think that that would be --

SEN. FEINGOLD: I recognize that, and I tried to make that distinction, Judge, between electing not to enforce as opposed to affirmatively telling people they can do certain things in contravention of the law.

MR. GONZALES: Senator, this president is not -- I -- it is not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.

SEN. FEINGOLD: Finally, will you commit to notify Congress if the president makes this type of decision and not wait two years until a memo is leaked about it?

MR. GONZALES: I will to advise the Congress as soon as I reasonably can, yes, sir.

SEN. FEINGOLD: Well, I hope that would be a very brief period of time. And I thank you, again, Judge Gonzales.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/06/p...tml?ex=1138856400&en=ed446549b9fb9784&ei=5070
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Scandal # 436. :yawn: If at first you don't succeed.....
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
KCConservative said:
Scandal # 436. :yawn: If at first you don't succeed.....
Obviously, it's important enough for you to provide your typical "nothing" responses.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
aps said:
Obviously, it's important enough for you to provide your typical "nothing" responses.
It's the only way to respond to a nothing thread.
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
KCConservative said:
It's the only way to respond to a nothing thread.
You know, that was a pretty good response. LOL

KMA
 

Robodoon

Banned
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
426
Reaction score
0
Location
Lakeport CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
They ARE BOTH CRAP!

OUR AG is "LA RAZA"
and DiFi is a socialist nut job that Agrees the UN should disarm the American people.

Both are TRAITORS to the USA, and BOTH ARE GLOBALISTS, what we are seeing is a GAME for "WE THE SHEEPLE"

but the American people are to sleepy to understand, after all foot ball was on yesterday, who can pay attention when grown men play childrens games for money.
 
H

hipsterdufus

KCConservative said:
Scandal # 436. :yawn: If at first you don't succeed.....
Sorry to bore you, but it's our country's very essence of individual freedom at stake here.

Not everyone thinks that warantless wiretaps are just fine because the president says so, or because they have "nothing to hide", or because we are at war. The founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves.
 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
And Fiengold wants to be President? He just went way down in the polls here. Never could he be trusted with our National Security if this is an inkling of his thinking.

>>And I also would like you to answer this: does the president, in your opinion, have the authority acting as commander in chief to authorize warrantless searches of Americans’ homes>>

Why does he ask that question when no one has accused the adminsitration of seraching anyone's home, here in our country, without a warrant. That's not even an issue. The reason is so blatantly typical, he wants to insinuate that they have so that the majority of the public which is ignorant to the real facts will believe they have. He's trying to play gotcha with our national security.
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Stinger said:
And Fiengold wants to be President? He just went way down in the polls here. Never could he be trusted with our National Security if this is an inkling of his thinking.

>>And I also would like you to answer this: does the president, in your opinion, have the authority acting as commander in chief to authorize warrantless searches of Americans’ homes>>

Why does he ask that question when no one has accused the adminsitration of seraching anyone's home, here in our country, without a warrant. That's not even an issue. The reason is so blatantly typical, he wants to insinuate that they have so that the majority of the public which is ignorant to the real facts will believe they have. He's trying to play gotcha with our national security.
I am assuming he asked that question in yesterday's hearing. He wants to know how far Gonzales thinks that Bush's inherent authority goes or how far the AUMF reaches. I think it's a legitimate question.
 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
aps said:
I am assuming he asked that question in yesterday's hearing. He wants to know how far Gonzales thinks that Bush's inherent authority goes or how far the AUMF reaches. I think it's a legitimate question.
They are investigating a SPECIFIC program and SPECIFIC law, his attempts to throw out gotcha hypotheticals was grandstanding and Gonzoles was having none of it.
 
Top Bottom