Michael Mukasey

Former Bush administration Attorney general Michael Mukasey tells Dave Weigel why he thinks there needs to be a special prosecutor to investigate the possibility that the White House offered a job to Joe Sestak: "People were railing on me for months, demanding a special prosecutor for this, a special prosecutor for that. But here's a case where ...

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The Plot Thins

Among those who know me well, few can remember when I covered any subjects other than Al Qaeda and the global jihad. I wrote about Osama Bin Laden when he was "Usama bin Ladin." And so since September 14, all anybody's been asking me are questions about a young Afghan immigrant named Najibullah Zazi and his alleged involvement in the first Al Qaeda cell uncovered in America since the 9/11 attacks. Here are my answers to the four most common questions I've been getting.  1. Is this just another of the government's over-hyped terror plots?  U.S.

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Good Knight

Over the past few days, there’s been much speculation over whether Attorney General Eric Holder will launch an investigation into the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11. One of the top contenders in leading an investigation seems to be John Durham, a name you probably don’t recognize--or may have forgotten. So who is this low-key prosecutor that may take on the most high-profile national case since Watergate?   Durham began his career at the Connecticut state attorney’s office shortly after graduating from University of Connecticut Law School in 1975.

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Spitz Out

On Monday a friend gave me a copy of a memorandum (pdf) that Attorney General Michael Mukasey had circulated inside the Justice Department admonishing staff about how to deal with politically sensitive cases. "They must be about to bag another big-time Democrat,” my friend said, jokingly. Perhaps it wasn’t a joke. Within hours the wires were burning with reports that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer had been linked to a prostitution ring. In New York, the tabloid press and comedians are having a field day with the sudden, spectacular fall of Eliot Spitzer.

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George Milhous Bush

Last week the Bush administration reached its Nixonian climax, as CIA director Michael Hayden confirmed that the government had nearly drowned some people on purpose using techniques that American military men have long known as torture. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the Department of Justice could not investigate these alleged crimes. White House spokesman Tony Fratto explained why the President may authorize them again. Vice President Dick Cheney declared them a good thing.

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As expected, at today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Attorney General Michael Mukasey declined to say whether he thought waterboarding was illegal, on the grounds that it's not currently being used by the administration. The most interesting part of the hearing, though, was a line of questioning from Joe Biden.

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The disturbing news that Attorney General Michael Mukasey is stonewalling a congressional investgation into the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes prompts Scott Lemieux to mock Ben Wittes for having supported Mukasey's nomination: Yes, the Dems will actually if anything have more leverage over Mukasey once he's confirmed! Because, er, he won't be able to "do anything" --like, oh, just for a random example, obstructing a Congressional inquiry into the obstruction of justice surounding state-sanctioned torture -- without them.

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