Justice Dept.: Back off on CIA tapes
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer (12 minutes ago)
WASHINGTON - The controversy over destroyed CIA interrogation tapes is shaping up as a turf battle involving the courts, Congress and the White House, with the Bush administration telling its constitutional coequals to stay out of the investigation.Hey Cisco?! I don' like de luke o'dees? Mukasey has offered no clue, no hint, no suggestion of actual character in his confirmation hearing. I reckon we'll soon learn whether, like virtually every other nominee for any position in this feculent, putrid, reeking, shit-drenched Regime for at least the last 6 years, the Attorney General lied to Congress to gain its Consent and confirmation.
The Justice Department says it needs time and the freedom to probe the destruction of hundreds of hours of recordings of two suspected terrorists. After Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused congressional demands for information Friday, the Justice Department filed late-night court documents urging a federal judge not to begin his own inquiry.
The administration argued it was not obligated to preserve the videotapes and told U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy that demanding information about them "could potentially complicate the ongoing efforts to arrive at a full factual understanding of the matter."
The documents represent the first time the government has addressed the issue in court. In the papers, acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey S. Bucholtz said Kennedy lacked jurisdiction and he expressed concern that the judge might order CIA officials to testify.
Congressional inquiries and criminal investigations frequently overlap and it is not uncommon for the Justice Department to ask lawmakers to ease off. The request for the court to stand down is more unusual. Judges take seriously even the suggestion that evidence was destroyed, but they also are reluctant to wade into political debates.
Legal experts say it will be up to Mukasey, a former judge who was only recently took over as the nation's chief law enforcer, to reassure Congress and the courts during his first high-profile test.
"We're going to find out if the trust Congress put in Attorney General Mukasey was well placed," said Pepperdine Law professor Douglas W. Kmiec, who served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration. "It's hard to know on the surface whether this is obstruction or an advancement of a legitimate inquiry."
Me? My money's on "Yep, he's another lying motherfucker." 3-to-1 odds.