Thank you for contacting me to express your views on Attorney General Michael
Mukasey’s comments on the Global War on Terror and detainee rights. I appreciate you taking the time to express your views on this important issue.
As you may know, Attorney General Mukasey recently gave remarks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. concerning national security issues where he also provided his perspective on the legal approach in the war with al Qaeda. In your correspondence to my office, you referred to several requests that the Attorney General made of Congress, and your belief that they allowed for the cover up of torture and the indefinite detention of detainees, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify his remarks.
In his remarks, the Attorney General urged Congress to pass legislation to ensure that the proceedings mandated by the Supreme Court are conducted in a responsible and prompt way. In issuing this request, the Attorney General laid out several principles that he feels should guide any legislative initiatives undertaken by Congress. One of those principles was his belief that any proceedings for these
enemy combatants be conducted in a way that protects how our Nation gathers
intelligence, and what that intelligence is. Our men and women in the
Intelligence Community risk their lives on a daily basis to provide policy
makers with the information necessary to make informed decisions concerning the
national security of our country. In order to protect those individuals, as well
as their sources for gathering intelligence, I feel it is necessary that such
safeguards be put in place.
The Attorney General also called on Congress to make clear that habeas proceedings should not delay the military commission trials of detainees and that Congress should establish sensible procedures for habeas challenges to go forward. He called for Congress to ensure that one district court takes exclusive jurisdiction over these habeas cases in order to prevent the risk of duplicative efforts and inconsistent rulings.
Please know that I understand that Congress shall have to act to strike a reasonable balance between the detainees’ rights to a speedy trial and a fair hearing on the one hand, and our national security needs and the realities of wartime detention on the other hand. I believe that Congress should accept the request of the Supreme Court in the Boumediene v. Bush case to make these proceedings practical and adapted to the real world we live in, not the ideal world we wished we lived in.
Again, thank you for writing me. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me in the future.
Jon C. Porter
Member of Congress
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Why Jon Porter must go down in November: