Since 9/11, the Justice Department has been widely criticized for one particular tactic it uses in fighting the War on Terror: it detains suspicious persons for long periods of time and puts them under heavy questioning before they are ever even charged with a crime.
The Bush administration opened several lines of attack against the rule of law and the integrity of an independent Justice Department. The scandals are so famous that they've been reduced to shorthand: Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, NSA, Attorneygate.
Thanks to presidential immunity and executive control of the Justice Department, there are no consequences to executive branch lawbreaking. And when it comes to presidential lawbreaking, the sitting president could literally strangle someone to death on national television and meet with no consequences.
The nature of the job of attorney general has changed - irrevocably. And we should never again have an attorney general, of either party, capable of expressing surprise at the role that national security issues now play in the life of the Justice Department or in the role of its chief.
Secret courts require great faith that the Justice Department - and future Justice Departments - will act with integrity.
My dad spent most of the '50s and early '60s actually acting as sort of an advance man for the Justice Department, as a civil rights lawyer. So it was actually reading his papers after he passed away a few years ago that first started me thinking about this... What fraction of your life do you spend in service to your fellow man?
He convinced me that if we're going to have honest government that you can't leave it up to the crooks and that honest people have to get involved in government. So I did. I got involved as a criminal prosecutor with the U. S. Justice Department.
Historically, the Justice Department has been Congress' ally in fighting wrongdoing in government, but under this Justice Department and Eric Holder, rather than being the people's attorney, Eric Holder sees himself as the president's attorney and he'll do anything to defend the president.
One thing really important is that we set out an agenda of compassionate Conservativism. That's what I've been trying to do in the Justice Department.
We've got a dictatorial president and a Justice Department that does not want Congress involved. Your guy's acting like he's king. His dad was at a 90 percent approval rating and he lost! And the same thing can happen to him!