Russ: Not here, Mr. President-Elect, the cameras are on!
Harry: Why does Feingold get all the hot ass around here?
Feingold’s letter calls the president-elect’s attention to a
September hearing of the Constitution subcommittee entitled “Restoring
the ,” at which more than three dozen historians, law professors and advocates — including , now a key player in the transition process — testified.
Out of that hearing came a series of recommendations for steps the new president can and should take to renew the rule of law:
1.) Close the facility atGuantanamo Bay.
2.) Ban torture and establish a single, government-wide standard of humane detainee treatment.
3.) Conduct a comprehensive review ofOffice of Legal Counsel opinions and repudiate or revise those that overstate executive authority.
4.) Support significant legislative changes to the Patriot Act and theAmendments Act.
5.) Cooperate with, including providing full information to intelligence committees.
6.) Establish presumptions of openness and disclosure in making
decisions on the classification of information and respond to requests
under theFreedom of Information Act.
Those are all important proposals, and Obama is likely to embrace at
least some of them. He has, for instance, signaled that he intends to
keep his promise to shutter the detention center atGuantanamo, which came to symbolize the Bush/Cheney administration’s disregard for international law.
But the work of repairing abroken system of checks and balances is not merely the responsibility of the president, as Feingold well recognizes.
“Allthree branches of government must be engaged in the process of restoring the rule of law,” the senator writes in his letter to Obama.