Archive: August 2007

Help Wanted: The New Attorney General

The White House should pick an attorney general who can bridge the gulf between Republicans and Democrats.

By Andrew Cohen | August 29, 2007; 8:47 AM ET | Comments (55)

Sometimes Heat Is As Good as Light

Why I covered Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales the way I did-- and why it probably won't happen again anytime soon.

By Andrew Cohen | August 28, 2007; 7:54 AM ET | Comments (36)

Good Riddance

When historians look back upon the disastrous tenure of Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States they will ask not only why he merited the job in the first place but why he lasted in it as long as he did. By any reasonable standard, the Gonzales Era at the Justice Department is void of almost all redemptive qualities. He brought shame and disgrace to the Department because of his lack of independent judgment on some of the most vital legal issues of our time. And he brought chaos and confusion to the department because of his lack of respectable leadership over a cabinet-level department among the most important in the nation. He neither served the longstanding role as "the people's attorney" nor fully met and tamed his duties and responsibilities to the Constitution. He was a man who got the job not because he was supremely...

By Andrew Cohen | August 27, 2007; 8:46 AM ET | Comments (289)

The Not-So-Secret Spy Program

What are we to do when the nation's spy chief offers details about a secret program even as he says that some Americans 'are going to die' because information about it has been made public?

By Andrew Cohen | August 23, 2007; 7:50 AM ET | Comments (27)

The Charade of Presidential Public Speeches

Television executives should refuse any longer to offer a live, free national platform to this or any other White House's staged event.

By Andrew Cohen | August 22, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Comments (92)

The Least Surprising Plea Deal of the Year

Why did Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick decide to accept a plea deal in the dogfighting charges against him? Easy: Because he had no choice.

By Andrew Cohen | August 20, 2007; 2:33 PM ET | Comments (77)

Free, Free, Set Them (Cases) Free

It's hard to identify anything more public than a published ruling from a state or federal court -- such decisions literally are the "law of the land." And yet they are not freely available on the Web.

By Andrew Cohen | August 20, 2007; 8:42 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Devil's in the Details

When lawyers focus on niggling details during closing arguments, it's usually a sign of desperation: They're behind on points and need a knockout. And focusing on details is what Jose Padilla's lawyers were doing earlier this week.

By Andrew Cohen | August 16, 2007; 4:20 PM ET | Comments (60)

Padilla Convicted on All Counts

A federal jury in Miami has convicted former "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla of conspiring to kill people overseas and of providing material support to terrorists. Padilla now faces the possibility of life in prison. The other two defendants in this months-long trial also were convicted and face similar sentences. The verdicts constitute a victory for the government, which first apprehended Padilla in 2002 and detained him for years as an "enemy combatant" before the federal courts essentially forced prosecutors to charge him with a crime or release him. I will have more later....

By Andrew Cohen | August 16, 2007; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (4)

Verdict in Padilla Trial -- To Be Announced at 2 p.m.

We've just heard from the federal court clerk here in Miami that the jury in the terror support and conspiracy trial of Jose Padilla and two others has reached a verdict during only the second day of deliberations. The verdict will be announced in open court at 2 p.m. EDT. I will blog at you later after it all comes down....

By Andrew Cohen | August 16, 2007; 12:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

Skeptical of State Secrets

The 'state secrets' case is being heard in California, but it will ultimately be resolved in Washington.

By Andrew Cohen | August 16, 2007; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (17)

Padilla: From 'Star' to Sidekick

Which one of these is not like the others? That was essentially the question Jose Padilla's lawyer asked yesterday.

By Andrew Cohen | August 15, 2007; 9:34 AM ET | Comments (8)

Through the Looking Glass at the Padilla Trial

The feds look at the past through the lens of the present in the Padilla trial -- and hope jurors will, too.

By Andrew Cohen | August 13, 2007; 7:32 PM ET | Comments (5)

Padilla Trial Takes a 'Star' Turn

Dirty-bomb suspect turned enemy combatant turned alleged terror conspirator Jose Padilla has morphed once again: Now, according to the government, he was a 'star' al-Qaeda recruit.

By Andrew Cohen | August 13, 2007; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (13)

Down to the Wire in the Jose Padilla Case

The media crowd here is sparse, especially compared with that at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the once-upon-a-time '20th hijacker.'

By Andrew Cohen | August 13, 2007; 9:25 AM ET | Comments (11)

Calling Them Killers Doesn't Make Them So

The White House continues use the men being held at Guantanamo Bay for political purposes.

By Andrew Cohen | August 10, 2007; 8:36 AM ET | Comments (66)

Another One Bites the Dust

Another career professional is soiled by a White House intent on making the good guys do its dirty work.

By Andrew Cohen | August 8, 2007; 8:36 AM ET | Comments (29)

Congress and Spying: Fool You Twice, Shame on You

The White House abused its power on warrantless surveillance once already. So what does Congress do? Give the executive branch a second chance, of course.

By Andrew Cohen | August 7, 2007; 8:54 AM ET | Comments (28)

The More Things Change...

I go away for a few days and what happens? The same sad stories keep repeating themselves.

By Andrew Cohen | August 6, 2007; 8:08 AM ET | Comments (14)


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