Why Is Mukasey Trying to Derail the State Secrets Bill?

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in a letter Monday that the State Secrets Protection Act currently before Congress, introduced by committee leaders to enact a "safe, fair, and responsible" state secrets privilege, would needlessly and improperly interfere with the appropriate constitutional role of both the Judicial and Executive branches in state secrets cases; would alter decades of settled case law; and would likely result in the harmful disclosure of national security information that would not be disclosed under current doctrine.

He noted that President George W. Bush would likely veto the bill in its present form.

In February, the committee held a hearing on the bill, specifically meant to curb the use of the state secrets privilege in lawsuits involving the federal government that may reveal government misconduct. The Bush administration has frequently invoked the privilege, a Constitutional protection, in cases accusing the U.S. government of extraordinary rendition, torture in interrogation of terrorists, and the NSA domestic surveillance program.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.