Al Franken does what the courts won't: question the authority of torture lawyers

FrankenAt this morning's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Due Process Guarantee Act, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) did for the first time what prosecutors, courts, and the president have never done: question one of the Justice Department attorneys who authorized torture under the Bush administration.

Stephen Bradbury, former head of the Office of Legal Council and one of the authors of the legal documents commonly known as torture memos, appeared as a witness at the hearing, where he argued against the Due Process Guarantee Act introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). He claims that the law would place too many limits on the president's ability to detain people suspected of connections to terrorism.

As reported by Talking Points Memo,

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said he was disappointed that Bradbury was a witness at the hearing given his history.

“It’s very difficult for me, frankly, to rely on your legal opinion today if the Office of Professional Responsibility questions your objectivity and reasonableness then I think we on the panel should as well,” Franken said before adding the OPR report on Bradbury’s involvement with the torture memos into the record.

Adam Serwer, who writes for Mother Jones, perhaps put it best:

Franken dressing down Bradbury is the worst consequence any torture architect has ever faced: Mild embarrassment.

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