Eric Holder criticizes tactics in terrorism fight
The attorney general says the nation 'will not sacrifice our values or trample on our Constitution under the false premise that it is the only way to protect our national security.'
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. told a mostly military audience Wednesday that some of those engaged in the battle against terrorism did not always follow the law.
Holder did not mention torture or name the target of his criticism, leveled in a speech for a law conference at the U.S. Military Academy. But he praised military lawyers in the Judge Advocate General's Corps for their work representing terrorism detainees.
"In our current struggle against international terrorism, when others surrendered faithful obedience to the law to the circumstances of the time, it was the brave men and women of the [Judge Advocate General's Corps] who stood up against the tides, many times risking their careers to do so," Holder said.
The speech came a day before a court deadline for the Obama administration to release all or parts of Bush administration memos detailing which interrogation techniques were acceptable against terrorism suspects. Critics say some of the techniques amounted to torture.
Holder insisted that even when the government must act in secrecy for national security reasons, "we must be most vigilant in relying on the rule of law to govern our conduct."
His remarks stood in contrast to criticism last month from former Vice President Dick Cheney, who said the Obama administration was making the country less safe by dismantling some anti-terrorism programs.
Holder told the audience: "We will not sacrifice our values or trample on our Constitution under the false premise that it is the only way to protect our national security."
[Source: Los Angeles Times, AP, West Point, 16Apr09]
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