Mind you, I’m sure Bush re-nominated Steven Bradbury, the second incarnation of John Yoo, because Bradbury has dutifully shredded the Constitution on demand, and Bush would like to reward him. But the National Journal’s coverage of the Bradbury re-nomination raises an interesting point. It notes, as does everyone else, that Bradbury’s nomination is a big "Cheney yourself" to the Democrats who have refused to approve Bradbury’s nomination in the past.
In the latest example of the continuing partisan rifts over CIA interrogation techniques, Bush renominated lawyer Steven Bradbury to a senior post at the Department of Justice yesterday, despite years of Democratic resistance to his nomination.
Bush’s previous attempts to install Bradbury permanently as head of the OLC stalled during the confirmation process, when the DOJ refused to provide senators with copies of Bradbury’s legal opinions on terrorism issues. His previous nominations have expired, and last year Democrats pressed Bush to withdraw Bradbury’s candidacy for the post. But the administration refuses to yield, claiming that Bradbury’s opinions on interrogation techniques do not contradict the law.
But then it points out that Mukasey promised to review the existing OLC opinions to make sure they don’t shred the Constitution.
During his own confirmation hearings last fall, Attorney General Michael Mukasey pledged to review the controversial OLC opinions and "change them" if need be.
Now, I have no idea whether Bush re-appointed Bradbury with Mukasey’s approval; John Ashcroft was able to scuttle John Yoo’s appointment to the OLC, which led to the appointment of Jack Goldsmith. But I imagine Bush (and more importantly, Cheney) wasn’t too happy with the way that worked out.
Certainly, when Mukasey visits the Senate Judciary next week, they ought to ask him whether Bush consulted with him before he re-appointed Bradbury.
Whether Mukasey approved that re-appointment or not, though, the re-appointment guarantees that Bradbury can continue to act as OLC head through the end of Bush’s term. It ensures that Dick and Addington have their stool (in both senses of the word, I suspect) in the heart of DOJ, preventing any real roll-back of Dick’s Constitutional atrocities.
No matter what Mukasey’s intentions, it seems, Bush and Dick now have their insurance that Mukasey can only do so much to fix this Administration’s shredding of the Constitution.