Debra Burlingame spoke with talk radio host Steve Malzberg yesterday after the Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing of James Cole to become the Deputy Attorney General of the United States:
“[James Cole’s] client was Naif Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Foreign Minister who ran the Al Haramain charity, this huge Saudi “charity” was shut down by the Treasury Department in 2004 — and we haven’t been able to confirm that it was shut down. … They gave millions of dollars to terrorists; they supported al Qaeda before 9/11 and after 9/11 … This is a huge, huge conflict of interest because how is this man going to be investigating, prosecuting, detaining, and interrogating the people who in fact are his former clients?”
Here is the full audio of the interview:
To be fair to both Malzberg and the “feckless Republicans” he spoke of, Senator Jeff Sessions made a noble effort within the too few minutes available to him, the nomination was only announced the day before, and committee Democrats consumed two-thirds of the 2-hour hearing with glowing adoration for James Cole, potshots at the previous administration, and posturing on other matters. (Senators Patrick Leahy and Sheldon Whitehouse would willingly submit to months of continuous waterboarding before asking even one probing question of a Democrat President’s nominee.) There was a lot of ground to cover with Cole and not nearly enough time to cover it all. Still, Senator Lindsay Graham came to the hearing with a rubber stamp “yea” vote for Cole and his C-SPAN “thoughtful” face set to further his own agenda: horse trading the closing of Gitmo for passage into law of his vision of the legal war against terror.
You can watch the replay of the hearing here.