Michael Mukasey

Constitutional Opinions

The Law on Terror

By 11.26.08

It was not just any after-dinner speech.

Last Thursday night, at the annual gala of the Federalist Society, Attorney General Michael Mukasey delivered a keynote address that will go down as a speech of historic proportions: a solemn, powerful, and disarmingly blunt apologia for the Bush Administration's legal positions and actions in War on Terror.

The tough, no-nonsense, stoic former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, who inherited from his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, a Justice Department that had become a shooting target for liberal critics in Congress, the legal academy, and the media, answered those critics head-on.

And he put down a marker for the incoming Obama administration: given the dangers involved and the stakes for the security of Americans, there will have to be a better reason than the empty criticisms voiced to date to justify an Obama departure from the Bush legal architecture.

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