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Senate Proceeding on May 9th, 2011 :: 2:35:00 to 2:41:25
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Richard Burr

2:34:53 to 2:35:13( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: would yield 10 minutes to the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: i thank the senator. mr. president, in less than an hour this body will be asked to vote on cloture to proceed to the nomination of james cole as deputy attorney general. i rise in opposition to that cloture vote on the nomination

Richard Burr

2:35:00 to 2:41:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Richard Burr

Richard Burr

2:35:14 to 2:35:36( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: of james cole and i urge my colleagues to strongly oppose that. as a member of the senate intelligence committee, i share the views of the vice chairman, senate chambliss, and the ranking member of the judiciary committee, senator grassley. as expressed in their letter to republican colleagues dade may

Richard Burr

2:35:37 to 2:35:58( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: 6 -- dated may 6, 2011, opposing cloture on this nomination. i would ask at this time to enter this letter into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. burr: mr. cole's nomination is troubling on several fronts, first, the department of justice where he now serves as second in command since his recess appointment this past december refuse to provide the senate intelligence committee with documents we have been

Richard Burr

2:35:59 to 2:36:19( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: requesting for months. more than two years ago the intelligence community learned that the recidivism rate, the number of prisoners that we release to go back into the fight at gitmo had raised to 11%. today it stands at over 25% in

Richard Burr

2:36:20 to 2:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: its effort to close the detention facility at gitmo, the president ordered a task force run by the attorney general to review the status of all detainees still housed at gitmo. through much of 2009, the gitmo retainee review task force reviewed every detainee case and made recommendations to the

Richard Burr

2:36:42 to 2:37:03( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: administration on whether to transfer, release or detain each one. at a time when congress was aware that former gitmo detainees are returning it to their old ways, we have an obligation to the american people. an obligation to the american people to make sure that no more detainees are released who could cause us harm. even though gitmo remains opened

Richard Burr

2:37:04 to 2:37:25( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: right now, efforts to transfer or release many of these detainees continue today. the documents the intelligence committee is seeking all relate to the task force process and will help the committee understand why the task force made the recommendations it did especially with respect to those detainees who may have raised

Richard Burr

2:37:26 to 2:37:48( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: red flags for the -- by the intelligence community. we know that the attorney general provided recommendations on how the task force should make its transfer decisions because of separate information provided to the committee. we do not have everything, however, including the september 2009 memorandum in

Richard Burr

2:37:49 to 2:38:09( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: which the attorney general reportedly recommends that an entire category of detainees be presumed to be eligible for transfer. presumed eligible for transfer. while we've asked for these memorandums and any other recommendations repeatedly, the department's refused to --

Richard Burr

2:38:10 to 2:38:32( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: departments refused to provide them. if the attorney general of the united states recommended that certain detainees be treated favorably, possibly in spite of the intelligence, the senate intelligence committee has a clear oversight interest in reviewing the september memorandum and seeing if and to whom it was applied. in addition to refusing to

Richard Burr

2:38:33 to 2:38:53( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: provide the september 2009 memorandum, the justice department has also denied the intelligence committee the recommendations of the task force. the committee cannot determine why the task force made its recommendations without seeing the description of how the task force came to the positions it did. the department claims that both

Richard Burr

2:38:54 to 2:39:14( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: the september 29 -- september 2009 memorandum and the unredacted recommendations are protected from disclosure to congress because of a deliberative process. well, mr. president, this is an assertion ordinarily used in a

Richard Burr

2:39:15 to 2:39:36( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: case of a context of executive privilege not to inhibit congressional oversight of federal agency. an interesting inconsistency in this assertion is that the administration has willingly provided the intelligence committee with the recommendations of the past administrations. i understand that in the last few days attorney general -- the

Richard Burr

2:39:37 to 2:39:57( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: attorney general has reached out to the vice chairman of the intelligence committee in an effort to resolved these issues before today's vote. given the department's months of delays and obstruction and complying with this request, i believe cloture on this nomination is not appropriate until the documents requested

Richard Burr

2:39:58 to 2:40:18( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: have been provided in full. in addition to the document issue, mr. cole has not explained some highly charged comments he made about 9/11. an op-ed he authored back in september 2002, called "the 9/11 attacks" and i -- quote -- "criminal acts of terrorism against a civilian population,"

Richard Burr

2:40:19 to 2:40:39( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: he went on to dismiss the severity of 9/11 calling it no more than a -- and i quote -- "the scourge of the drug trade. the rein of organized crime and countless acts of rape, child abuse, and murder." mr. cole has not rejected or fully explained those comments.

Richard Burr

2:40:40 to 2:41:00( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: until he does so and until the department ends its refusal to comply with reasonable congressional request for information, i cannot support the move to consider his nomination and i certainly urge my colleagues to reject that urge today. i thank the the absence of a quorum.

Richard Burr

2:41:01 to 2:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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