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Specter says he'll back Obama choice for Justice Dept. post

By Carrie Johnson
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) announced Tuesday that he would support Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen as the new leader of a critical Justice Department post. The move could potentially break a legislative logjam lasting nearly a year over Johnsen's nomination.

President Obama tapped Johnsen last March to head the Office of Legal Counsel, made famous during George W. Bush's administration as the place where controversial memos on executive power, waterboarding of terrorist suspects and warrantless eavesdropping won legal support.

But the Obama administration and the Senate leadership struggled to find 60 senators willing to support Johnsen. Moderate lawmakers have expressed concern over her legal work for an abortion rights group and her positions on certain national security issues.

Specter's action came amid prodding from Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.), who is challenging the veteran lawmaker in the state's Democratic primary.

Sestak called out his rival in an e-mail message to supporters, saying, "The Office of Legal Counsel is one of the most important offices in the Department of Justice and determines the legality of actions by the President and the Executive Branch. Because of your obstruction, President Obama is trying keep the country safe from terrorism, end two wars, and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay without a critical legal adviser."

Johnsen's nomination had been stalled for so long that she resumed teaching courses at Indiana, commuting between her husband and children in the Washington area and Bloomington, the site of the law school.

Specter said in a statement that he would vote for Johnsen and that he had met with the law professor a second time to assuage his concerns. Her nomination expired late last year, but the White House has announced its intention to resubmit her nomination when the new Senate session begins. She would also need to pass a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee; last year that committee approved her nomination in a divided vote.

The Office of Legal Counsel, where Johnsen served as a deputy and acting chief during the Clinton years, provides legal advice for the executive branch on pending legislation, national security, food safety and numerous other issues. For the past year, the office has been led on an interim basis by Harvard law school professor David Barron.

By Carrie Johnson  |  January 12, 2010; 5:23 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

ATTN. SEN. SPECTER / MS. JOHNSON:

Grave injustices are harming many thousands of unjustly "targeted" Americans. You must act. For your immediate attention:

SECRET MULTI-AGENCY FED PROGRAM SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS, SUBJUGATES, U.S. CITIZENS WITH MICROWAVE/LASER CELL TOWER/SATELLITE RADIATION WEAPONS, FINANCIAL SABOTAGE, AND LOCAL 'COMMUNITY WATCH' VIGILANTISM, SAYS VETERAN JOURNALIST

* Thousands of Americans, deemed to be "dissidents" or undesirables, targeted by Bush legacy program for debilitating, cell tower- based microwave/laser assault, held hostage in their own homes to fed-supported vigilante "community policing" stalking units, equipped with warrantless GPS devices, who vandalize and terrorize as local police look the other way.

* "Directed energy weapons" -- a nationwide installation employing cell towers and satellites -- induce weakness, exhaustion, mood changes, pain, head and body aches, physical and neurological impairment, strokes, aneurysms, cancer -- and many victims do not realize what is making them sick.

* Regional Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" reportedly serve as command centers for covert electromagnetic radiation attacks, pervasive surveillance, financial sabotage of those identified as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or slandered as threats to society.

* Use of microwave weaponry to torture and impair political opponents recently confirmed by deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya.

* Pleas for justice, to local police and FBI, go unanswered -- as do demands for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation and congressional hearings.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener.

JOURNO TO FBI: TAKE CONTROL OF DHS-RUN FUSION CENTERS
TO STOP SILENT MICROWAVE / LASER ATTACKS ON U.S. CITIZENS

See: Poynter.org ("Groups -- REPORTING" section); OR
http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list).


Posted by: scrivener50 | January 12, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

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