Feb 02 2009

Graham Supports Holder for Attorney General

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on his vote in support of Eric Holder to serve as U.S. Attorney General.
“Mr. Holder understands the threat to our nation posed by terrorism.  In the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination, Mr. Holder agreed with me the United States is undoubtedly at war with a vicious and shadowy enemy, and that the war began before the attacks of September 11, 2001. 

“Mr. Holder agreed with me as well that the battlefield in the War on Terror is the entire globe.  It is not limited to the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, but also includes the financial system, through which terrorist networks are funded; and the internet, through which terrorists communicate and spread their message of violence and hatred.  Indeed, the tragic events of 9/11 proved that the battlefield even extends within our nation’s own borders.  The question of how best to win the War on Terror is the most profound issue facing the next Attorney General.  Mr. Holder understands the nature of this enemy and this conflict.

“There are some who argue that Mr. Holder’s previous mistakes should bar him from serving as Attorney General.  In expressing my support for Mr. Holder, I do not mean to minimize those misjudgments.  Indeed, Mr. Holder faces his past mistakes fully — admitting them, learning from them, and promising to exercise better judgment in the future.  While I understand concern with Mr. Holder’s past errors, it would be a mistake in its own right to reject on that basis this qualified nominee who comprehends the challenge our nation faces in defeating terrorism.

“I look forward to working with President Obama and Mr. Holder to fashion a system of detention for the War on Terror involving all three branches of government and of which all Americans can be proud.  Mr. Holder and I agree that in order to maintain the critical moral high ground in this war, we must treat detainees fairly, with more process than they would necessarily provide us.  We also agree that we must not release dangerous warriors back to the fight against our nation.  Criminalizing this war would be a terrible mistake, and Mr. Holder understands that.

“Four years ago, President Obama, then Senator Obama, stated on the floor of the Senate that the test of a nominee for Attorney General is, “whether that person is ready to put the Constitution of the people before the political agenda of the President.”  Eric Holder meets that test and for that reason I will support his nomination.”