Dawn Johnsen Wrote Forcefully About Confronting 'Our Nation's Past Transgressions'
President Obama's nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, withdrew her name after sustained opposition from Republicans and a couple Democrats. Johnsen was championed by progressives for her robust defense of civil liberties and belief that the nation must own up to its "past transgressions" under the Bush administration.
Johnsen wrote in 2008:
We must avoid any temptation simply to move on. We must instead be honest with ourselves and the world as we condemn our nation's past transgressions and reject Bush's corruption of our American ideals. Our constitutional democracy cannot survive with a government shrouded in secrecy, nor can our nation's honor be restored without full disclosure.
This view is at odds with Obama, who has not expressed interest in investigating Bush officials, instead stating "we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards."
The New York Times reports that it's "not clear whether Ms. Johnsen or the White House had made the decision to pull her nomination." She had been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2009, but had languished since then without receiving a floor vote.
President Obama declined to give her a recess appointment.