Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain Op-Ed Discusses DOJ and Enforcement Priorities

Senator John McCain wrote an opinion article at the request of the National Law Journal regarding legal issues facing the next president. Below is a portion of the article discussing the Department of Justice, the ongoing mortgage fraud investigations, and organized crime.

Much responsibility for the effective administration of justice is entrusted to the dedicated men and women who toil day in and day out at the Department of Justice. My first objective would be to ensure that the department is, and remains, above the political fray. The department must function with integrity and effectiveness above all else.

I would also bolster law enforcement programs that will aid our struggling economy and address the ongoing threat of terrorism and other public safety concerns.

Unfortunately, we have all recently observed what happens when banks, major financial institutions and other engines of commerce become subject to market manipulators. Those who make a mockery of rules designed to keep our markets transparent and efficient must be brought to justice.

It will be my aim to boost our financial system and keep our economy strong. Effective enforcement of our nation's securities and banking laws will help accomplish these goals.

In particular, the FBI's mortgage fraud task force is an important tool for keeping our markets clean. No matter who they are or where they hide, we must hold accountable those who would disregard the law, placing innocent citizens and investors in peril.

Preventing terrorist attacks would be a top priority of the McCain administration. As a number of observers have noted, our nation is safer than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, but not yet safe. Upon taking office, I would ensure we win the wars we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will also review our counterterror operations to ensure their effectiveness.

As we use aggressively all lawful means to combat threats, we must also ensure that our counterterror programs enjoy bipartisan support and widespread public acceptance. The terrorists win if we fight them using tactics that undermine our strategic goals. As long as I am president, I will ensure that the world never again sees America as a country that tortures. We must always act within the bounds of the law. I will help forge a bipartisan consensus as to where those boundaries are.

Terrorists are not the only threat to public safety. Lax enforcement policies, judges who legislate from the bench and lack of support for law enforcement personnel all continue to force our innocent citizens behind the barred windows of their homes and allow criminals to roam free.

And now drugs are bringing waves of crime and organized gang activity to rural areas thought to be nearly immune from such problems. The federal government must both support state and local law enforcement and effectively enforce federal laws designed to root out violent crime, organized gangs and other interstate criminal activity.

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