Before America was paying attention, Judge Michael Mukasey tried a landmark terrorism case. The 1995-96 trial of blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted with nine others of plotting a massive "day of terror" at three New York sites, forced Mukasey, now President Bush's nominee for US attorney general, to navigate issues of secrecy, security and civil liberties.
Since then, Mukasey has made it clear that he's inclined to come down on the side of security and secrecy, the New York Times reports. Reviews of Mukasey's work on the case were generally glowing, with one US attorney calling it a master class on the issues. Ron Kuby, a defense lawyer Mukasey threw off the case, was less impressed: “He was violating the rights of Arabs before it was popular,” Kuby said.