Mukasey Refuses to Denounce Waterboarding as Torture Again in Written Responses to Senate

For the second time since his disasterous hearing, Michael Mukasey has refused to recognize that waterboarding is torture in answers to the Senate. Instead, he told the Senators that the practices “seem[s] over the line or, on a personal basis, repugnant to me, and would probably seem the same to many Americans.”

Mukasey also adopted the spin of the White House that he was asked about whether the government engages in torture — which he was not. He insisted that he was not read into classified program and “[h]ypotheticals are different from real life, and in any legal opinion the actual facts and circumstances are critical.” The question is now whether the Senate Democrats will block Mukasey or simply allow another protest vote and likely confirmation. As today’s column argues, this will be the last likely opportunity for the Senate Democrats to confront torture in a meaningful way during the Bush Administration. For the column, click here