Senate Schedules Mukasey Vote for Next Tuesday — Despite Refusal to Recognize Waterboarding as Torture

In what may be a disappointment for many, the Senate leadership has scheduled a vote on Mukasey for next Tuesday despite his refusal to recognize that waterboarding is torture. Ranking Republican Arlen Specter (Pa.) said today that he did not know “how much more (Mukasey) can say than what he said.” He added “I think that the extensive letter which Judge Mukasey has submitted goes about as far as he can go. He has repudiated waterboarding, he has rejected it, but he has stopped short of making a determination of legality,” As in past cases, Specter’s statement left many confused. Of course, there is much more that Mukasey could say. He could acknowledge that U.S. and international courts have defined waterboarding as torture for decades. This just happens to be the preferred form of torture used by the Administration and Mukasey refuses for obvious reasons to state the law in the area. Moreover, Mukasey did not “repudiate” water-boarding. He said it was personally repugnant. No one should care what Mukasey personally finally repugnant. The question is what he views a lawful. It can be personally repugnant but legally permissible under his current position. It will now be seen if senators really stand against torture or just consider it a marginal issue.

4 thoughts on “Senate Schedules Mukasey Vote for Next Tuesday — Despite Refusal to Recognize Waterboarding as Torture”

  1. Unfortunately, not only will he not be blocked for failure to answer this question, but a leading democrats is saying that he will likely be confirmed. What is interesting is that a leading senator would want this to be qouted without attribution. The only reason would be to try to reduce expectations among voters who want a hard stance against torture.

  2. Looks like we have to come to the realization that our government is no longer in charge. Instead, the multi-national corporations are in charge and our politicians – every last one of them – are simply puppets carrying out the fascist agenda.

    Authorize illegal wiretaps? Not a problem.

    Corporate government contractors employees participated in the Abu Ghraib torture? Sweep it under the rug.

    Any possibility government contractors could be involved in waterboarding? Create a legal(?) loophole to legalize it.

    Whatever the fascists need, consider it done. Just don’t tell society what is really happening.

  3. This one is a puzzler. Not Mukasey’s refusal to adknowledge the illegality of waterboarding–What can you expect from any Bush appointee?–but the committee’s apparent refusal to challenge the specific and general concept of torture and the uses this administration has made of it. It looks like yet another act of cowardice and accommodation for the Senate. What is happening?

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