Today President Bush called for the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as opposition continued to mount. The President insisted that “he doesn’t know whether we use that technique or not.” What is fascinating about this statement is that the President does not deny that they have used waterboarding, which constitutes an international violation and war crime. Bush should be able to state categorically that his government does not use unlawful tactics like waterboarding.
It is equally curious that democrats are going forward with a tuesday vote despite the effort of various civil liberties groups to organize opposition and educate citizens about this heinous practice. The common view is that the democrats are again set to lose and will simply vote against the nominee in a preordained vote. At a minimum, the Committee could have called a hearing on waterboarding and the clarity of the issue of illegality. Instead, at least one democratic senators has stated without attribution that voters should expect confirmation — a moved viewed by many as trying to lower expectations and the organization of opposition.