President Bush yesterday suggested that if Michael Mukasey is not confirmed, there will be no attorney general since any nominee would face the same problem. “If the Senate Judiciary Committee were to block Judge Mukasey on these grounds, they would set a new standard for confirmation that could not be met by any responsible nominee for attorney general,” Bush said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation.
This is precisely what some of us have advocated. For earlier column, click here and here If Bush wants an attorney general who cannot recognize waterboarding as torture, he should be left with an acting attorney general for the remainder of his term. Putting aside the renewed use of the war on terror (Bush mentioned 9-11 NINE times in his short speech) to scare democratic senators (a tactic successful in the past), Bush clearly establishes that this is not some minor or unexpected glitch. He will not nominate anyone who is willing to recognize that he ordered the systematic use of torture — a defined war crime and federal crime.
Four democrats now stand in opposition. Everyone is waiting for Schumer who is strangely quiet. If the democrats hold the line, they can actually defend a principle here beyond their own existence and benefit. For the full story, click here