Fifty-Three Senators — Including Schumer and Feinstein — Confirm Both Mukasey and Their Unwillingness to Confront Torture

In a vote of 53-40, Michael Mukasey was confirmed with the help of democratic senators Schumer and Feinstein.

For democratic votes, it was a shocking and disheartening betrayal of the campaign to confront torture. From the outset, the fix was in on the nomination. As in the past, Democrats refused to filibuster. Both even those who voted against Mukasey like Senator Leahy (who has been very strong publicly on torture and this nomination), refused to delay the vote to allow opposition groups to organize. These senators quietly moved to protect Bush from a confrontation where it would be confirmed that he ordered criminal acts that have been defined as war crimes. Now, we can expect the type of window dressing legislation that we have seen in the past from the democrats. Schumer and Feinstein will call for a ban on waterboarding — that is prospective. It will be written to actually protect the president as they did on the surveillance program. The result will be that waterboarding will become arguably lawful before the legislation.The 53-40 confirmed more than a nominee. It confirmed that politics in Washington is entirely about these members and their insular interests. Principles, even the most basic opposition to torture, have become foreign and alien to both parties.

For the full vote, click here

3 thoughts on “Fifty-Three Senators — Including Schumer and Feinstein — Confirm Both Mukasey and Their Unwillingness to Confront Torture”

  1. Sounds like time to kick some Constitutional ass!

    I would love to have witnessed Mukasey’s private swearing in Friday (11/9 -a backward coincidence?) after the late night confirmation vote, and would delight being present at the ‘public’ ceremony this week.

    I would equally enjoy greeting him, Tuesday, at DOJ with a Notice to appear before the NY Board of Bar Overseers to answer ‘pending’ ROC matters. I presume, historically, the application and intent of the Oath of Office, would not be difficult to stipulate, etc.

    We don’t have to swallow our long standing discontent, and the final word can still be ours.

    I, for one, haven’t forgotten for a moment.

  2. I suppose this will be my parting comment on this issue as well as Professor Turley’s final column on it.

    And therein lies the tragedy.

    These outrages of conscience and constitutional law, ad seriatum swirl about the air of public discourse and then disappear. Everyone forgets and we move on to the next catastrophe de jour.

    And so it has been for seven long years. Issue after issue, outrage after outrage, all bitterly resented, protested, eloquently denounced…

    And then forgotten, unremedied, still festering and purulent.

    So now we have a Senate which will pass a law making illegal something that is already illegal, but this law will be so constructed as to render immune all the past actors who flourished in this, the age of political and moral cowardice.

    We must at some point, refuse to forget, refuse to drop the matter, refuse to prefer a calm sea to the turbulent waves of righting wrongs.

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