After Democrats rescued Mukasey from a showdown on torture and saved his confirmation, they are now reaping the harvest of their work: Mukasey has refused to share any information on the Administration’s investigation of itself. Thus, the man who stated under oath that he did not know what waterboarding was or whether it was torture will now investigate whether evidence of that crime was destroyed.
Mukasey waited until Friday afternoon to deliver his refusal to Congress. Notably, Mukasey has yet to answer questions of whether waterboarding is a crime despite repeated requests.
He further refused to appoint a special prosecutor. In a statement reminiscent of his torture denial, Mukasey stated “I am aware of no facts at present to suggest that department attorneys cannot conduct this inquiry in an impartial manner,.”
So let’s recap:
1. Mukasey refuses under oath to admit that he know what waterboarding is and refuses (once told) to say whether it is torture.
2. Democratic senators then saved him from having to answer the question and guarantee his confirmation — thus avoiding a showdown on whether the president committed the crime of ordering the torture of suspects.
3. Mukasey is confirmed but then fails to answer repeated requests for an answer on the waterboarding question — now that he has been briefed.
4. It is reported that tapes have been destroyed showing the torture of suspects — incriminating the President in a criminal act, various high ranking Administration officials, and a number of Justice Department and CIA officials.
5. Mukasey then says that he cannot see any reason why a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate.
In the meantime, all of the Democratic leaders continue to frame the question in terms of the destruction of evidence and not the fact that the crime of torture has been confirmed by these officials and witnessed by various officials.