As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

He Just Can't Say It

Michael Mukasey sent back his letter to Senate Democrats on the question of whether waterboarding is torture. And he goes about as far as his minders would let him, but cannot say the simple truth that a technique used during the Spanish Inquisition is torture.

In the four-page letter, Mukasey called the interrogation technique “over the line” and “repugnant” on “a personal basis,” but added that he would need the “actual facts and circumstances” to strike a “legal opinion”:

"Hypotheticals are different from real life and in any legal opinion the actual facts and circumstances are critical."

If Mukasey said that waterboarding is torture, he simply wouldn't be able to function in a Cheney-led executive branch. So he has to pretend he doesn't understand the specifics of a centuries-old technique so he can become Attorney General. There aren't a lot of actual facts and circumstances about waterboarding. It's simulated drowning. It's done until the victim begs for it to stop. But if the Attorney General would agree, he'd have to join in on that war crimes lawsuit of Donald Rumsfeld. And worse, because he'd work for the Bush Administration, Mukasey has to pretend that Constitutional rights grant unenumerated powers to the commander-in-chief that trump Congressional statute.

Democrats running for President are united in believing that ratifying an Attorney General who won't admit waterboarding is torture is tantamount to ratifying torture itself. And this is exactly what is destroying our reputation throughout the world. The Bush Administration has created a cult of insanity that actually thinks anyone who doesn't believe in torture and secret prisons should be disqualified from the office of the President. This is the implications of confirming Mukasey: ratifying torture and backing up these lunatics. It was bad enough when the guy who shepherded through the torture memo, Abu Gonzales, was made the nation's chief law enforcement officer; Democrats had little chance of stopping that. In the majority, confirming torture should simply not be allowed. The buck must stop here.

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