Monday, November 05, 2007

Memo on Mukasey

By Libby

I have to admit, I've been feeling rather resigned to seeing Mukasey confirmed and haven't paid much attention to the posturing but this appears to be a rather serious objection that could derail what so far has seemed to be a done deal. Larry Johnson has the details.
A group of distinguished intelligence and military officers, diplomats, and law enforcement professionals delivered an urgent message this morning to the chairman and the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling on them to hold the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey until he takes a clear position on the legality of waterboarding.

Their message strongly endorses the view of former judge advocates general that waterboarding “is inhumane, is torture, is illegal.” The intelligence veterans added it is also a notoriously unreliable way to acquire accurate information.
And a beefy excerpt.
If the White House refuses to allow such a briefing, your committee must, in our opinion, put a hold on Mukasey’s nomination. We are aware that the
president warned last week that it will be either Mukasey as our attorney
general or no one. So be it. It is time to stand up for what is right and require from the Executive the information necessary for the Senate to function responsibly and effectively. It would seem essential not to approve a nominee who has already made clear he is reluctant to ask questions of the White House. How can a person with that attitude even be proposed to be our chief law enforcement officer?

We strongly urge that you not send Mukasey’s nomination to the full Senate before he makes clear his view on waterboarding. Otherwise, there is considerable risk of continued use of the officially sanctioned torture techniques that have corrupted our intelligence services, knocked our military off the high moral ground, severely damaged our country’s standing in the world, and exposed U.S. military and intelligence people to similar treatment when captured or kidnapped. One would think that Judge Mukasey would want to be briefed on these secret interrogation techniques and to clarify where he stands.

Read the whole thing. It's strongly worded and Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson were among the signers, so it may get some notice. Media attention could give it some real weight.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it will. the general public has not been given any reason to believe we are going to go back to being america any time soon. we are "at war" and logically you do what you have to do to win a war. because of the bush adminstrations own actions, we are destined to be at war for the foreseeable future. so this just seems like a technicality and a waste of time. In a way it is, as it is not part of any sort of vision to tranform our country out of sparta mode, just a desperate attemt to hold back the flood.

9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Holding back the flood would be a real plus Lester, or else we're all going to drown.

11:36:00 AM  

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