As Andrew Sullivan notes, “the NYT argues today that Michael Mukasey cannot condemn waterboarding as torture before he becomes AG because that would risk war crime prosecutions against many military and CIA personnel and those who authorized them, i.e. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.”
Democrats are begining to line up in opposition against Mukasey.
Senator John Kerry announced today that he will oppose the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey for Attorney General of the United States:
“Judge Mukasey’s refusal to classify the barbaric practice of waterboarding as torture waves a red flag about his nomination to serve an Administration that has adhered to the Cheney doctrine on executive power and torture. I am not comfortable confirming anyone who cannot see that this method of interrogation is antithetical to American values and traditions – especially not to a position that is charged with representing our entire justice system. We need to reestablish faith in the Department of Justice.
“Many of us wanted to believe that Judge Mukasey could undo the damage of the Gonzales years. Unfortunately his lack of candor and his refusal to acknowledge this abuse of power suggest he is unable or unwilling to do so, and this is why I will be opposing Judge Mukasey’s nomination to be the next Attorney General of the United States.”
Senator Ted Kennedy also announced his opposition today. AP News reports:
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said that Mukasey’s unwillingness to answer definitively on the legality of the interrogation method that simulates drowning increases chances that it could be used against U.S. troops.
“I therefore intend to oppose this nomination,” Kennedy said in remarks prepared for the Senate floor. “Judge Mukasey appears to be a careful, conscientious and intelligent lawyer, and he has served our country honorably for many years. But those qualities are not enough for this critical position at this critical time.”
On the contrary, confirming Mukasey is “not good for the country.”
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