Friday, November 02, 2007

Weaseling on Waterboarding

G.W. Bush managed to get Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain into full weasel mode yesterday. Bush has been forced to speak out on behalf of Attorney General candidate Judge Mukasey who can't or won't say whether waterboarding is torture.

Graham and McCain, who have both come out against the use of waterboarding because it is torture, now say they will vote for Judge Mukasey. But here is the great weasel point the Senators issued in a joint statement:
“Once he is confirmed, however,we strongly urge that he publicly make clear that waterboarding is illegal and can never be employed.”

Ok good. But why can't Judge Mukasey make that point now? What difference does it make whether he says it before confirmation or after confirmation?

Judge Mukasey pretty much had the support of Democrats until the waterboarding issue came along. Democrats figured Mukasey was the best they were going to get out of the Bush Administration because the Judge has shown some independence in the past.

Sen. Charles Schumer, who recommended Judge Mukasey as a consensus candidate, has been uncharacteristically quiet about Mukasey. Sen. Schumer is in a bit of a weasel mode as well:
"From this administration, we will never get somebody who agrees with us on issues like torture and wiretapping.
An editorial in todays Washington Post suggests the following. The Senate should confirm Judge Mukasey as Attorney General of the USA. Then Congress should pass National Security with Justice Act (S. 1876) which prohibits waterboarding, making it illegal. Unfortunately, that Bill has little chance of making it to the floor for a vote. That is because it also proposes to restore habeas corpus, prohibit rendition, and prohibits extraterritorial detention of prisoners. All things near and dear to G.W. Bush's heart.

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