Pressure Mounts on Mukasey to Denouce Torture

29 10 2007

A growing number of Senators are starting to mount pressure on attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey to denounce water boarding as a form of torture.  Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told Face the Nation yesterday that Mukasey “should not be confirmed unless he is very, very clear about these aggressive techniques, which violate our laws and violate (the international) Geneva (convention on treatment of prisoners of war), as being totally unacceptable.”

And even Republican conservatives such as South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham voiced concerns about Mukasey’s legalistic and dispiriting response stance on waterboarding. “I am urging him that he needs to come forward. If he does not believe that waterboarding is illegal, then that would really put doubts in my own mind because I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates” international and domestic laws.

Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Chris Dodd of Conneticut also announced his opposition to Mukasey recently in this statement:

Mr. Mukasey’s position that the President does not have to heed the law disqualifies him from being the chief attorney for the United States. We have seen for too long, and at great expense to our national security, an Administration that has systematically attacked the rule of law and turned our Justice Department into a political wing of the White House. I’m afraid that Mr. Mukasey as Attorney General would be more of the same.

Not only does statements like these makes you doubt if Mukasey has the votes to get confirmed right now, but, more importantly, whether or not the Bush administration will take a nominee who has gone on record denouncing torture, if Mukasey reverses himself. 

Seeing mere skeptics and lukewarm supporters of  Mukasey’s nomination turn into outright opposers also makes you wonder if the administration is going to allow this nominee sink, and start over with say a Ted Olson, or if it just inept at tackling this meltdown.

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