Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mukasey Still Won't Say (Update)

By Cernig

From the NY Times comes the shocking news that Attorney General Mike Mukasey is, after all, just as much a weasel as any other Bush henchling.
Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Tuesday that the harsh C.I.A. interrogation technique known as waterboarding was not clearly illegal, and suggested that it could be used against terrorism suspects once again if requested by the White House.

Mr. Mukasey’s statement came in a letter delivered Tuesday night to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has scheduled for Wednesday its first oversight hearing for the new attorney general. The conclusions of the letter are likely to be a focus of severe questioning by Senate Democrats who have described waterboarding, which creates the sensation of drowning, as torture.

“If this were an easy question, I would not be reluctant to offer my views,” Mr. Mukasey wrote to Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who heads the committee.

“But with respect, I believe it is not an easy question,” he said. “There are some circumstances where current law would appear clearly to prohibit the use of waterboarding. Other circumstances would present a far closer question.”

The letter did not define any of the circumstances.
Now that Hillary is trying for a presidency of her own, we keep hearing afresh about Clenis and his weasel-words. But this administration has taken prevarication on the meaning of commonly understood words to a new height. "Legal", "war", "torture", "person", "democracy" and "victory" are just some of the dictionary of words they've redefined in fuzzier terms to suit themselves.

Maybe if Mukasey had himself waterboarded, he'd have an opinion then.

Update Via Think Progress, who have the vid, Ted Kennedy asked Mukasey today "Would waterboarding be torture if it was done to you?" The weasel then said "I would feel that it was." Which is really the basis of the Bush administration's defense - quibbling over whether what feels like torture to the victim actually is torture (it is, according to international treaties which the U.S. has ratified and thus made the law of the land.) Mukasey then goes on to ramble, in a weasely way, about Ciciro. You'd think he was the kind of liberal academic featured so prominently in wingnut myth, parsing and havering like that.

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