Thursday, February 07, 2008

McCain, Mukasey and the Waterboard Shuffle

By Cernig

CIA director Michael Hayden has told the House Intelligence Committee that " it is not certain that that technique [waterboarding] would be considered to be lawful under current statute." Sounds to me like he's covering his ass against possible future prosecutions.

Yesterday AG Mukasey refused to begin a criminal investigation of previous waterboardings, saying it was the DoJ opinion then that it was legal and he won't walk back that opinion, even if it is illegal now. He also refused to make that opinion available to the Intel Committee, even though every member of the committee is cleared for top secret information.

Can someone ask McCain if he would still confirm Mukasey, if he knew then what he knows now? After all, he's on record as saying waterboarding is a violation of the Geneva Conventions but backed Mukasey because he said "I am confident he would not condone such practices," at a time when McCain was adamant he wasn't aware of that US had waterboarded anyone.

Which is more important, John? Pretending that Obama or Clinton would be appeasing defeatists in an attempt to placate the conservative torture-loving base or your own statements in support of the Geneva Conventions?

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