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Author Topic: ARTICLES FROM CURRENT ASTROLOGERS  (Read 1591 times)
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2008, 10:49:55 am »

Mukasey’s nomination was passed out of committee on 6 November, by a vote of 11-9, and he received confirmation from the Senate on 8 November, 53-40. The vote margin was the tightest for any Attorney general in more than 50 years. Mukasey promised to respond to the issue of waterboarding once he had analyzed the relevant documents.

In a letter to Leahy in advance of his scheduled January 30 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mukasey stated that he had indeed reviewed the Department of Justice’s position on torture, but that, as waterboarding was not currently being used by interrogators, he felt it “inappropriate” for him to comment on its overall legality. “I understand that you and some other members of the [Judiciary] Committee may feel that I should go further in my review, and answer questions concerning the legality of waterboarding under current law... I understand the strong interest in this question, but I do not think it would be responsible for me, as Attorney General, to provide an answer... If this were an easy question, I would not be reluctant to offer my views on this subject. But, with respect, I believe it is not an easy question. There are some circumstances where current law would appear clearly to prohibit the use of waterboarding. Other circumstances would present a far closer question.” Mukasey declined to specify just what those “other circumstances” would be.

Mukasey’s appearance before the Committee was a contentious five-hour wrangle yielding little substance. Although the AG stated that waterboarding was “repugnant” to him, and when pressed, admitted that if the technique were used upon himself, he “would feel that it was” torture, he absolutely refused to “pass definitive judgment” on whether the procedure is legal. Defensively, he trotted out the old argument that “any answer I give could have the effect of articulating publicly—and to our adversaries—the limits and contours of generally worded laws that define the limits of a highly classified interrogation program.”
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