The Deaf Claque

Because they’re worth clapping for…probably…

Mukasey Tortured Over Definition

By Theo O’Brien

Former federal judge and Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey has refused to comment on whether he considers a number of techniques to be of a torturous nature. Instead, in his second day of the confirmation hearings, he chose a seemingly safe definition of anything that is unconstitutional, while adamantly refraining from listing waterboarding as a type of torture.

Mukasey, a retired federal judge who has ruled in some of the nation’s highest-profile terror trials, repeatedly avoided discussing the legality of specific interrogation techniques — including forced nudity, mock executions and simulated drowning known as waterboarding.

To comment would be irresponsible ‘when there are people who are using coercive techniques and who are being authorized to use coercive techniques,’ Mukasey said. (1)

Many Democrats publicly opposed his refusal to deem such acts to be unconstitutional and illegal, thus threatening his confirmation as Attorney General. In a possible attempt to regain some popularity in congress, Mukasey seemed to offer a concession on the issue.”

Michael B. Mukasey on Tuesday declared that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques “seem over the line or, on a personal basis, repugnant to me” and promised to review the legality of all such techniques if confirmed.” (2)

For a former federal judge—who relied on the power and impact of words—Mr. Mukasey appears to have a distinct lack of clarity, intentional or not, I cannot say. His inability to elucidate his position is concerning as he is posed to become the definitive legal authority in the United States.

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October 30, 2007 - Posted by | Theo O'Brien, Torture | , ,

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