November 5th, 2007


Another Senate vote on torture

I'm home with a sore throat today, mostly avoiding the phone, but I just made two quick calls...

Alberto Gonzales resigned. Bush nominated Michael Mukasey for Attorney General to replace him. When Senators asked him whether waterboarding is torture, he replied that he wasn't really sure what waterboarding is. Yeah, right.

Based on this and other things he said, Mukasey sounds like he'll let the Bush administration keep on torturing, breaking the law, spying without warrnats, and hiding everything from Congress, but unlike Gonzales, he'll be much better at doubletalking his way around it all. Here's a good summary of some of the other reasons, besides torture, that Mukasey is worse than Gonzales. For example, he doesn't think a US Attorney should be allowed to challenge claims of "executive privilege" by White House officials!

We've got a Democratic Senate, so there's a chance of at least refusing to confirm him until he shows he'll actually stop the US from torturing people if he gets the job. But it's just a chance.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will probably vote tomorrow on Mukasey. If all the Democats vote No, he'll be rejected. Most of the Democrats on the committee have said they'll vote No, but two say they plan to vote Yes:
  • New York Senator Chuck Schumer, 202-224-6542 / 212-486-4430

  • California Senator Diane Feinstein, 202-224-3841 / 415-393-0707 / 310-914-7300

If they switch their votes, Mukasey will be rejected. Also, it'll be clear why he was rejected: Not promising clearly to cause the government to stop toturing people. Call them?

P.S. Pass this on to anyone you know in New York or California.

Edit: "Mukasey embraces an interpretation of presidential authority so radical that it virtually guarantees more serious abuses of power by the executive branch."