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And, yes, I DO take it personally: I call B.S. on Chuck Schumer [w/UPDATE]
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I call B.S. on Chuck Schumer [w/UPDATE]

the nyt is on a roll... yesterday, ashcroft's op-ed defending telecom immunity, and today, chuck schumer defending his pledge to vote for mukasey... check the email headline and teaser...
A Vote for Justice*
I am voting to support Michael B. Mukasey for attorney general for one critical reason: the Department of Justice is in desperate need of a strong leader**. [asterisks added]

i saw that and hadn't yet opened up the full article before i decided to post on it... i'm going to do that now, so i'll be back in a few...

ok, i'm back... here are the key paragraphs...

Judge Mukasey would be more likely than a caretaker attorney general to find on his own that waterboarding and other techniques are illegal. Indeed, his written answers to our questions have demonstrated more openness to ending the practices we abhor than either of this president’s previous attorney general nominees have had.

I understand and respect my colleagues who believe that Judge Mukasey’s view on torture should trump all other considerations. For the Senate to make a bold declaration about torture and waterboarding by rejecting him is appealing. But if we block Judge Mukasey’s nomination and then learn in six months that waterboarding has continued unabated, that victory will seem much less valuable.

To defeat him would be to abandon the hope of instituting the many reforms called for by our investigation. No one questions that Judge Mukasey would do much to remove the stench of politics from the Justice Department. I believe we should give him that chance.

unfortunately, schumer's view that it was mukasey's failure to classify waterboarding as torture that constituted the key consideration for opposing him misses an even more important reason, one which was all but lost in the brouhaha over whether waterboarding does or does not qualify as torture... as glenn greenwald noted back in mid-september...
Judge Mukasey's respect for the Constitution and the rule of law should not be overstated. As part of his ruling that Padilla was entitled to counsel and to contest the factual accusations against him, Mukasey also ruled, very dubiously, that President Bush had the authority to detain American citizens, even those detained on U.S. soil, as "enemy combatants," and that they need not be charged with any crimes. He thus rejected Padilla's claim that, as a U.S. citizen, the Constitution barred his incarceration without criminal charges being brought and a conviction obtained in a court of law.

to me, there is no question that waterboarding is illegal and constitutes torture, and it disturbs me greatly that mukasey did not strongly speak out against it... but, even more disturbing is his support for plenary executive powers, something that either isn't on schumer's radar or that he is conveniently ignoring...


like we didn't expect THIS to happen...
The Senate Judiciary Committee just voted 11-8 to approve the nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General. He now heads to the full Senate for a vote. Sens. Charles Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) were the only Democrats to join all nine Republicans in voting for the nomination.

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