Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy has decided to stand up for the American constitution. “No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vermont. Now, that’s what I’m screaming. It isn’t torture or let Americans died. We have had high value prisoners during the Cold War and during WW II. In both cases, the survival of our country and our way of life was at stake. Now, none of that is on the line. The only thing that is on the line is our ability to look ourselves in the mirror. George Bush and other neocons are changing our way of life. They are the ones who started domestic spying without warrants.

Update: Senators Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein have said that the will vote for Mukasey. Very disappointing. There are now clearly enough votes to get Mukasey to the floor of the Senate where he will be confirmed. Schumer has been hammering away at the Bush administration and Alberto Gonzales for illegal wiretapping and many other abuses. Now, that he has a chance to do something he doesn’t. Granted that he was put in a terrible position since he recommended Mukasey to the White House.

Update II: Re-posted. Video Added.  The Carpetbagger explains how a nomination went from unlikely to a piece of cake.  Glenn tells us why the Bush administration picked this guy in the first place.



Mukasey has called waterboarding personally “repugnant,” but said he did not know enough about how it has been used to define it as torture. He also said he thought it would be irresponsible to discuss it since doing so could make interrogators and other government officials vulnerable to lawsuits.

“I am eager to restore strong leadership and independence to the Department of Justice,” said Leahy. “I like Michael Mukasey. I wish that I could support his nomination. But I cannot. America needs to be certain and confident of the bedrock principle– deeply embedded in our laws and our values — that no one, not even the president, is above the law.” (more…)