I oppose Michael Mukasey

Waterboarding is torture. Torture is unacceptable. Period.

If Michael Mukasey won’t stand up to President Bush and tell him that, then he doesn’t deserve to be Attorney General.


The Department of Justice lost its way under Alberto Gonzales. It became a rubber stamp for Bush Administration policies — from torture to warrantless surveillance to unprecedented secrecy — instead of a staunch defender of the Constitution.

The consequences have been alarming. The United States has lost its moral high ground in the world, and the rule of law has taken a back seat to Presidential power and political agendas.

We now have an opportunity to stop this trend and restore our American values. The U.S. Senate is considering President Bush’s nomination of Michael Mukasey as the next Attorney General. After Alberto Gonzales’ disastrous term, we must thoroughly examine Mukasey’s positions to determine if he is the right person for the job.

After meeting with Judge Mukasey and listening to his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’m convinced that he is not the right person. With his deeply troubling positions on torture, civil rights, and executive power, Judge Mukasey has failed to prove that he will put the rule of law above the priorities of the White House.

Therefore, I cannot in good conscience support his nomination.

What I’ve heard from Judge Mukasey is the same sort of evasiveness and disregard for the rule of law that characterized Alberto Gonzales’ term as Attorney General.

Mukasey’s position on torture is particularly worrisome. He refused to call waterboarding an act of torture and condemn the practice. He suggested that the Geneva Conventions may not apply to enemies we capture — a view that was soundly rejected by the Supreme Court.

These dangerous views conflict with those of the American people, and they raise the risk that our own soldiers could be subjected to barbaric treatment.

Judge Mukasey’s troubling views do not stop at torture. He has shown his support for broad Presidential powers, including the ability to detain U.S. citizens without charges and to collect illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Mukasey has also shown little regard for Americans’ civil rights. His record as a judge is filled with rulings against victims of discrimination — many of which were later overturned. When I asked him about his plan for reinvigorating the Justice Department’s weakened Civil Rights Division, his answers were vague and noncommittal.

These are not the traits and priorities the United States needs in its next Attorney General.

After the failure of Alberto Gonzales, we must give the American people an Attorney General with the independence, the judgment, and the commitment to fairness and equality that they expect.

Michael Mukasey is the wrong choice for Attorney General. I fear he would pick up right where Alberto Gonzales left off — serving as the President’s personal lawyer instead of the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.

I refuse to let that happen. We should never approve a nominee for Attorney General who rejects the rule of law.

The United States Senate must not confirm Michael Mukasey for Attorney General.

Cross posted at Daily Kos and Committee for a Democratic Majority

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33 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Way to go Ted ...

    Keep on telling them what just wont do. Keep on telling them what wont do and maybe we wont notice that you dont have a clue as to what will do. Maybe if you could find some real talent like that Janet Reno you could set the AGs office back in its rightful place aye? Ah what the heck, if you make enough noise and pompous speaches about this noone will notice that your in process of giving Bush more money to continue the holy crusades ... Onward Chrisitam Soldiers and all that .... So by all means bluster away, dont let us peasants delay your urgent mission ..

    • Way to go, nomad ...

      Way to keep that positive feedback flowing when our elected representatives do the right thing.

      Nice job. 

    • Senator Kennedy

      Free speech is unfiltered and can be hurtful, but I know that you have fought for it.  Thank you from me and those who are ignorant of the fact that you have consistently voted for the rights of idiots to express themselves as they wish.  And, good call on the other vote too.  ;-)

  2. I'm sure the senator has better things to do...

    ...than to bother reading nomad's comments!

    Thank you Senator, for doing the right thing - Bush shouldn't be surprised that torture appears as a litmus test for his new AG.  I think the appointment of a special prosecutor, one chosen by Democrats, should also be on the table.  Investigate everything - ignoring the terror threat prior to 9/11, warrantless wiretapping, politicization of the Justice Dept, myriad violations of the Hatch Act, and everything else.  Bushco should be tied up in knots for the remainder of their term, if not impeached...

  3. Good call...

    ...and as you say, an easy call.

    The fact that someone at ease with torture could appear in the United States Senate as a nominee speaks volumes to the depths to which our nation has sunk.  I hope to see this standing up to this administration's serial disregard for American values and law continue.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  4. Thank you Senator!

    Confirming Mukasey after he failed to repudiate torture will only confirm the rest of the world's increasing bad opinion of the U.S.

  5. Thank you Senator!

    Just confirming that you're still my favorite Senator.

    I will say, that I hope you and Senator Kerry are out there ferociously lobbying the other more moderate Senators to get on board and end this nomination ASAP.

  6. It's despicable how this $quot;Senator' can object to water boarding

    having himself committed the ultimate water boarding resulting in the death of Mary Jo Kopekne.. Leaving her to die a cruel drowning death  while he staggered away in a drunken stupor to protect his Senatorial position and keep his pathetic alchoholic priviledged ass out of jail where he should have gone if there  was any true justice.. To see this alchoholic murderer post here regarding 'water boarding' is beyond reprehensible. Sickening is a better description. May God have mercy on your soul, Mr. Kennedy and forgive you for your drowning and murder of Mary Jo Kopekne.

    • always finding the good in any situation.

      that's what i like about you Tom!  tell me, if you found that a pro-life activist had had an abortion in her unseemly past, would you confiscate her "abortion is murder" sign and banish her from the protest?  i bet not.  yet here we have a man who you believe is a murderer, who is working to prevent state-sanctioned torture (which often leads to death).  and you want to vilify him for doing this good thing.  would you prefer that he advocate for torture?  i can only shake my head in wonderment at your inconsistency.

      • Why are you babbling about abortion?

        Why can't you stay on topic? What does that have to do with a man who drowns someone then has the hypocrisy to object to waterboarding a despicable creature like Kali Sheik Mohammed to prevent the killing of thousands of MORE innocent people than he already killed?

        Water boarding is too good for this scumbag.  Some one should have beheaded this SOB with a dull knife just like he did to Daniel Pearle.

        ...and please , tell us about all the deaths from torture you mention? ...another delusional factoid based on urban myth with ZERO basis in fact. We're waiting for the supporting links to substantiate your  claim...hmmm... don't have any you say?

        • More Babble-On from TomsO

          Apparently, it escaped TomsO's notice that American torture did nothing to save Daniel Pearle.  The absence of Americans in the region would have--Pearle wouldn't have been there.  You have GWBush to thank for Pearle's murder.

          BTW, if and when you have evidence that TKennedy intentionally drove off the bridge, I'll sit up and notice.  Waterboarding is intentional; an automobile accident--not so much.

          • Last time I checked DUI is a criminal offense in Ma . Kennedy was drunk

            and is criminaly responsible for Mary Jo Kopekne's death while driving under the influence. And you say you're a lawyer? You don't appear to know much about law.

            It's raining today..wanna blame GWB for that too? Pearle was chasing a story for the WSJ and he was in Pakistan not Iraq when kidnapped. Are there any other facts you want to distort to try to support your ridiculously biased partisan comments?

            • I'm sure that you are in a position to...

              ...provide evidence as to what the relevant MA statutes were at the time, and further, that TKennedy was at the relevatnt point in time driving while under the influence.

              If you are not, just run along.

              • I was waiting for that one Mr so called lawyer..here you go

                the complete story and details from eye witnesses of the whole event. Get ready to look foolish once again.

              • And after you finish reading the facts and the laws that were

                trashed by the Kennedy power machine, you might want to consider a refresher course in law as you don't seem to know very much about law, that is if your claim of being a lawyer is is true,of course.

                • An active fantasy life

                  The Kennedy Power Machine will soon be released by Marvel Comics I'm sure.

                  you don't seem to know very much about law

                  Why does that bother you? You often talk about things in hyperbolic ways indicating a scant regard for fact?

                • Tom ..

                  Haven't you figured out by now that any conversation regarding the actual man Ted is unwelcome by the local masses. Only mindless adoration is an acceptable form of communication when refering to such a GREAT MAN. Do not even bother trying to point out this or any of his other "actual accomplishments" in what, 50 years of public "service". The sheeple do not want to hear and since they do not want to, they wont. Its like telling a 8 year old that mall Santa Claus is a fake. Whaaa ... no suhhh.

                  • Guilty as charged.

                    • Arena started drawing up a traffic violation complaint charging Edward M. Kennedy with a violation of Chapter 90, Section 24:

                      "Any operator of a vehicle who, without stopping and making known his name, residence, and the registration number of his motor vehicle, goes away after knowingly colliding with, or otherwise causing injury to any person, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than twenty days or more than two years."

                    - Massachusetts law required a minimum mandatory 20-day jail term in all cases of leaving the scene of an accident where personal injury had occurred.

                    Ted Kennedy Plead GUILTY to this crime and yet served no time.

                • Sorry, I've read that a loooooong time ago...

                  ...and I quickly concluded that it was hardly and unbiased web site.

                  Try harder.

  7. THANK YOU

    What once made America different was its commitment to the rule of law, not of men.  Bring back civics in all grades - and maybe the percentage of voters will go up...and the support for the Bill of Rights, and why they were added to the constitution...and this kind of moral courage.

    The ends DO NOT justify the means.

  8. Thank you, Senator...

    We need an Attorney General who will protect the rule of law, civil rights and the integrity and independence of the office.  I'm glad we have you to represent us and to take a principled stand.

  9. So what?

    The most Satanic entity in the history of the world still occupies the Oval Office! So you are in bed with him.

  10. Have an up or down vote

    If the Democrats in Congress want to ban waterboarding they should vote to do just that.  They have control of congress. 

    They don't vote to because they don't actually want to ban it.  They just want to have the issue hang around for political reasons.

    • It's already been banned

      There's no point in re-banning something already illegal by passing a bill the president will veto, or more likely sign and ignore.

      Or do you think we need a law banning immunity and cash payments for private contractors who massacre innocent civilians?

      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • Don't buy the spin

        PRESIDENT CLINTON: "Every one of us can imagine the following scenario: We get lucky, we get the number three guy in al-Qaeda, and we know there's a big bomb going off in America in three days, and we know this guy knows where it is, know we have the right and the responsibility to beat it out of him."

        This is why there is a debate on waterboarding.  If the congress desires to ban a specific procedure they have the authority to do so.  As of right now the guidelines on interrogation do not specifically ban waterboarding.  Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution does not protect the rights of non-citizens.

        What's going on now is just talk.  Legislators have a record of voting, or failing to do so.  Everything else is just political spin.  Yes, President Bush would probably veto it.  So?  MAKE him veto it!

        The Democrats in Congress won't vote to ban waterboarding.  They won't vote to cut off funding for the war.  They won't vote to bring the troops home.  They won't for these things because they don't really want them to happen.  They just want to keep issues around to get votes.

        Pay attention to what politicians actually DO, not what they SAY.

        • Heh

          So, your post is bookended with a quote and lecturing about not listening to what politicians SAY. 

          Okay then. President Clinton SAID something about waterboarding in one of Timmy's "gotcha" interviews, President Bush DID order that it be used.  Pay attention to that.

          The guidelines on torture do not specifically ban shoving a red-hot poker up someone's a--, or playing ping-pong with their balls.  If "waterboarding" is banned, they'll merely substitute milk, and you'll be on here saying the Democrats aren't serious about "milkboarding" because they didn't pass a law against it.

          The framers of these laws never imagined that a boy who would be king and his enablers would want to situate America alongside Soviet Russia and Communist China as a nation that tortures. 

          sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • I'm not defending Bush

            I'm not defending Bush.  I never voted for the guy and never would.  All I've said is that the Dems have control of congress now and should vote to ban waterboarding.  I'm shocked that the people on this forum disagree with me.

  11. FYI, nomad, I've met and spoken with several senators...

    ...and representatives.  I'm sure that one day I will get to meet Senator Kennedy, but I certainly won't be shaking him by the shoulders and telling him to shut up.  I'm proud of what he does for this state, but if and when I do meet him, you can bet he'll get an earful from me about Cape Wind.

  12. Dont forget to thank him ..

    Dont forget to thank him for protecting us from those dangerous Canadian drug imports while your down at the compound groveling ... Also while enjoying his unspoiled view be sure to rain praise on his vision for all those "train you in 6 weeks for those exciting jobs of the 21st century" scam schools that are bleeding the student loan system dry as well as clogging late night TV with ads. Uncle Teddy, working overtime to keep the working class enslaved by debt for 50 years and counting ...

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