This just in from Patrick Leahy:
Some issues are so critical, so fundamental to who and what we are as a nation, that we must act on our convictions — and this is one of them. America does not torture. We do not inflict cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Certainly, we must do everything we can to prevent attacks on our nation, using appropriate interrogation techniques that require extensive questioning and thorough investigation. Waterboarding, however, is not one of these techniques.
In his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Michael Mukasey was simply asked if waterboarding is illegal. The fact that he could not provide a simple “Yes” to this question raises serious doubts about his ability to protect our basic rights.
My number one priority is to restore strong leadership and independence to an agency whose morale and image have been severely tainted. I wish that I could support Mr. Mukasey’s nomination, but I cannot.
Accordingly, when Michael Mukasey’s nomination comes to a vote before the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, I will vote against it.
All well and good. But, alas, Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Schumer (D-N.Y.) will vote “yes.” Which pretty much guarantees that the Mukasey nomination will move to the Senate floor, where it’s all but certain to be confirmed (unless someone changes their mind). Schumer says that he hopes Mukasey’s “experience, independence and integrity, can restore the department.” Right — ’cause Mukasey demonstrated those qualities so well at the hearings. And as for Feinstein: “I believe that Judge Mukasey is the best we will get.” Well, there’s a great reason to vote for someone.
Another shining moment for the Democrats. *sigh*