It looks as though Michael Mukasey is one step closer to becoming attorney general, having secured the support of Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer. Judiciary Committee Chairman (and former Truthdigger of the Week) Pat Leahy, on the other hand, plans to vote no, because “No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture.”


AP via MSNBC:

Once viewed as a sure thing, Mukasey’s nomination was threatened during hearings last month in which he repeatedly refused to say whether he considers the simulated drowning interrogation technique known as waterboarding to be a form of torture.

Torture is considered a war crime by the international community and waterboarding has been banned by the U.S. military, but CIA interrogators are believed to have used the technique on terror detainees as recently as a few years ago.

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.

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