Whitehouse on Mukasey's confirmation

It's embarrasing that the US Senate confirmed an attorney general -- Michael Mukasey -- who danced around the question of whether waterboarding constitutes torture.

Here's what Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who held Mukasey's feet to the fire on this issue, had to say:

“I voted against the nomination of Michael Mukasey because I believe this nation had the chance to present the world a moment of clarity on what we stand for.  America’s strength comes from its ideals.  We do not – we cannot – stand for torture. And we cannot stand for an administration that cannot condemn torture.  


“I was deeply disappointed by Judge Mukasey’s evasions on whether the practice of waterboarding is torture and unconstitutional.  But this moment is now past. What is left is the hope that he will repair the damage his predecessor did to the Department of Justice, and the hope that if called upon to choose between obeying the President and upholding the rule of law, he will make the right choice. I hope we can trust this man for that.”

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