Friday :: Nov 2, 2007

A Question of Affirming Torture

by Mary

The Bush administration wants the Senate to publicly condone their torture policy. That's why they have made Michael Mukasey's appointment to Attorney General a litmus test. As Scott Horton notes, it is too bad that they are requiring that all people who are willing to serve in this administration must corrupt their very souls by backing the administrations policies.

I have very strong conflicting views about the vote which is coming in the Judiciary Committee. I believe that Mukasey, as an individual, is exceptionally well qualified to serve as attorney general. I would approve the Mukasey who says he “personally” finds waterboarding abhorrent. But I am troubled by the “official” Mukasey who is being trotted out as something different. And I believe that the nation cannot, at this stage, accept the appointment of an attorney general who refuses to come clean on the torture issue. In the end this is essential to national identity, and to the promise of the Justice Department to serve as a law enforcement agency. Too much of what the Justice Department has done of late has little resemblance to law enforcement. Rather it looks to be just the opposite.

As a nation, we cannot allow the Bush administration to so lower the bar that we all are tainted by their poison. Once more Horton gets to the nub of the problem:

If the Bush Administration wants to turn torture into a litmus test, so must Congress. The question therefore ultimately becomes one of principle and not personality. The Judiciary Committee should not accept any nominee who fails to provide meaningful assurance on this issue. And, though it saddens me to say this, Michael Mukasey has not.

The Senate affirmed Alberto Gonzales in 2005 and we saw the disrespect for the law he engendered spread far and wide. We cannot let Bush's toxic poison be the "face" of our government. Once they are gone, Bush and his henchmen can be repudiated, but it will not happen if the Democratic Congress becomes an abettor to this evil policy by affirming Bush's right to have an Attorney General who is willing to whitewash torture. And our Congress better understand that we, the American public, are not willing to go sell our souls to the devil just because Bush did. The Senate has an obligation to follow the Geneva Convention (it is after all, a duly signed and affirmed law of our land), and they do not have the right to set it aside just because the Bush administration imagines they are the sole arbiters of the law.

Mary :: 9:45 AM :: Comments (37) :: Digg It!