Senators Specter & Leahy Challenge Attorney General Nominee on Torture Issue | October 26, 2007

It appears that Bush’s nominee to replace the disgraced Alberto Gonzalez, retired federal judge Michael Mukaskey,  has a problem deciding whether the abhorrent practice of “waterboarding” is torture or not. Watching the Judiciary hearings on C-span I was struck by how evasive his replies were to the most direct questions. Fortunately, it appears that both Senators Leahy and Specter are raising the bar on his confirmation, insisting that he unequivocally renounce the use of torture as a interrogation practices by military and intelligence personnel before his nomination will be voted out of committee.

According to today’s NY Times, Specter has posed a series of questions in a letter to Judge Mukasey about his view that “the president’s authority as commander in chief can supersede laws passed by Congress”, a prime tenet of the neo-con viewpoint of the imperial presidency. Specter challenged several contradictory statements by Mukasey, demanding clarification of his views. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/25/washington/25mukasey.html]

We can ill afford a robo replacement to the post of US Attorney General, a position that wield enormous legal power and has clearly been a position abused in the name of advancing Cheyne/Bush’s agenda of power grabbing. The seeds of fascism are being sown at the highest levels of government and it is imperative that, as citizens, we make it clear to our elected officials that we will not tolerate a further, even more egregious abuse of power. So far, only Senator Bernie Sanders, the lone independent in the Senate, has stated that he will vote against the Judges confirmation based on his evasions.

Senators Specter and Leahy must hear from Americans that we support their defense of the rule of Constitutional law in placing a check on the powers of the Presidency, no matter who holds that office.

Senator Arlen Specter (R- PA) 202-224-4254 / http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D- VT) 202-224-4242./ senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

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