Bravo, Senator Leahy!

Expect another round of foot-stamping, rooster-lipped whining from the president some time soon:

Key senator won’t support Bush attorney general nominee – CNN.com

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.

“I am eager to restore strong leadership and independence to the Department of Justice,” said Leahy. “I like Michael Mukasey. I wish that I could support his nomination. But I cannot. America needs to be certain and confident of the bedrock principle — deeply embedded in our laws and our values — that no one, not even the president, is above the law.”

I’ll be the first to say that, from this administration, almost no good candidate can be forthcoming for the Attorney General position, one which in it’s very nature is antithetical to the Bush Administration’s policy.  Having said that, I would expect that the nominee could at least have an answer to the question of waterboarding, even if it was the wrong one.  My gut is that he didn’t have the stomach to say it was legal, and couldn’t count on White House support if he said it was illegal.

If the man can’t pronounce waterboarding – a simple, straightforward concept – as either torture or not torture, we have no reason to support his nomination.  Hiding behind supposedly classified information is a dodge, as we all know well.  We cannot support it, however bad the next guy might be and however good this guy might have been in relation.  It proves that he is either morally relative on the question or incapable of showing the requisite independence for the job.

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By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.