SJC Mukasey Hearing, Part Two

DiFi: I’ve been reading your letter. For the first time you disclose that waterboarding is not part of the approved methods. You disclose the method by which a new method is approved. Was this the case in the past?

MM: I’m not authorized to say what happened in the past.

DiFi: It is widely alleged that at least three people were waterboarded. Did the President approve that?

MM: I can’t speak to that.

DiFi: Both MCA and Detainee Treatment act, loophole is CIA. I proposed amendment that would put the entire govt under Field Manual. Accepted by House and Senate. If it comes to floor and remains in bill, once and for all, waterboarding be prohibited by govt.

MM: CIA director becomes aware, however he becomes aware of a technique, describes circumstances by which it’ll be done, to me, I consult with whomever I have to consult with, then it goes to President.

DiFi: I know how they say it works, I don’t know if it’s legal or not.

DiFi: What about contractors?

MM: I don’t know?

DiFi: I’d like to know if it’s legal to contract out enhanced techniques to a contractor.

DiFi: Why hasn’t DOJ responded to Scott Bloch?

MM: There are investigations going on by OPR and OIG into those subjects. A response has gone out to Mr. Bloch is in process.

DiFi: After receiving no cooperation for four months, Mr. Bradbury reiterates the request that we step down. I assume there is some conflict with this.

[So this is coming from OLC? Wow]

MM: Bloch is in an office that is not within the department. I will see to it that he gets a response.

DiFi: Will you copy us on that?

Kyl: Thanks for writing us a letter. Can you send up a list of all vacant slots that this committee needs to act on? [plus lots of stuff about putting brown people in jail]

Leahy: In addition to the list of empty spots, will you also send a list of those spots for which we have not nominee, and a list of letters to which DOJ has not yet responded.

Feingold: Thanks for call regarding treatment of GLBT employees at department. You appear to be embracing the Administration’s position without judgment. You say you don’t want to say whether waterboarding is torture, bc it would tip off our enemies. We have a system of public laws. Your statement suggests you’d not prosecute a govt official for violating such laws.

MM: I don’t see inconsistency. Requires elaborate justification. That’s different than saying that bc we prosecute crimes every day. I go to work every day, follow the law, go home, and fall asleep.

Feingold: How do you prosecute situation like this without tipping off enemy?

MM: If somebody is guilty of violating laws of US, they get prosecuted. That is different from talking about circumstances of particular interrogation technique.

Feingold: You indicated that you believe current program is legal. As a member who has been briefed I disagree. What I asked on Dec. 10 is your reasoning and analysis. When will you explain your view of the interrogation technique?

MM: Those letters are classified. What I undertook to do was review the letters. They analyze the techniques and to see whether they comply with the law. What you’ve asked me to do is to do something different in the letters.

Feingold: You won’t explain your analysis?

MM: The letters are classified. The letters explain it, in far more detail that I could do.

Feingold: this seems unacceptable. You promised to explain to Congress. You’d explain your analysis. It’s important to us than have more than a one-way conversation. I’d urge you to reconsider.

Feingold: Retroactive immunity is important to encourage cooperation in the future. You wouldnt’ encourage telecoms to break the law. Correct? Let’s take a situation where following an order would break the law.

MM: We don’t want anyone to violate the law. That covers, say, helping a policeman to rob a bank.

Feingold: Congress prevents telecom without court order or proper certification from the AG. That law’s been on the books for 30 years; it hasn’t been repealed or modified.

MM: That law remains on the books.

Feingold: Should the telecoms be expected to comply with this law.

[Very long pause.]

MM: The telecoms have complied with that law, all of this has been put under the FISA court.

Hatch: Good job working with Congress while preserving the unitary executive! Good job, dude! You separated hypotheticals and facts. The WaPo said it was a lawyerly response, and gosh, that’s great, IMO.

Hatch: FISA reform tops the list. You and I feel that, most important piece of legislation that we will consider in 110 Congress. I agree with you that stopping terrorists requires understanding their intention. Your letter describes grave concerns that take a short-term approach to modernizing FISA. No sunset. And let me set you up so you can shoot down Haggis’ compromise.

Hatch: Now let me set you up to shoot down limits on tapping Americans overseas and reverse targetting. If the govt was interested in tapping an American, they’d get a warrant, wouldn’t they??? FISA makes reverse targeting illegal.

[Shorter Hatch, I’m arguing that reverse targeting isn’t a problem, but I will fight to my death to make sure it doesn’t become the law.]

Hatch: Has DOJ seen a change in willingness of private sector to assist govt. [Well, I would change it I discovered that Bush overrode the AG and misrepresented that.]

MM: War unlike any other. Our only weapon is intelligence. [shit, with Bush in charge, that means we’re screwed.]

Durbin: Politics and Language. [Woohoo! I was waiting for someone to do this.] Mr. Orwell was critical of misleading political speech, concrete melts into abstract, on subject of waterboarding, some of your words have melted into the abstract. Can you name your reasonable people who think waterboarding is torture? If waterboarding would not shock the conscience, why did we discontinue it? Your refusal to take a position on torture bc our troops wear uniforms. But there are American personnel who don’t wear uniform (Special Forces, CIA), who are in danger if there is uncertainty on position of waterboarding.

MM: The reasonable people? There have been people in this chamber who have disputed. That’s a matter of record.

Durbin: This chamber has voted on a bipartisan basis against torture.

MM: And the chamber voted down a prohibition on waterboarding.

Durbin: If the detainee treatment act is clear, and even went so far as to offer amnesty to employees of the govt, you still think that the jury’s out on whether the Senate believes that waterboarding is torture.

[Lots of long silences on Mukasey’s part.]

MM: The question is whether the Senate has spoken clearly enough on that issue.

Durbin: Where’s the lack of clarity in the McCain legislation?

MM: Words that are general, words that people on both sides of the debate have already disagreed. To point to this language or that language is to pick nits.

Durbin: As the Chairman has noted here, McCain, Warner, and Graham, lead sponsors of this legislation, have said waterboarding is a war crime.

Durbin: Standard so far has depended on circumstances. Do you see a problem with your ambivalence. It’s due caution.

[mumble mumble mumble]

MM: Your second question. I said waterboarding would not shock the conscience. I described a situation where it would. So far as it would be, that was something put into place by the person who wrote the opinion. [Is this the Bradbury opinion??] The use of such techniques to discover information that was only historical information would not shock the conscience.

Durbin: if it would save many lives, would that shock the conscience. Under the military interrogation standards. They are not interested. You’re saying that when it comes to non-military, it is still unresolved.

MM: It is unresolved.

Recess until 2.

106 replies
    • CasualObserver says:

      This was clear from Mukasey’s confirmation hearings. And then they went right ahead and confirmed him anyway. This does not do much for gravitas on the democratic side, either, if gravitas is what one is looking for.

  1. radiofreewill says:

    Mukasey certainly has his marching orders from Bush this morning.

    While we’re on Break, he’s almost certainly getting even more instructions from Bush.

  2. Neil says:

    Justice Dept. accused of blocking Gonzales probe
    By Richard Schmitt and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2008

    Bloch maintains the Justice Department blocked his investigation by refusing to share documents and provide answers to written questions. Office of Special Counsel chief says his investigation into alleged politicization of the attorney general’s agency has been repeatedly ‘impeded.’

    WASHINGTON — The government agency that enforces one of the principal laws aimed at keeping politics out of the civil service has accused the Justice Department of blocking its investigation into alleged politicizing of the department under former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales.

    Scott J. Bloch, head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, wrote Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey last week that the department had repeatedly “impeded” his investigation by refusing to share documents and provide answers to written questions, according to a copy of Bloch’s letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

    The Justice Department wants Bloch to wait until its own internal investigation is completed. A department official signaled recently that the investigation is examining the possibility of criminal charges.

    • Leen says:

      Kyl …can we please talk about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who are now defined as “terrorist”,

      Kyl “enhanced our ability” there’s that word “enhanced” again

  3. Evolute says:

    .MM: There are investigations going on by OPR and OIG into those subjects. A response has gone out to Mr. Bloch.

    correction: he said a letter is in the works and he is sorry it hasn’t gone out.

    At least that’s what I heard.

  4. jayt says:

    Kyl – “Yes or no – we need a lot more court staff to get more illegal, criminal, unintelligent and smelly brown people into jail more quickly, right?”

    “and since I see my red light is on – you can just thank me later for killing all this time, all right?”

  5. Leen says:

    Kyl…Shield laws. Why in the hell would you give Journalist any more protection than they have now to avoid being held accountable for lying about WMD’s, and outing a CIA agent?

    • Ann in AZ says:

      Yep! The Plame incident certainly cemented my opposition to any such shield law. Otherwise, I might have been inclined to grant one, but when I saw the ultimate abuse of the system by the very press that are supposed to keep us an informed citizenry, not Stepford like Bushbots, that did it for me.

  6. Leen says:

    Feingold cuts through the crap…this man is so consistent.
    “you said that you would not be a yes man for the Bush administration”

  7. radiofreewill says:

    Feingold: During your confirmation hearing you said you would oppose the President when you didn’t agree with him, but today you have consistently supported the President’s positions across the board. I was hoping for better.

  8. radiofreewill says:

    Murky saying that DoJ did prosecute a “Sub-contractor” to the CIA for abusing the Law (is that regarding interrogations? did anyone catch that?).

    Feingold asking Murky about the process of approving the EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) – Murky says all of this is in Classified Letters that he does not have the Authority to discuss.

    Feingold states that Murky’s position is all but bad faith to his confirmation hearing statements.

  9. merkwurdiglieber says:

    Mukasey just told Feingold I would not know what I was talking about
    even if I were to answer your question in closed session… priceless.

  10. jayt says:

    Mukasey is succeeding where Abu failed – he’s boring the crap outta me, and I’m having trouble staying focused.

    Abu, otoh, was riveting…

  11. Leen says:

    Feingold is a man of the law…even with the Clinton lie under oath.

    Feingold to Mukasey “we need to do more than have a one way conversation about this” enhanced interrogation techniques

  12. jayt says:

    Hatch is up – (turns head and spits).

    (hey, I just found out that my “Mute” button is still working just fine)

    • Ann in AZ says:

      I’m so glad you said that! It made me look for my mute button, and I have one too! That’s a lot easier and quicker than moving those adjustments on C-span up and down, cuz I’m sure not watching or listening to Orrin!

      • jayt says:

        well – I lied. I listened to the esteemed Senator from La-La land.

        Glutton for punishment here…

        Durbin asks about the Orwell portrait in Mukasey’s office…

        Put me down for one huge laugh….

  13. Rayne says:

    “high-tech problems of today” — jeepers, I didn’t know waterboarding went high-tech.

    Or evesdropping on Americans communications.

  14. Neil says:

    Orin Hatch is arguing FISA reauthorization and then asking for Mukasey to agree with his conclusions. Looks like this was pre-arranged.

  15. hackworth says:

    We all predicted this would happen. It was an easy call. The only hope Mucousy held was the confidence that Schumer held forth. Not very many liberals had much faith in Schumer and the Bailey’s.

    • nomolos says:

      The only hope Mucousy held was the confidence that Schumer held forth.

      Schummie is on this committee no?

  16. Burkefan says:

    Mukasey should never have been confirmed; i saw waht an obfuscater and bushman he was in the hearings; why didn’t the dems?

    • Ann in AZ says:

      Mukasey should never have been confirmed; i saw waht an obfuscater and bushman he was in the hearings; why didn’t the dems?

      I think they knew that he was the best that they would get out of this WH, and that the selections would get worse as they went along. Therefore, the only other alternative would be to look like totally partisan obstructionists who would, more importantly, let the office of AG go vacant before they’d confirm any Bush appointee.

  17. radiofreewill says:

    Hatch conveniently ignoring that PAA was passed in an August Gooper Stampede, and saying that PAA should be adopted without a Sunset “like all the other amendments to FISA.”

  18. jayt says:

    Hatch – “obviously no one knows that the telecoms are spying on everybody and his brother, right? And this is a secret that we don’t want to get out, right?”

    “Are there cameras on? Shit”.

      • merkwurdiglieber says:

        It would break his heart. The committee has for years let Schumer take
        the lead on judicial picks, hopefully Whitehouse will have a more
        prominent role in future.

    • jayt says:

      Durbin ripping it up

      Mukasey doesn’t respond well to logical questions, does he?

      Holy fuck – now Mukasey is citing the US Senate’s refusal, on one occasion, in order to fucking justify his refusal to say that waterboarding is torture, and that torture, in general, may not be such a great thing.

      Durbin’s killing him.

      • Ann in AZ says:

        Mukasey doesn’t respond well to logical questions, does he?

        You can almost hear him trying to figure out how he can phrase his way out of these questions. You can get into his mind and hear him saying, “I can just say that in my judgment this is okay under some circumstances and not okay under other. The law is not clear because it was not voted on unanimously. They can’t fault me because it’s my job to judge the law.”

  19. radiofreewill says:

    Durbin up!

    Who are your heroes? You keep a picture of Orwell on your wall. In Orwell’s essay, he is critical of the misuse of words by government because they tend to drift into obfuscation.

    First, you seem to be misusing words between your confirmation and now on the subject of Torture. What’s up with that?

    Second, you responded to Sen. Biden and said that in some circumstances Torture is okay – what’s up with that?

    Third, you said the people carrying out these techniques are ‘in uniform’ and ‘protected’ but that is not true – there are many involved not in Uniform – what’s up with that?

  20. Jeff says:

    I believe there is an important issue with regard to FISA and reverse targeting, which Hatch asked Mukasey about. There is no reverse targeting under new regime, they agreed. However, I believe it is still possible to surveil Americans without a warrant because you could target Al Qaeda and then surveil Americans in the U.S. under that, without a warrant. My question is whether that would or would not qualify as reverse targeting. My sense is that it would not, as long as the Americans were not specifically being targeted. As I understand it, that’s what David Kris has argued, and although the administration disclaims any intention of doing that, that’s not very reassuring if it is allowed under the law.

      • Jeff says:

        But that is at least stuff they’re not supposed to do, and if they got caught they’d be in trouble, which is some form of discincentive and check. But what I’m talking about (if I understand what I’m talking about!) is stuff that is strictly allowed by law. That is, on the interpretation Kris makes as I understand it, by law under FAA (and under PAA) the government would be allowed to surveil Americans domestically without a warrant as long as it was deemed part of targeting Al Qaeda; and I believe that includes domestic, i.e. purely domestic, communications.

        You see what I mean? The lack of minimization oversight is different, because that would be a matter of the ability to violate the statute without getting caught. The other issue has to do with being authorized by the statute itself to spy on purely AMerican communications without a warrant.

        • emptywheel says:

          Sorry, my point was not clear.

          My point was that they are preventing any of several checks on their ability to do the six degrees game. One is to prevent language abotu reverse targeting, bc then this would be illegal (which is why I pointed out that HAtch was awfully opposed to simple statutory language prohibiting this for a guy who’s convinced it hasn’t gone on). Anohter is minimization (bc if they were actually using the info they’re getting on American speaking to those overseas, which I think we agree they are, then they’d have to get rid of the US person info, but they refuse to prove they are).

  21. Leen says:

    Durbin is pissed “do you think the jury is still out” on whether the Senate considers waterboarding itorture? Silence…a long silence

  22. merkwurdiglieber says:

    We know now that Mukasey uses Orwell standing on his head as a weapon
    against us. Thanks for the memories.

  23. radiofreewill says:

    Murky retreating into “broad generalizations about the mis-use of words” which can mask multiple points of view (sounds just like Orwell’s complaint to me???)

  24. ticktock says:

    Hi folks….

    The PAA’s argument has apparently been connected with 9/11 but I believe to have heard that this warrantless wiretapping occurred prior to 9/11.

    Has more specific information been posted on this thread? If so please direct or if it hasn’t please verify…


    • merkwurdiglieber says:

      October 13, 2007 WaPo article cites QWest former ceo statement that NSA
      approached his firm to wiretap in February 2001.

  25. Leen says:

    Mukasey drowning in bloody and murky waters. draw the fucking torture line in the cement not the sand….

  26. cboldt says:

    now Mukasey is citing the US Senate’s refusal, on one occasion …

    Kennedy S.Amdt.5088,
    and debate of Sept 28, 2006.

    Kennedy’s amendment was tactically stupid, and substantively hollow.

    The Secretary of State shall notify other parties to the Geneva Conventions that– [massive snippage] should any United States person to whom the Geneva Conventions apply be subjected to any of the following acts, the United States would consider such act to constitute a punishable offense under common Article 3 and would act accordingly. Such acts, each of which is prohibited by the Army Field Manual include forcing the person to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a sexual manner; applying beatings, electric shocks, burns, or other forms of physical pain to the person; waterboarding the person; using dogs on the person; inducing hypothermia or heat injury in the person; conducting a mock execution of the person; and depriving the person of necessary food, water, or medical care.

    The amendment was rejected on a 46-53 vote.

  27. bobschacht says:

    OK, I’ve just finished listening to the live hearing. Here’s how I understand Mukasey’s parsing: for non-military detainees, we don’t have a policy about torture. We [i.e., President Bush or VP Cheney] decide on a case by case basis. Translation: We reserve the right to use torture under exigent circumstances, and we know what those are when we see them, but we can’t/won’t tell you what those circumstances are. Shorter Mukasey: If we wanna torture’em, we will.

    Bob in HI

    • Rayne says:

      Need to change the verb tense.

      Translation: We reserved the right to use torture under exigent circumstances, and we know we saw them, but we can’t/won’t tell you what those circumstances were.* Shorter Mukasey: If we wanted to torture’em, we did.

      * and there should be an insertion: We can’t tell what those circumstances were, because you wouldn’t see them the way we did — as exigent — and you’d believe us to be guilty of torture.

      How did this guy allow himself to get goat-roped into defending something that is so damned shady??

  28. cboldt says:

    Nice job on the liveblog, thank you. It took me hours to figure out to get both, live senate and live senate hearing to come up simultaneously, and your summaries were very useful. I’m sure others, who can’t stream the hearing, are likewise grateful.

    • emptywheel says:

      I missed some of the more tough on crime and brown people Republican questions, but that’s life I guess. Repeating RFW’s comment, thanks for joining in in the comments.

  29. Leen says:

    One caller on C-Span just asked whether any of the Senators will bring up a possibility of the Impeachment of Bush or Cheney? How about the impeachment of lower level officials as John Dean has brought

    Addington, Bolton, Feith, Wolfowitz….Has there ever been a “Mass Impeachment” effort?

  30. radiofreewill says:

    cboldt – Thank you for your contributions, including the color commentary! In trying to read the Senate Bills and Amendments, I frequently get lost in the archaic language and procedures.

    You’re making it clearer for me – Thanks!

    • cboldt says:

      In trying to read the Senate Bills and Amendments, I frequently get lost in the archaic language and procedures.

      Believe it or not, me too. It’s tough slogging. Those critters are deliberately obtuse and are experts at making smoke screens. The best place to focus is the proposed statutory language, because the speeches are uniformly misrepresentations, and the statutory language, especially in the amendment context, can be extremely convoluted, like a rat maze almost.

  31. cboldt says:

    Mukasey’s representation of rejection of S.Amdt.5088 as “the Senate considered waterboarding, and decided not to prohibit it” is one of many “beyond the pale” misrepresentations that is endemic in our government. It is TYPICAL conduct by a politician, and it is, to me, despicably dishonest.

  32. cboldt says:

    I believe PAA’s 9/11 argument to be scheissen…

    Either that, or blame Qwest for refusing a lawful request, and had Qwest done its patriotic duty, 9/11 would have been prevented.

    • ticktock says:

      Interesting twist of logic…

      You’re being snarky, no?…

      Just out of curiosity did this Qwest refusal (bravo, by the way) have any direct connection with 9/11?…

  33. cboldt says:

    And from a slightly different angle, referring to the urgent need to address FISA, the Senate has been in quorum call nearly all morning. Back room deal, working out what all Senators hope will be a most convincing script for floor action.

  34. merkwurdiglieber says:

    Kargo X had a post on the PAA subject in re QWest October 13, 2007
    that has a different take… since the other telecoms were already
    cooperating wiretapping did not prevent 911.

  35. cboldt says:

    Just out of curiosity did this Qwest refusal (bravo, by the way) have any direct connection with 9/11?

    No. None at all (I’m serious). I was being a smart aleck with the suggestion to “blame Qwest,” it makes as much sense as “blame Canada.”

  36. Bushie says:

    How would Mukasey answer the question “What would be your defense be as a defendant before a war crimes tribunal in the Hauge for tacit, if not explicit approval of torture?”

  37. klynn says:

    Was it not someone’s job at the WH to prevent 9/11?

    Yea, it’s Canada’s fault. That’s the ticket! (Bush all smiles and nodding)…

    Kargo X is right. This point has been made many times wrt PAA and 9/11…

    • ticktock says:

      Damn Canadians…

      Will have to speak to my relatives up there…

      I mean really..

      What’s up with that?….

      • skdadl says:

        Breaking news: masses of Canadians have taken to the streets, begging John Edwards to move north and run for prime minister, which, given our current situation, would be not that hard.

        • ticktock says:

          Well, I’m willing to share Edwards with progressive thinking Canadians but I hesitate to hand him over 100% percent….

          Perhaps we can make a deal Edwards would have to have one foot in the US and the other in Canada…

          He is more than capable of handling two hats at once…

          On that note—-

          Got to fly off from the lake for now—-

          See you pups later—-

          • Leen says:

            I just got back from ten days of volunteering for Edwards in Charleston South Carolina. The volunteers came from across the country and worked tirelessly, the Charleston folks who housed us were amazing, but most of Edwards ground crew left a great amount to be desired (most of them were arrogant, I have worked on many campaigns over since I was 18 37 years ago) and many of the volunteers were going to the top to complain. Besides corporate media not giving Edwards the time of day over the last year, meeting this particular ground crew had me wondering if this was one more reason Edwards was so far behind.

            I walked black and white neighborhoods. I can tell you this Bill Clinton was right to say the “race card” is being played by the OBama campaign in the south. I followed the OBama adds closely they were very different than the Obama adds in the north. I can give examples. Clinton was right to point this out…and the MSM is giving the Obama campaign a free pass on this issue.

            Today when Edwards dropped out all Americans lost and lobbyist won. Edwards steered his rivals towards more progressive ideals by pushing them towards being focused on our Vets, poverty, lobbyist gone wild etc.

            I am very sad that Edwards has dropped out! I refused to hold that he was white and male against him.

  38. radiofreewill says:

    Murky’s logic regarding Waterboarding:

    “I’m running a ‘clean’ program now – the past doesn’t concern me.”

    Isn’t he modelling the attitude that BushCo wants all of US to take about All of Bush’s Extra- and Illegal Activities?

    Invaded an Innocent Nation on Lies? Hey, it’s in the past – fuhgeddaboutit!

    Hoovered-up Everyone’s Communications on Suspicion? Not to Worry – you can ‘Trust Us’ now!

    Outed one of Our Spys? It hasn’t happened since, so give it a rest, will ya’?

    SJC needs to be careful to Note It’s Opposition to Murky’s Attempt to ‘Set the Attitude’ towards Illegal Activity Couched in ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’ – to bend down before that precedent would open the door to Anything in the Name of Exigency.

    Any ‘manufactured’ incident could be ‘used’ to invoke Illegality Without Restraint – Bush would be tempted to ‘lay a Bear Trap’ and then walk US over it on purpose to achieve his ends.

    And, that’s only one of the dangers of Mukasey’s enablement for Bush…

  39. kspena says:

    I keep pondering the weight given to terrorism in the surveillance debate. Given that the domestic spy program was initiated by this administration before 9/11, and given their obtuseness about ‘terrorism’ until after 9/11, it seems to me that the narrow focus on domestic surveillance as related to ‘terrorism’ keeps us from examining it’s use as a dragnet to uncover political networks that need to be destroyed, for example those that interfer with a ‘permanent republican majority, or the AQ Kahn network. Do we know the program is limited to ‘terrorism’? or Is limiting the discourse to ‘terrorism’ an efficient strategy to penetrate the to the dark side of the activities?

    • wavpeac says:

      Nope, we don’t know anything. We have no facts, because they will not allow oversight. And this is the crux of the problem.

    • merkwurdiglieber says:

      The terror meme is a front for the gathering of political intelligence
      as regards domestic politics… the old Huston Plan from Nixon times
      has been implemented by this administration under the guise of national
      security. The terrorist threat ia a wholly owned subsidiary of the
      Carlyle Group, no need to spy on their own employees.

  40. hackworth says:

    Mukasey could tell them all to go Cheney themselves and they wouldn’t do a thing about it. Several high level persons have ignored subpoenas and are in contempt of Congress. No consequences. You or I would be in jail. The Dems seem to be hoping to run out the clock for the next 355 days – while sustaining as little damage to themselves as possible.

    • merkwurdiglieber says:

      FDR said he loved a good fight, and they still fight him all these years
      later. The modern Democratic attitude is quite different from that with
      obvious results… no guts, no glory.

  41. radiofreewill says:

    I’ll bet the rank and file DoJers are in the dumps today!

    Another BushCo Tool for an Attorney General.

    It’s a sad day for All of US, really.

  42. cboldt says:

    Specter asks directly, or asserts, “The president broke the FISA statute, did he not? That’s pretty much agreed, is it not?”


    “Well, I’m not getting very far with this, let me move on”

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      If Specter believes this, we must impeach…

      Also, the monitoring contract is paid from corporation funds, not
      public monies…
      A fucking lame excuse for a no bidder?

  43. wkwf says:

    Interesting how all these guys play the game of “not gonna answer any hypothetical questions”.

    Is is too far off the mark to suggest that any case they consider “hypothetical” is simply something that no one has blown the whistle on… yet.

    Try to discuss any real case with them (you know, the ones that get leaked), and you find it’s all classified and everything.

    So what, nobody can ask them anything, is that how it is?

    “Just give me my paycheck, shut the hell up, and let me do what I want”.


  44. Evolute says:

    Looking forward to Whitehouse and Schumer and round two, maybe the gloves will come off after they have had time to digest the wet-noodle responses thus far.

  45. BayStateLibrul says:

    Did Mukasey liken Kennedy’s question to Cicero?

    For fucking Mukasey’s waterboarding tricks…
    “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero

  46. LS says:

    Seems to me that Mukasey said CIA is not torturing and the Military is not torturing, but he can’t/won’t address contractors who may be torturing, because there is no specific language somewhere in a law that specifically says that contractors (American or foreign) cannot torture in place of or on the orders of the CIA, Military and/or the President.

    Another thing….several times he said he is “not authorized” to answer some questions asked by Congress. Excuse me? Why isn’t someone all over him for that?

    • TLinGA says:

      but he can’t/won’t address contractorsparamilitary who may be torturing, because there is no specific language somewhere in a law that specifically says that contractorsparamilitary (American or foreign) cannot torture in place of or on the orders of the CIA, Military and/or the President.

      There, fixed.

  47. jayt says:

    Jeebus h christ on a fuckin….

    Cornyn now asking Mukasey a question, based on a story in the fcuking New York Post, about how FISA caused a ten-hour delay in searching for a soldier kidnapped by (Al-Q, of course – ’cause anybody in Iraq who doesn’t like us is automatically Al-Q)

    72 hour grace period, Senator? General Mukasey?


  48. Leen says:

    Go Whitehouse. Mukasey using excuse “I was following orders, I had authorization and I am immune from prosecution”

    Whitehouse…going to the guts.

    Schumer sucking up…what a traitor

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