Leahy starts by highlighting civil liberties violations, naming Bradbury.
We join together to press for accountability and that led to a change in leadership. Today we continue our efforts to restore DOJ.
[Leahy mentions the torture tapes, but focuses on the CIA’s unwillingness to tell the 9/11 Commission.]
Today we will get some kind of indication whether the AG will restore checks and balances. It is not enough to say that waterboarding is not currently authorized. Torture has no place in America. Tragically, this Administration has so twisted our values that top officers are instructed by the WH not to say that torture is illegal.
[Lists the people we’ve prosecuted for waterboarding.]
That is not America.
Arlen "Scottish Haggis" Specter [incidentally, the first person I ran into when I walked into Congress on Monday was Specter, just coming off the floor having voted against cloture. I contemplated thanking him for his no vote. But then I doubted that "Scottish Haggis, I appreciate that you finally voted your conscience" would go over very well.]
Scottish Haggis agrees that Bush has pushed Article II. Discussion torture, still focusing on Article II powers.
Leahy swears Mukasey in.
Mukasey’s statement. Suggests Bush’s stonewalling just a sign of how well the Constitution works. [Remind me to tell you about Schumer’s comment on Mukasey, an attempt to justify his picking him.]
"Committed to review CIA interrogation program. Carefully reviewed limited set of methods authorized, concluded they are lawful. Aware that you address specifically address waterboarding. I have been authorized to say waterboarding is not among techniques currently used. Passing on its legality is not among the scope of what I promised to review."
CIA Director would have to ask to use waterboarding, would have to outline its use, the issue would have to go the President.
Leahy: First question, brings up Ridge’s and McConnell’s comments that waterboarding is torture. Mukasey dodges, says he can’t say anything because he’s AG.
MM: I know that if I address a complex legal question without having concrete circumstances before me, yadda yadda yadda.
Leahy: I think the failure to say something puts some of our people in more danger.
Mukasey: Our military won’t be affect by what I say. They’re legal soldiers.
[Mukasey’s logic here is that we’re allowed to torture people who are illegal combatants.] Read more