Tuesday, November 06, 2007

LTE: November 6, 2007

The Des Moines Register editorial, Confirm Mukasey as U.S. attorney general, November 6, 2007, illustrates why the many voters are losing confidence in the Democratic Party, and why the United States is losing respect in the world.

Judge Michael Mukasey may be a fine jurist and personal acquaintance of New York Senator Charles Shumer, and have the credentials required to bring a smidgen of dignity back to the office of U.S. attorney general. Yet his unwillingness to denounce "waterboarding" as torture should out weigh all other considerations when the Senate votes to confirm or deny his appointment.

In 2004, in an effort to form a coherent Justice Department policy on torture, then acting assistant attorney general Daniel Levin subject himself to waterboarding. Following that experience Levin issued a memo declaring "Torture is abhorrent both to American law and values and to international norms." For his efforts Levin was shown the door by, then, in-coming attorney general Alberto Gonzales.

It is alleged President Franklin Roosevelt said of a Central American dictator, "He may be a son of a b____, but he's our son of a b____ ." If this is the kind of reasoning certain leading centrist Democrats, most prominently Shumer and California's Senator Diane Feinstein, have for confirming Mukasey, it is not good enough.

Nor is any pledge of judicial independence made by Mukasey good enough. If we have learned anything
from the history of this administration it is pledges are not worth the paper on which they are written; nor will a Democratically controlled Congress do its Constitutional duty and check the power of the presidency.

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