Yesterday Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Chuck Schumer (NY) parted from their party colleagues including the four Democratic candidates for President and instead sided with President Bush by announcing their support for former judge Michael B. Mukasey as United States Attorney General. The votes of Feinstein and Schumer would give Mukasey at least 11 yes votes on the 19 member Judiciary panel, sending his nomination to the full Senate.
In committee hearings, Judge Mukasey claimed ignorance about waterboarding. Obfuscating, he avoided a condemnation of this method of torture. In addition, he would not support granting habeas corpus to detained prisoners at Guantanamo, and suggested the President can ignore surveillance statutes in wartime, signally that his views mesh significantly with the administration's.
Dianne Feinstein stated on CNN today that Mukasey is the best we can expect and that if he isn't confirmed now, Bush will probably appoint someone worse during the holiday recess. This is unacceptable! Our senators are second-guessing what George W. Bush will do and this drives the votes of the U.S. Senate? Incredible!!
A small group of concerned citizens turned out at CNN this morning to voice our dissent to this confirmation. Karen, Liz, Leslie, Medea, Gael, Allison, Mona, Marietta, Carol, Jess, Steve, Dick, Clark, Mahboud, Vernon and I arrived around 10:30 this morning at the doors to the CNN studios to pressure Sen. Feinstein to change her mind. We staged a mock waterboarding on her way in and after the program. As we cornered Ms. Feinstein all she said and I paraphrase, "We're going to pass legislation to declare waterboarding illegal". On Wolf Blitzer's Late Edition she stated that only the CIA can waterboard legally.
The New York Times reported 3 years ago that Maj. Gen. George R. Fay said the conduct of C.I.A. personnel at Abu Ghraib was perceived by military officials there as more aggressive than that allowed by the military and had a corrupting influence on military interrogators. So what does this say for us, America? What's good for the goose is good for the gander!
We cannot stand idly by while our "representatives" confirm Gonzo II.
Those of you here in Washington, D.C. can join us noon tomorrow at the Justice Department, 9th and Constitution. If you are in N.Y. you can protest at Schumer's office. Those in California are speaking their minds at DiFis. Please join us tomorrow and stand up for human rights!