Log Cabin Chronicles

The Mukasey Confirmation

CHRIS BRAITHWAITE
Publisher, The Chronicle
Barton, Vermont

POSTED: 11.13.06

A week ago the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate rejected the advice of its chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and voted to support the nomination of Michael Mukasey for attorney general.

It seems a good time to take a hard look at where we have come since September 11, 2001.

Time, certainly, to congratulate Senator Leahy and our second senator, Bernie Sanders, for once again standing tall against the tide of fear that has overtaken this nation under the endless exhortations of our chief fear-leader, George W. Bush.

Once again, as they did in rejecting the resolution of Congress that enabled the President to take us to war in Iraq, the senators make us proud to be Vermonters.

But we are also Americans, and the now almost certain confirmation of Mr. Mukasey by the full Senate can be the source of nothing but shame.

Senator Leahy and other senators asked Mr. Mukasey for a simple declaration that an interrogative technique called water boarding is torture, and therefore a violation of U.S. law.

Mr. Mukasey refused to do so. That is why Senator Leahy opposed him. Other senators appeared ready to join that opposition, putting the nomination in serious doubt.

Then we heard our President say he needed Michael Mukasey to help him defend America against terrorists.

That seemed to do the trick. Fear has pretty consistently done the trick since 9/11, and President Bush has never hesitated to use it for his own political advantage.

So here we are, six years later. A man who can't bring himself to declare that an ancient, notorious, and particularly obnoxious form of torture is against the law is about to take over our Department of Justice.

What we need to understand, as a people, is that when we endorse torture as a way of protecting ourselves from terrorists we are not participating in the war on terror. We are participating in terrorism.


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Copyright © 2007 Chris Braithwaite/Barton Chronicle/11.07