Reading through an article from The Hill by Manu Raju, it's easy to see that George Bush sent in Michael Mukasey as a stalking horse, to see just how much he can get away with. And, being the ultimate cynic, Bush is using Mukasey to take advantage of the Democrats woefull lack of cynicism.
The article reports that Mukasey assured Sen. Charles Schumer that he would enforce a law to prohibit waterboarding if Congress were to enact such a measure.
Look at all the possibilities for a win/win for Bush if Mukasey can pull this off. If Congress does pass such a law, Bush would get retro-active immunity for his torture by waterboarding before the law was passed. Bush can say that it only became illegal after it was passed and he'd get off scot-free for having done it for the past four years. If Congress does not pass such a law, Bush can say that it's not illegal because there's no law against it, and continue doing it. There's no way Bush can lose on this.
Bush, through Mukasey, is trying to get Congress to pass a specific law against every specific form of torture that can be thought of, and any that they don't think of, Bush would consider legal. The Geneva Convention's general prohibition of inhumane treatment would no longer apply, and the law would have to include every conceivaable method to treat a person inhumanely, would run to several volumes, and Bush could still find one that wasn't included.
Senator Schumer: "Even if you don't pass a law (on waterboarding), we have a better chance of doing well on torture with Mukasey than with an acting (attorney general) who will be picked by..." Vice President Cheney and Cheney Chief of Staff David Addington.
First, how can you do well on torture when you've got a guy who will not admit that torture is torture?
Second, Schumer is actually saying that we let Bush get away with having a horrible Attorney General instead of having someone even worse. Some choice Schumer's making, settling for bad in hopes of not getting worse.
Schumer and Feinstein defected from the Democrats and voted with Bush and his Republicans. Feinstein said that Mukasey is going to be a very different attorney general.
Feinstein is ignoring the obvious fact that Mukasey is identical to Gonzales in all respects that matter.
Just like Gonzales,
1. He was nominated by George Bush.
2. He is willing to approve of George Bush authority to torture.
3. Most damning off all, he is a Republican.
Schumer and Feinstein have an opportunity to tell Bush what Bush told Congress: Send us a nominee we can approve of, or we'll veto them until you do.
But, nah, they're not going to do that, they're going to go on, backing Bush and his Republicans, which is what Republicans do. They have become Republicans.