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On Day 2, Democrats See Change In Mukasey Nominee Endorses President's Positions

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 19, 2007; Page A01


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President Bush's choice for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, embraced some of the administration's most controversial legal positions yesterday, suggesting that Bush can ignore surveillance statutes in wartime and avoiding a declaration that simulated drowning constitutes torture under U.S. laws.

Mukasey struck a different tone on the second and final day of his confirmation hearing, after earlier pleasing lawmakers from both parties by promising new administrative policies at the Justice Department and by declaring that the president cannot override constitutional and legal bans on torture and the inhumane treatment of prisoners.

. . . Mukasey also repeatedly demurred when asked whether an interrogation technique that involves simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, constitutes torture and is therefore illegal. "I don't know what's involved in the technique," Mukasey said. "If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."

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"That's a massive hedge," responded Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
--more (if you can stomach it)--________________________________________________________________
Apparently not too massive a hedge to jump, though.

There's all this inane controversy over Senator Larry Craig, when it's actually Senators Pat Leahy, Arlen Specter and Charlie Schumer who are in bed with George Bush.

Why even go through this spectacle? George Bush controls the levers of government as thoroughly as if he were an actually elected and popular president. He will continue to cow this cowardly and feckless Congress until his last day in office.

9-11 did far more than knock down buildings in New York and kill Americans. It emasculated representative government and turned us to what we have the intellectual capability to understand--Larry Craig and Britney Spears.


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Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are (more...)

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