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ACLU Call to Action re: Mukasey

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Today, a majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee donned their kneepads and voted to confirm the nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General. (Note to Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein: What the hell were you thinking?) They didn't care that Mukasey won't definitely say that waterboarding is torture. They didn't care that Mukasey believes that the president has a right to break the law. And more. No, they voted against all those impediments to an imperialist, above-the-law, non-accountable Bush administration gone wild. I can just picture Dick Cheney grinning and rubbing his hands in glee. So today the ACLU wasted no time in issuing the following call for action, just hours after the Committee vote. Please read the ACLU's message below, and then click the link to send an e-mail to your senators and ask them to insist that Mukasey vow to uphold the rule of law. (The Senate needs a serious kick in the pants.)
Mukasey Nomination Heads to Senate Floor Without Torture, Spying Assurances This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Michael Mukasey's nomination for attorney general to the full Senate for consideration. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who decided to advance Mukasey's nomination without getting real answers on the issue of torture -- and the broader issue of executive authority -- missed a real opportunity to make progress on ending torture and reining in a president who believes he is above the law. Now, every senator has a responsibility to act. The Senate cannot "advise and consent" on the nomination of Michael Mukasey for attorney general until the public knows where he stands on whether acts like waterboarding (simulated drowning) are illegal under existing law. Our position, and the position of practically anyone who has read existing anti-torture laws, is that waterboarding is already illegal under current law and in fact, is criminal. Congress has enacted at least four statutes that ban waterboarding and ratified two treaties that ban the practice. Mukasey has evaded straight answers on eavesdropping as well. Under his theory, any restrictions on unfettered spying that Congress passes may be meaningless, since Mukasey believes the president has the power to engage in domestic wiretapping without a warrant and outside the law. Mukasey's answers to these questions reveal a more fundamental and troubling problem in his views on the scope of executive power. If an attorney general, whose mission is to enforce the law, believes the president has the power to disregard the law, our constitutional balance of powers is in peril. >> Take Action: Tell Your senators Mukasey must commit to enforcing torture and spying laws. >> Read the the ACLU letter to Senate Judiciary leadership.

 

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
 

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