Senate Confirms Pro-Torture Mukasey As Attorney General

This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!

Late last night, when respectable people were fast asleep, the Senate confirmed Michael Mukasey, a pro-torture/anti-Constitution, ultra-partisan reactionary as Bush's Attorney General. This was engineered by two people, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Whatever Mukasey does wrong should be lain on their doorsteps:
The 53-to-40 vote made Mr. Mukasey, a former federal judge, the third person to head the Justice Department during the tenure of President Bush, placing him in charge of an agency that members of both parties say suffered under the leadership of Alberto R. Gonzales.
Six Democrats joined 46 Republicans and one independent in approving the judge, with his backers praising him as a strong choice to restore morale at the Justice Department and independently oversee federal prosecutions in the final months of the Bush administration.
Thirty-nine Democrats and one independent opposed him.
"The Department of Justice needs Judge Mukasey at work tomorrow morning," said Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee. "The Department of Justice has been categorized as dysfunctional and in disarray. It is in urgent need of an attorney general."
But Democrats said Mr. Mukasey's refusal to characterize waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, as illegal torture disqualified him from taking over as the nation's top law enforcement official.
"I am not going to aid and abet the confirmation contortions of this administration," said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "I do not vote to allow torture."
All five senators who are running for president -- Joseph R. Biden Jr., Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Christopher J. Dodd, all Democrats, and John McCain -- did not cast votes. The four Democrats had said they would not support Mr. Mukasey because of his equivocation during the confirmation hearings over whether waterboarding is torture. Mr. McCain has also denounced the interrogation method but he issued a statement last week saying he would vote to approve the nomination.
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