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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:47 AM
Original message
Congressmen demand Mukasey explanation on torture, pardons
Source: CNN

Two key House Democrats demanded in a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Thursday that he explain his recent comments about U.S. counterterrorism officials' controversial policies on detainee interrogations and terrorist surveillance.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, insisted Mukasey explain by December 12 why he told reporters Wednesday the officials saw no need for presidential pardons to those engaged in formulating the policies.

Mukasey had dismissed the notion there was any basis for President Bush to pardon counterterrorism officials. "There is absolutely no evidence anybody who rendered a legal opinion either with respect to surveillance or with respect to interrogation policy did so for any reason other than to protect the security of the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful," Mukasey said.

Those comments prompted the congressional letter, challenging the attorney general's public assertions.

"We are troubled by the breadth of your statement and the blanket conclusion that everyone involved in approving these policies believed they were acting within the law," the congressmen wrote. They noted the much publicized internal administration debates over the policies. "Our greatest concern, however, is that your statement appears to be prejudging numerous ongoing investigations," they said.

The Justice Department Inspector General is currently investigating the legal policy and advice on the Terrorist Surveillance Program. A special counsel is investigating aspects of the harsh interrogations of some detainees....

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/05/mukasey.torture/...
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks, once again, Mr. Schumer and Ms. Feinstein...
asshats.
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judasdisney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Yes...I hope people remember what you're talking about.
Schumer & Feinstein would be impeached in a sane world.
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FreepFryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Schumer is a SIGNATORY to the PNAC. He's not a Dem, he's a liar. We'll upend him next election.
(n/t)
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Vattel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. It worries me a bit
that Obama and Clinton didn't vote on that confirmation. I hope it was because they were too busy running for president.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. Those that thought we needed 60 Democratic Senators to break filibusters forgot about Dino's like
Schumer and Feinstein.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. Will he faint again?
In related news, the DoJ is getting NOTHING done nowadays. Seriously. They are all too busy operating the shredder and looking for other jobs!
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. I'm on guard for another feint.
A quintessential Bu$hco feint.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. The Bush administration plans an "advice of counsel defense."
They planned all along that, if prosecuted, they would claim that they lacked the intent to commit crimes because their attorney told them that their acts, under the circumstances, were not criminal.

That defense works against some crimes, but not others. It might be a valid defense against some charge of violation of a complex white collar type of crime, but I can't imagine that it would be a valid defense against an assault charge or anything related to an assault charge. It's pretty obvious that you don't put another human being into a tiny box and leave the person there for hours. It's pretty obvious that you don't put a hood over the head of some and then hang them up in a position in which they may have trouble breathing -- especially if you haven't checked to see whether the person might have broken ribs. I am referring to an example of the torture committed with the approval of the Bush administration as described in Jane Mayer's book, The Dark Side. I highly recommend that book to all DUers. If you can afford it, a copy of that book would make a nice going away or Christmas gift for George W. Bush or for those who represent you in Congress. Also a nice momento of the Bush years for that favorite Republican on your list. Very informative.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks for this post. nt
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Bingo JD.
And Mukasey is acting as if he is central to the Bush Admin Defense team. Almost like he got the strategy memo.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Or as Rachel put it last night:
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 01:56 PM by annabanana
The "Good Intentions Defense"

on edit: nom!
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Shardik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Or the "Bank Robber with a heart of gold" defense.
I'll try that defense next time I get a ticket.

"Not guilty, your honor. I was speeding to avoid hurting someone's feelings by my being late."
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. Did The Impeachophobes Stamp Their Little Feet This Time?
I'm sure the innocent detainees and their families are thrilled at how "troubled" the DC-Dem Do-Nothings have become.

But charges that one failed to report and ACT to stop ongoing torture and war crimes are not easily averted with the defense of "we wrote a sternly-worded letter."

Impeachment for torture remains our ONLY moral, patriotic option. It can be over in less than a week.

---
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
12. Just another Bushista hack; however, I am far from convinced that
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 06:23 PM by MasonJar
Mukassey has been reacting as Schumer believed he would. I believe that Schumer truly thought (and convinced Feinstein) that M would be a welcome change. He was wrong, but certainly could have beem misled too.
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Vattel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. If the Military Commissions Act
isn't repealed when the new administration takes power, putting the teeth back into the War Crimes Act, then I am not voting again for anyone at the federal level who does not explicitly say that they want stronger criminal laws against the "harsh interrogation techiniques" that have been used by the CIA during the Bush Administration. The current criminal statutes that criminalize torture by civilians in the executive branch of the federal govt. are woefully inadequate, and that's one reason why there's little chance of any prosections of those within the Bush administration who are guilty of torture. Don't be fooled by people like McCain who say that our current criminal laws are adequate. Read them. They suck.
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. The original laws were intended to
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 06:39 PM by noise
prevent torture and warrantless surveillance. Corrupt OLC lawyers wrote garbage legal opinions to circumvent the laws and those opinions were classified. This is not good faith conduct.

Look at the advocates of these illegal tactics. Tenet at CIA and Hayden at NSA. Both men failed to follow standard procedure in the lead up to 9/11. Tenet's CIA sat on intel for 20 months. Hayden's NSA failed to get FISA warrants and/or tell the FBI alHazmi and alMihdhar were in the US so the FBI could get the proper warrants. These men should have been fired.

Good faith? Listening to intimate phone calls of American citizens is good faith? Extracting false confessions and using those confessions to make the case for invading Iraq is good faith?

This is authoritarian garbage. Why is the country tolerating this nonsense?
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
17. again, lie-detector machines would reveal
the truth, no need for torture-it doesn't get results except to destroy the person, drive them insane. Carefully phrased questions could be answered, 'let the body talk', & ignore the words coming out of the mouth.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. The purpose of torture is not to get information, but to terrorize. To let people know that you are
insane and that they need to fear you. That's the main purpose of torture. Of course there is the aspect of sadism for the sick, like Cheney.
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. that is not Yoo's argument for it
& that is why I shall repeat this true alternative, & let it hang in the air like the sun seems to, for as long as I continue to write. They publicly made statements & allusions (mostly allusions & sideways hints, for posterity) that the Geneva Covenshuns were outmoded-exactly the cut & paste words from the 1950s, when they were defeated(then) but won in the double o's. The threats from the latest in bombwear were like no other threats before & so it was clearly urgent that they throw all the rules out the window, in order to be able to effectively deal with current reality. Horse-apples, as the polygraph machine would reveal truthfully, if there is any threat; they don't want that, they want endless mess, to provide cover for their theft & other power-grabbing.
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