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AG nominee unsure about waterboarding (letter to Dems) [View All]

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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-30-07 04:18 PM
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AG nominee unsure about waterboarding (letter to Dems)
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Edited on Tue Oct-30-07 04:50 PM by maddezmom
Source: AP

WASHINGTON - President Bush's nominee for attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he does not know whether waterboarding is illegal. He pledged to study the matter and to reverse any Justice Department finding that endorses a practice that violates the law or the Constitution.

"If, after such a review, I determine that any technique is unlawful, I will not hesitate to so advise the president and will rescind or correct any legal opinion of the Department of Justice that supports the use of the technique," Michael Mukasey wrote to the committee's 10 Democrats.

Elsewhere in the letter, Mukasey called the interrogation technique that simulates drowning "repugnant to me." He said that he did not know if the technique was still being used by U.S. personnel because he is not yet cleared to receive such classified information. Still, he pledged both to stand up to the president if necessary and to seek ways to protect the nation from terrorism.

"I would leave office sooner than participate in a violation of law," Mukasey wrote.

Read more:

Mukasey calls waterboarding 'repugnant' but offers no legal opinion

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's pick for attorney general, Judge Michael Mukasey, called the interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" a "repugnant" practice Tuesday, but again refused to say whether it violates U.S. laws banning torture.

As he did in his Oct. 18 confirmation hearing, Mukasey told Senate Judiciary Committee members that he has not received classified briefings on what techniques American interrogators are allowed to use and cannot make a legal judgment.

"Hypotheticals are different from real life, and in any legal opinion the actual facts and circumstances are critical," Mukasey said in a written answer to Democrats on the committee.

Human rights groups consider waterboarding -- in which prisoners are strapped down and either dunked in water or have water poured over them in order to produce the sensation of drowning -- a form of torture. It was specifically banned in a 2006 law passed by Congress.

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