VIDEO of sen. patrick leahy — on november 2, 2007 — reasons for voting "no" on mukasey nomination

another new “nightly nolo“,
this time, setting about one
minute, ten seconds of the audio
from yesterday afternoon’s press con-
ference, in burlington, vermont,
to relevant archival video and
stills — as senator patrick
leahy makes plain why he cannot
support michael mukasey’s nom-
ination to be the next united
states attorney general — dis-
tilled to a few words:

t o r t u r e

is unlawful.


4 responses to “VIDEO of sen. patrick leahy — on november 2, 2007 — reasons for voting "no" on mukasey nomination

  1. If this guy Muskasey doesn’t want to admit that waterboarding is torture because he does not have enough infomation I have a suggestion: why not have him undergo this procedure so that he can learn about it firsthand for himself? I am sure that he would then see this practice for what it truly is: TORTURE! Don’t you think that would give him “enough” information on which to base a decision?

  2. yes — you are, of course, right
    on the money, lib! at 19 october,
    thought he was just expressing a
    very-careful lawyer’s and
    jurist’s, circumspect perspective.

    but the more i’ve thought it all
    through, and the longer he persists,
    it has become clearer to me:

    he is worried about cheney and
    bush being charged with war crimes
    [especially in europe, or the u.n.],
    for explicitly endorsing a
    procedure teddy roosevelt, and
    richard nixon, considered to be. . .

    t o r t u r e.

    this attempt to provide legal
    “cover” for the administration
    is inappropriate — for a jurist,
    for any united states attorney
    general — but NOT inappropriate
    for a PRIVATE lawyer, retained to
    represent the white house.

    and that is the fundamental
    problem with him: it seems he
    has sworn some secret allegiance.

    that cannot be supported — but
    i still worry about the rank-and-
    file at justice, without any
    protection for the next 20 or
    so months. . .

    p e a c e

  3. here is the text of a letter from,
    among others, ret. adm. john hutson
    (who appears in the end of my
    video, above — in the a.c.l.u. ad),
    denouncing waterboarding.

    these are all former miltary prosecutors — JAGs:

    November 2, 2007

    The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Chairman Leahy,

    In the course of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of President Bush’s nominee for the post of Attorney General, there has been much discussion, but little clarity, about the legality of “waterboarding” under United States and international law. We write because this issue above all demands clarity: Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.

    In 2006 the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the authority to prosecute terrorists under the war crimes provisions of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. In connection with those hearings the sitting Judge Advocates General of the military services were asked to submit written responses to a series of questions regarding “the use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of drowning (i.e., waterboarding) . . .” Major General Scott Black, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General, Major General Jack Rives, U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General, Rear Admiral Bruce MacDonald, U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General, and Brigadier Gen. Kevin Sandkuhler, Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, unanimously and unambiguously agreed that such conduct is inhumane and illegal and would constitute a violation of international law, to include Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

    We agree with our active duty colleagues. This is a critically important issue – but it is not, and never has been, a complex issue, and even to suggest otherwise does a terrible disservice to this nation. All U.S. Government agencies and personnel, and not just America’s military forces, must abide by both the spirit and letter of the controlling provisions of international law. Cruelty and torture – no less than wanton killing – is neither justified nor legal in any circumstance. It is essential to be clear, specific and unambiguous about this fact – as in fact we have been throughout America’s history, at least until the last few years. Abu Ghraib and other notorious examples of detainee abuse have been the product, at least in part, of a self-serving and destructive disregard for the well- established legal principles applicable to this issue. This must end.

    The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation. The Rule of Law is not a goal which we merely aspire to achieve; it is the floor below which we must not sink. For the Rule of Law to function effectively, however, it must provide actual rules that can be followed. In this instance, the relevant rule – the law – has long been clear: Waterboarding detainees amounts to illegal torture in all circumstances. To suggest otherwise – or even to give credence to such a suggestion – represents both an affront to the law and to the core values of our nation.

    We respectfully urge you to consider these principles in connection with the nomination of Judge Mukasey.


    /s/ Rear Admiral Donald J. Guter, United States Navy (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 2000-02

    /s/ Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, United States Navy (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 1997-2000

    /s/ Major General John L. Fugh, United States Army (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Army, 1991-93

    /s/ Brigadier General David M. Brahms, United States Marine Corps (Ret.) Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant, 1985-88

  4. right on. the rule of law is to be obeyed not just when you feel like doing so but at all times for every person. it is the only fair way. no one is above the other. no one is better than anyone else, even though Bush thinks otherwise.

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