Attorney General Michael Mukasey appeared before the Senate Judicial Committee yesterday. The Chairman of the Committee, Patrick Leahy, D-VT, who was kicked off the Senate Intelligence Committee a few years back for leaking national security secrets to the press for his personal political points, and Senator Ted Kennedy, D-MA, an expert on his own personal brand of waterboarding, were leading the defeatist Dem chorus that the Bush administration is guilty of promoting policies of torture within the intelligence community.
"If Senate Democrats thought Attorney General Michael Mukasey was someone they could push around to score political points, yesterday they discovered their error. The new AG stood his ground on the legal war on terror, despite five hours of grandstanding over an interrogation technique that the CIA doesn't even practice anymore." That opening paragraph from an article in WSJ.com. "The CIA has acknowledged waterboarding only three of the hardest al Qaeda suspects, which is the kind of difficult decision that U.S. officials had to make in the wake of 9/11. They didn't do so out of some vengeful bloodlust but to protect the country from future attack and with the backing of a Justice Department legal opinion at the time."
"If Democrats really want to end waterboarding forever, they have the power to ban it outright." If the Dems did that, they might later look soft on terrorists in the aftermath of a future attack. For them to actually put into motion any opinions they want the public to think they truly hold, that would mean acting. Does anyone think an intelligence leaker and a man so devoid of personal morality that he would leave a young woman staffer to drown after a car accident over a bridge truly care about 'torture' issues? No. It's all about huffing and puffing with tones of indignanent outrage on the war on terror. The war on terror, by the way, is just something the evil Bush administration cooked up anyway. The Bush administration just wants to scare everyone.
"Chairman Patrick Leahy and Senator Edward Kennedy insisted that Mukasey provide them with a determination as to whether waterboarding qualifies legally as torture. Mukasey refused, stating that it would not "be appropriate for me to pass definitive judgement on the technique's legality." "It is not within the powers of an attorney general to say what is or isn't legal, as they seem to think, any more than Supreme Court justices or other judges have powers to enact new law, as liberal Democrats also believe. But that didn't keep the wisecracks from flying." That from IBD editorials.com today. "Chairman Leahy complained to Mukasey: "I think failure to say something probably puts some of our people in more danger than not" - an apparent reference to the legal vulnerability of CIA interrogators who may have taken part in the practice." Did leaking intelligence information to the press put our people in danger, Chairman Leahy?
And then from Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL, "I think it's been an embarrassment to our nation from a lot of these hearings when we've suggested wide-scale abuse. That is not true."
Leahy and Kennedy have both come out and endorsed Senator Obama for the Democrat presidential candidate nomination. Both men think that the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo should be treated as common criminals, complete with every advantage of any American citizen within the legal system. These aren't Americans, though. And, they are not common criminals. Kennedy made a comparison using a bank robbery scenario. This indicates Kennedy's level of seriousness.
The Gitmo lawyers have issued a statement of their support for Senator Obama's run for President, too. More than 80 of them state: "We are at a critical point in the presidential campaign, and as lawyers who have been deeply involved in the Guantanamo litigation to preserve the important right to habeas corpus, we are writing to urge you to support Senator Obama". The open letter was dated Monday.
The Gitmo lawyers include partners from major U.S. law firms as well as small town lawyers.
These smart, educated people know full well that "the traditional right to file writs of habeas corpus" as referred to in the open letter, has nothing to do with 'traditional' at all. This is unprecedented territory. Terrorists captured on the battleground and those turned over to us by allies have been the receipient of no such 'tradition'.
Perhaps we should just release all the prisoners. Never mind that many that have been released have ended up back on the battlefield to kill American soldiers. Never mind that many still in custody are there because their own countries refuse to take them back.
These are the supporters of Senator Obama. Leahy, Kennedy, and the Gitmo lawyers. Those determined to bring us back to the pre 9/11 mentality. Those determined to treat suspected terrorists with warrants for arrest and trials in our country's federal court houses. Those involved in the thinking that brought us the attacks of 9/11.
Still clueless after all these years.