under pressure

from The New York Times:

In voting against Mr. Mukasey, the committee’s chairman, Patrick J. Leahy, and other Democrats portrayed their opposition as a defining moment for Congress in standing up to the Bush administration in upholding basic human rights and constitutional values in battling terrorism. “America, the great and good nation that has been a beacon to the world on human rights, does not torture and should stand against torture,” Mr. Leahy said.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democratic leader, accused Mr. Mukasey of a “legal dodge” in refusing to repudiate “a cruel, abusive technique that has been regarded as torture in the civilized world for over 500 years.”

“When the history of this time is written, the issue of torture will define America’s values in the age of terrorism,” he continued. “Judge Mukasey’s responses to our questions on the issue of torture make it clear that he does not understand the challenge of this moment in history.”


from Glenn Greenwald
[an excerpt]

The most amazing quote was from chief Mukasey supporter Chuck Schumer, who, before voting for him, said that Mukasey is "wrong on torture -- dead wrong." Marvel at that phrase: "wrong on torture." Six years ago, there wasn't even any such thing as being "wrong on torture," because "torture" wasn't something we debated. It would have been incoherent to have heard: "Well, he's dead wrong on torture, but ... "

Now, "torture" is not only something we openly debate, but it's something we do. And the fact that someone is on the wrong side of the "torture debate" doesn't prevent them from becoming the Attorney General of the United States. It's just one issue, like any other issue -- the capital gains tax, employer mandates for health care, the water bill...

more from Glenn

Greenwald commenter, thelastnamechosen asks:
Why limit our absurd hypotheticals to the pedestrian?

from Chris Floyd:

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