Bush: No attorney general if not Mukasey

WASHINGTON - President Bush sought to save Michael Mukasey's troubled nomination for attorney general Thursday, defending the retired judge's refusal to say whether he considers waterboarding torture and warning of a leaderless Justice Department if Democrats don't confirm him.

"If the Senate Judiciary Committee were to block Judge Mukasey on these grounds, they would set a new standard for confirmation that could not be met by any responsible nominee for attorney general," Bush said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"That would guarantee that America would have no attorney general during this time of war," the president said.

Nonetheless, opposition continued to grow. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., became the fourth of 10 Democrats on the 19-member Judiciary Committee to declare he will vote against Mukasey when the panel decides Tuesday whether to endorse or reject his nomination.

Kennedy said Mukasey's unwillingness to say that waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, is torture increases the chances that it will be used against U.S. troops.

"Judge Mukasey appears to be a careful, conscientious and intelligent lawyer and he has served our country honorably for many years," Kennedy said in a Senate speech announcing his opposition. "But those qualities are not enough for this critical position at this critical time."

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., planned to announce Friday in his state how he will vote next week.


No votes yet

The last thing we need is another Fascist in such a high office.

Predictably and however, the Dems will relent. I've seen jellyfish with more spine. That, and the Dems aren't really against war and torture ... they only act like they are since they need to continue fooling Progressives into voting for them. It's worked since the 1990s; why change?

We would expect a nominee to publicly state the U.S. uses waterboarding and the nominee states that it is torture in public.

The flood of lawsuits would over whelm the legal system


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