In the interests of clarity -
Time to get on with job boyz.
Go to it for this once - hold the Administration's feet to the fire as they have well and truly f*cked up on this one.
The law is the law - you are expected to uphold it. NO EXCUSES.
If you are reading this, write now and demand hearings! But don't forget that the object of the exercise is not to fry a few small fish, but to get the guy who sold the rotten fishing rod from the XIII century in the first place ...
Sheldon, this is YOUR moment to do the right thing and SHINE. Go for it!!
(ps looking at this list of rePUGs on the committee makes me snarky. What a pack of reptiles are on this one peculiar, particular committee !!)
Patrick J. Leahy
Edward M. Kennedy
RANKING MEMBER, R-PENNSYLVANIA
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Orrin G. Hatch
Charles E. Grassley
Russell D. Feingold
Charles E. Schumer
Richard J. Durbin
Benjamin L. Cardin
Durbin: Investigate CIA waterboarding
by James Oliphant
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin today demanded that Atty. Gen Michael Mukasey open a criminal probe into whether CIA officials broke the law in employing the interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspected terrorists.
Durbin, the Senate majority whip, says he will continue to hold up a confirmation vote on Chicago federal judge Mark Filip as the deputy attorney general until he receives a satisfactory response from Mukasey.
Durbin's request comes after CIA director Michael Hayden told a congressional committee today that waterboarding had only been used "only three detainees." Last week, Mukasey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said he would not flatly declare waterboarding to be illegal, but said he indicated there were some circumstances where it could be.
In a letter to Mukasey, Durbin wrote:
In light of your testimony that, “There are circumstances where waterboarding is clearly unlawful,” the Justice Department should investigate the instances in which the Administration has used waterboarding to determine whether any laws were violated. You suggested during last week’s hearing that you would not investigate these incidents because waterboarding was authorized by the Administration: “It’s a question of telling agents out there that we are investigating the CIA based on speculation about what happened and whether they got proper authorizations.” Needless to say, a Justice Department investigation should explore whether waterboarding was authorized and whether those who authorized it violated the law. Please respond to this question: Will the Justice Department investigate the Administration’s use of waterboarding to determine whether any laws were violated?
Durbin also wants responses from Mukasey on a host of other torture-related inquiries.
The senator wrote that he respects Judge Filip and does not object to his "continued public service" but at some point Mukasey "must accept his responsibility under our Constitution to acknowledge the role of Congress.”
Tension between the Senate and the Justice Department has been rising ever since Mukasey testified at his confirmation hearing that he wouldn't condemn waterboarding as illegal torture. Judiciary Committee members such as Durbin hoped Mukasey would have a better relationship with the committee than his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, but those hopes seem to be deteriorating.
The rancor over torture comes as the Senate this afternoon is addressing another front in the war against terrorism. Senators are currently debating amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on the floor of the chamber. The debate involves whether to make permanent expanding wiretapping powers that have been given to the government on a temporary basis and whether to provide large telecom companies with civil immunity for aiding the government in wiretapping requests after 9/11.