... when I listen to Senate members express their disastisfaction with this administration's torture policies then turn around and vote to confirm an Attorney General who will not plainly state that waterboarding - something recognized as torture since being used by the Inquisition over 500 years ago - is torture and is illegal.
Glenn Greenwald has a post up today examining how Senate Democrats manage to speak as if they actually care that the United States has made torture part of its interrogation routine and then manage to allow it to continue.
What integrity can a man who says that Mukasey is "wrong on torture -- dead wrong" and then votes to confirm him Attorney General of the United States of America have? None, Senator Schumer. You have none, sir.
Schumer previously explained that he is voting for Mukasey because he's afraid that President Bush will use a recess appointment to pick someone worse if he doesn't. How can any democrat (please make note of the distinction between democrat and Democrat) with any sense of dignity or democracy say such a thing?
We have a lawless administration that just had the previous A.G. resign because of scandal surrounding revelations that he had used the Justice Dept. not to execute the laws of the U.S. but to advance the partisan political agenda of the White House and the Republican party. The President, with his 30% approval ratings and worst presidency in American history in tow, threatens Congress that if they don't rubber stamp his nomination for a replacement he'll appoint someone worse and that works on them? How about keeping Congress in session so that there is no opportunity for a recess appointment. Isn't torture worth it?
But the real problem is that Congress has to worry about the president picking another rotten Attorney General in the first place. In a sane world, this president would be impeached for his trangressions. Yet, Congressional Democrats act like the knights in Monty Python's The Holy Grail - "run away!"
You have not the fortitude of character necessary to defend democracy. Fine. But just be up front about it. Don't give us the song and dance about how you're troubled by this appointment (a la Arlen Specter) while in reality not being willing to do anything about it. Don't give us this nonsense about how Mukasey has made you a promise in private that he'll enforce your laws and what not ... seven years into this administration it is impossible that anyone can remain that naive.
A Congress that can not find the strength to stand up to a lawless president on the issue of torture has once again failed this nation.
It is going to take a democratic revolution to put a stop to this madness. Simply voting for Democrats is not the answer. We need some sort of reform movement that can cut across the political spectrum. We need candidates running from the bottom up in both parties with the basic goal of breaking the two-party duopoly. And that's going to require campaign finance reform and undoing the media deregulations which have led to the refeudalization of the public sphere.
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