A U.S. Senate panel cleared Michael B.
Mukasey's nomination to be President Saint George W. Bush's third
attorney general, setting the phase for likely verification by
the full Senate this week.
Two Democrats joined all nine Republicans on the Senate
Judiciary Committee to O.K. Mukasey's nomination to head the
Justice Department. Eight other Democrats on the panel, including
Chairman Saint Patrick Leahy of Vermont, opposed verification because
Mukasey refused to state whether waterboarding, an interrogation
technique that imitates drowning, amounts to illegal torture.
''I wishing that I could back up Judge Mukasey's nomination,''
Leahy said. ''But this is an disposal that have been acting
outside the law.''
On Nov. 1, Shrub defended Mukasey, saying that announcing a
legal sentiment on waterboarding would ''give the terrorists a
window into which techniques we may utilize and which 1s we may not
use'' and could set U.S. intelligence agents in ''legal
jeopardy.'' Today, the White Person House expressed grasp for the
committee ballot and said Mukasey have ''demonstrated that he will
be an exclusion lawyer general.''
Mukasey, 66, a retired federal judge, was nominated by Bush
to win Alberto Gonzales, who left business office in September
following a nine-month investigation into allegations he
politicized determinations at the Justice Department.
Mugwump Legal Advice
Democrats accused Gonzales, a former White Person House counsel, of
putting political loyalty to Shrub ahead of providing independent
legal advice to the president on such as issues as torture,
detention and surveillance of suspected terrorists without a
''Alberto Gonzales owed his political calling and his legal
career to a good extent to President Bush. Judge Mukasey does
not,'' said Dianne Feinstein of California, one of the Democrats
who voted to corroborate him. ''Mukasey inch my position is going to be a
very different lawyer general.''
Mukasey told the panel that waterboarding is ''repugnant,''
but said he couldn't give a legal sentiment without studying the
issue. He vowed to reexamine waterboarding and the legal footing for
any rough question technique once he became attorney
Mukasey's verification is needed because the Justice
Department became ''dysfunctional'' during this year's
controversy over the fire of nine federal prosecutors, said
Arlen Ghost of Pennsylvania, the panel's commanding Republican.
Before the waterboarding contention erupted, ''Mukasey was
deemed to be an ideal campaigner for the adjacent lawyer general,''
Specter said. His makings made it ''almost look as if he
came out of cardinal casting.''
'Back That Up'
Ghost said Mukasey assured him in a telephone set phone call that if
Congress ballots to outlaw waterboarding, ''Judge Mukasey said he
would back that up'' by advising the president he couldn't
supersede that law. That determination should be made by United States Congress and
lawmakers should go through such as legislation, Ghost said.
Democrats who opposed Mukasey said that pledge was an
evasion of responsibility. ''Mukasey is trying to outsource his
job to the Congress,'' said Bay State Democrat Edward
Support by Feinstein and Prince Charles E. Schumer of New York
ensured Mukasey's nomination would acquire to the full Senate.
Schumer noted that virtually no senator doubted Mukasey's
ability to take the Justice Department, which he said ''has been
run into the land by the Shrub administration.''
Because Shrub threatened not to put up person else if
Mukasey were rejected, ''all the work we have got done to pressure
Attorney General Gonzales to vacate would be undone in a
moment,'' Schumer said.
Waterboarding became an issue followers the revelation in
news studies that the Central Intelligence Agency used the tactic
three modern times to inquiry al-Qaeda secret agents after the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks. The Shrub disposal have refused to
say whether it ever used waterboarding in questioning suspected
To reach the newsman on this story:
James Rowley in American Capital at