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Bush: Mukasey Needs to Know If We Do It Before He Can Say If It’s Torture

He did it again. Bush tried to scare the Senate into confirming the open-minded (when it comes to torture, anyway) Michael Mukasey to replace former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Follow me closely here — Mukasey needs to know whether we waterboard because if we do it, it’s automatically not torture.

Bush later linked the debate to national security and suggested that senators were hampering his administration’s ability to pursue suspected terrorists by failing to swiftly approve Mukasey, a retired judge and former prosecutor.

“This is no time for Congress to weaken the Department of Justice by denying it a strong and effective leader,” Bush told the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank…

“There’s an enemy out there. I don’t want them to understand, to be able to adjust one way or the other,” Bush told reporters. “The American people have got to understand the program is important and the techniques used are within the law.”

Got that? If you don’t confirm Bush’s pick, you are aiding and abetting the enemy. Pretty soon, the terrorists have won. Because of you, you, you!

And see, the terrorists don’t know what might happen to them if we catch them. Waterboarding, hooking them up electrodes and having them stand in water with a hood over their head, siccing dogs on them…all these things are a complete surprise to terrorists when we do them, and we want to keep it that way.

And here’s the important part, folks, if we’re doing it, it’s not torture. Because, you know, we don’t torture. Bush said this about asking Mukasey about waterboarding.

“I believe the questions he’s been asked are unfair,” Bush said in an Oval Office session with reporters. “He’s been asked to give opinions of a program — or techniques of a program — on which he has not been briefed.”

…Bush said of Mukasey, “He doesn’t know whether we use that technique or not.”

And — follow me closely here — he needs to know whether we do it because if we do it, it’s automatically not torture. Because, as Bush has said many times, we don’t torture. So before Mukasey can say if it’s torture, he needs to know if America does it.

Read it a few more times, preferably like Bush, with your lips moving, and you’ll get it.


Mukasey Won’t Say Waterboarding Is Torture But in 1947 the U.S. Called It a War Crime, Sentenced Enemy Officer to 15 Years Hard Labor

Immoral Relativism: George Bush’s nomination of Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general — once thought to be smooth sailing — is experiencing a bit of turbulence. The problem is, Mukasey can’t bring himself to say whether or not waterboarding is torture:

“I don’t know what’s involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.”
— Mukasey

During his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Mukasey said he believes torture violates the Constitution, but he refused to be pinned down on whether he believes specific interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, are constitutional.

“I don’t know what’s involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional,” he said.

But after World War II, the United States government was quite clear about the fact that waterboarding was torture, at least when it was done to U.S. citizens:

[In] 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II,” he sai

Mukasey’s non-answer has raised doubts among Democrats, and even some Republicans, on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

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