The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 this morning to send the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey to the Senate floor. No surprise there, but the whole episode exemplifies the dysfunctional condition of today’s Washington.
The Democrats nearly stalled Mukasey’s nomination because he wouldn’t declare that waterboarding constitutes “torture,” which would make it illegal. At the same time, the Congress itself could ban waterboarding, but hasn’t done so, and apparently doesn’t intend to. The Democrats think they are well served politically whenever newspaper headlines contain the word “torture” along with the name of a Bush nominee, but they don’t think they would be well served politically by actually prohibiting the single most effective interrogation technique at our disposal. Hence the sort of charade that we saw with the Mukasey nomination.
Meanwhile, news reports indicate that both the military and the CIA have stopped the use of waterboarding in any event.
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