Mukasey Should Provide Clear Answer on Waterboarding

“Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey’s continued insistence that questions about waterboarding are ‘hypothetical’ — and therefore he can’t answer them — is disingenuous,” said Maureen Byrnes, Executive Director of Human Rights First.

“It is common knowledge that waterboarding is a form of simulated drowning, and Judge Mukasey does not need to know every detail of the CIA program to conclude that such acts of official cruelty violate the law. In fact, the legal analysis in his letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirms that some acts are prohibited by the law regardless of the circumstances.

Judge Mukasey refused to provide an answer to the core question of whether America will continue to be a country that tortures detainees.

This confirmation process provides an opportunity to begin to restore the trust and confidence of the American people in the Justice Department.

We are still waiting for the clear and unambiguous statement that America will not allow torture or cruel and inhumane treatment as is clearly prohibited by U.S. law. Judge Mukasey’s continued refusal to say so adds to existing concerns about his nomination.


Published on October 30, 2007


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