Specter will vote for Makasey

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday he is bothered by Michael Mukasey’s refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture but will support his nomination for attorney general anyway.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., joins two key Senate Democrats in saying he will back Mukasey because the retired judge has said that if Congress passes a law banning waterboarding, “the president would have absolutely no legal authority to ignore such a law.”

“He could have said a lot of things which would have given me more assurances,” Specter said. “But he is intelligent; he’s really learned in the law. He’s strong, ethical, honest beyond any question. He’s not an intimate of the president.”

“And you have to balance it off with where we are today,” said Specter, R-Pa. “The Department of Justice is dysfunctional. It is not performing. And every day that passes, we do not have someone in charge of the investigation against terrorism, the fight against violent crime.”

The Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Mukasey’s nomination Tuesday.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Sunday reiterated his support for Mukasey, even though he said Mukasey’s answers about waterboarding haven’t been totally clear.

“I wanted (Mukasey) to say that waterboarding was torture and illegal,” McCain, a former prisoner of war, told reporters in Mason City, Iowa. “He said that he would get briefed on the procedures.”

The Republican presidential candidate — who is not on the Judiciary Committee — said he received a letter from Mukasey that said the former judge found waterboarding, which simulates drowning, “repugnant and he would never support such a thing.”

Mukasey’s confirmation had been in doubt as five of the panel’s 10 Democrats, including Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont, had lined up against Mukasey after he refused to state categorically that waterboarding is illegal.

But last Friday, Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California announced they would support the nomination. With nine Republicans on the panel, Schumer and Feinstein’s support virtually guarantees that a majority of the committee will recommend his confirmation.

Specter previously had been mum on whether he would support Mukasey, citing questions about waterboarding.

On Sunday, Specter said he believed “Judge Mukasey went about as far as he could go” in stating his views because a more categorical answer that waterboarding was illegal could open a wave of lawsuits against administration officials.

“It is very important, in the national interest, that we have a strong attorney general. So I would have liked better assurances,” Specter said. “And I think Congress ought to take a firm stand on waterboarding.”

Specter spoke on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

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Associated Press writer Amy Lorentzen in Mason City contributed to this report.

10 Responses to "Specter will vote for Makasey"

  1. old_curmudgeon  November 5, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I suggest that they haul every one of those senators on the committee down to Quantico and waterboard each and every one of them – take Mukasey also (Cheney would be nice but he doesn’t give interviews.) Then let them tell us it ISN’T torture. It’ll only take a few minutes out of their busy day – five at the most. My bet is that those that don’t have heart-attacks will see the light. But, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion…

  2. SEAL  November 5, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    So, the Senate will approve for Attorney General of the nation a man who refuses to declare illegal what has been established as illegal since WWII to be illegal. The only reason this man gives for refusing to do so is that delaring Waterboarding illegal would make the executives of the Executive Branch of our government and their minions – criminals, thus allowing victims and/or their families to sue them.

    “But he is intelligent; he’s really learned in the law. [Except for them there torture laws]

    He’s not an intimate of the president.” [He doesn't sleep with Bush?]

    “And you have to balance it off with where we are today,” [Just exactly where is that?]

    “He said that he would get briefed on the procedures.” [I would be more than happy to brief him]

    This all makes perfect sense to me. Of course we would want our chief law enforcement officer to protect lawbreakers. As long as they aren’t sleeping tpogether.

  3. Janet  November 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    The solution is to have Mukasey undergo Waterboarding(under controlled conditions, of course). The waterboarding will stop when he admits that it’s torture.

  4. Helen Rainier  November 5, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I KNEW Weasel Specter would turn tail and run. It’s his MO. He always blows hot air and then goes out in a fizzle of non-glory.

    He’s just yet another one of the non-democracy cretins who thinks his s*it doesn’t stink.

  5. ekaton  November 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    And democrat Joe Biden is the other side of the same coin. All hot air and no action.

    — Kent Shaw

  6. Steve Horn  November 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    “On Sunday, Specter said he believed “Judge Mukasey went about as far as he could go” in stating his views because a more categorical answer that waterboarding was illegal could open a wave of lawsuits against administration officials.”

    Oh – there’s a reason to not ask the tough questions – to keep the administration out of trouble. If you really want to put an end to torture in this nation of ours, vote the gutless bastards out of the house and senate when they come up for election – put in men and women of courage and conviction, who are willing to do the peoples business.

    Torture – hell – I’m subjected to it every time I read the news …

    Peace

    Steve

  7. ekaton  November 5, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    “If you really want to put an end to torture in this nation of ours, vote the gutless bastards out of the house and senate when they come up for election – put in men and women of courage and conviction, who are willing to do the peoples business.”

    I concur. However, those of us who post here are among the 1% that actually try to understand today’s world. The rest will just vote for the candidate who can produce the most jingoistic sound byte.

    — Kent Shaw

  8. DejaVuAllOver  November 5, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Gee, a GOP Jew supporting a fellow Jewish zionist warrior? What’s next? Women supporting Hillary?

    Stay tuned: will Lieberman, Mukasey, Feinstein, Schumer, Libby, Wolfowitz, Foxman, Fleischer et al. form the Zionist Party in 2008? Who will they nominate? Will they relocate the Whitehouse to Jerusalem?

  9. Carl Nemo  November 6, 2007 at 4:46 am

    deleted by poster

  10. Carl Nemo  November 6, 2007 at 4:49 am

    Notice how the dems, the once so-called “peoples party” never cease to let “we the people” down when it comes to compromising the Constitution and our way of life…!

    They aren’t dems anymore, they are all part of the same “republicrat” club. They are on a roll and their plan is to turn America into their AmeriKa. They are 99 percent of the way to mission accomplished!

    We’ve been compromised by traitors at all levels of government. The headiness of absolute power and access to the U.S. Treasury as their personal piggy-bank trumps all other temptations proffered by the forces of darkness…!

    America is in harms way with these mattoids at the helm.

    Carl Nemo **==

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