Blitzer: When you both announced on Friday you will support the confirmation of Michael Mukasey to be the next attorney general, that effectively guaranteed that he'll not only get out of the committee but eventually will be confirmed as the attorney general. Even though he's taking what some are calling a wishy-washy position on waterboarding or torture, why do you believe he should be confirmed?
Feinstein: Well, first of all, because he is a bright, independent figure. Well-steeped in national security law, presided over some of those trials. In the 172 pages of written questions and answers, the independence of thought comes through.
He's not going to wear two hats like Gonzales did. He'll wear one hat, and that will be an independent attorney general for a department which right now, today, is in disarray. Twenty-three out of 93 U.S. attorneys are not filled with permanent confirmed U.S. attorneys. The 10 top positions are vacant.
What I believe this president would do if Mukasey was -- failed to be confirmed was put in an acting, also make recess appointments. That would bring about diminished transparency, diminished Congressional oversight and would not be for the benefit of the department. So this is a strong independent figure. I'd be happy to talk about my views on torture, if you want.
We're only interested in what Mukasey's views on torture are, Dianne. He's the one trying to get confirmed here. And if they don't match up to your view on waterboarding then why did you push his nomination through? Sigh...Then she goes on to quiver at the thought of what George Bush might do if he doesn't get his way. Mr. 24% is making her nervous.
What the heck is wrong with these people? She actually used the term "diminished transparency," and "diminished Congressional oversight" to describe what might happen in the Justice department if Bush had a hissy fit...Isn't that what we've had since Bush and Cheney took office? I could go on, but what would be the point. Please contact her and let her know (It does help) this is not acceptable:
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0504
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Main District Office:
One Post Street, Suite 245
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 393-0707
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, D-R.I.: Is waterboarding constitutional?
MICHAEL MUKASEY, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATE: I don't know what's involved in the technique. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.
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