We still don’t know when the Senate confirmation hearings for President Bush’s nominee for Attorney General will be, but a report in Newsweek reminds us of why it will be important for the Judiciary Committee Senators to ask Judge Mukasey some tough questions. Newsweek reports that:
According to three sources, who asked not to be named discussing the private meetings, Mukasey said that he saw “significant problems” with shutting down Guantánamo Bay and that he understood the need for the CIA to use some “enhanced” interrogation techniques against Qaeda suspects.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the President himself have all expressed a desire to close Guantanamo. The American Bar Association has condemned the executive order allowing for so-called “enhanced” interrogation techniques, prominent Administration supporters have blasted it, and a report published by HRF and Physicians for Human Rights shows that it could lead to the resumption of techniques that constitute torture or other illegal cruel treatment. Finally, top military lawyers have voiced concerns about the damage done to the military by allowing a double standard for CIA interrogations.
During the confirmation hearings, Americans will be listening to hear whether Judge Mukasey would take into account these serious concerns about Guantanamo and torture if he serves as the nation’s top law enforcement official.