Mukasey Hits Resistance on Torture

Dems balk over AG nominee's refusal to rule out waterboarding
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2007 6:47 AM CDT
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, talks with Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007, following Mukasey's...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – If AG nominee Michael Mukasey doesn't clarify his views on which interrogation techniques are constitutional, Democratic senators say they may oppose his confirmation. Proceedings that were expected to be smooth sailing ran into trouble this week when Mukasey, who has denounced the use of torture, declined to specify whether he includes the widely condemned practice of waterboarding in that category, reports the New York Times.   

 "A number of issues need clarification,” said Senate Judiciary Committee chief Arlen Specter. “I’m troubled by the depth of his assertion of executive powers.”  Specter said confirmation could hinge on Mukasey's answers to written questions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that if Mukasey doesn't specify waterboarding as a form of torture, he, for one, would oppose him.