Senate Grills Mukasey Today on Waterboarding

Mukasey warns he'll stonewall on questions about legality
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 3:43 AM CST
Abu Zubaydah a senior al-Qaeda figure reported to have been subjected to the waterboarding technique during interrogation.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A high-noon face off is looming today between Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the Senate Judiciary Committee over waterboarding, the simulated drowning interrogation technique that many consider torture. Committee chair Patrick Leahy said Mukasey faces "serious questions" on the issue at today's hearing. But Mukasey has warned Leahy in a letter that he will not tell the Senate whether or not waterboarding is illegal.

"I understand the strong interest, but I do not think it would be responsible for me to provide an answer," Mukasey wrote. "There are some circumstances where current law would appear clearly to prohibit the use of waterboarding. Other circumstances would present a far closer question."