The United States Senate voted 53 to 40 to confirm Michael Mukasey as Attorney General.
Claire McCaskill was one of 40 “No” votes. Kit Bond was one of 53 “Yes” votes.
Senators Alexander (R-TN), Biden (D-DE), Clinton (D-NY), Cornyn (R-TX), Dodd (D-CT), McCain (R-AZ) and Obama (D-IL) did not vote.
Let’s see what Kit Bond voted for:
MR. MUKASEY: I don’t know what’s involved in the technique. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.
Well, did anyone bother to ask Michael Mukasey if there had been any cases concerning the subject?
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Carl LEE, Defendant-Appellant
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
744 F.2d 1124; 1984
…Lee was indicted along with two other deputies, Floyd Baker and James Glover, and the County Sheriff, James Parker, based on a number of incidents in which prisoners were subjected to a “water torture” in order to prompt confessions to various crimes…
…At trial, Baker’s defense as developed by his counsel and his testimony rested on two points. The first was that he actively participated in only a single torture episode, and then only because ordered to do so by his superiors — a “Nuremberg defense.” The second was that while he believed the torture of prisoners immoral, he did not at the time think it was illegal. In the course of Baker’s testimony, he identified Lee as a participant in the torture of several prisoners. Seven other witnesses also connected Lee with various torture incidents. At the close of the evidence, the district judge severed Baker, and put the case of the remaining defendants to the jury. Lee was convicted on three counts. In this appeal he contends that Baker’s defense was in such conflict with his own that he should have been granted a severance at the be-ginning of trial. …
Do you think that if someone had been tried in federal court for a crime that it may, just may, have been a really bad thing?
Or maybe, he didn’t know “at the time” that torture was illegal, but that he did when he was indicted and convicted?
Did anyone notice that the court has no problem defining the procedure as torture? You’d think that a nominee for Attorney General or a United States Senator could have their staff do a little basic research.
And, there are numerous instances cited in the prosecutions for torture at the International Military Military Tribunal for the Far East [Tokyo War Crimes Trial] [The United States was a part of the prosecution: see Michael Mukasey and waterboarding for an excerpt from an affidavit describing the technique]