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A Dem. Candidate Chorus Against Mukasey

Adopting a position first taken by Senator Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have now declared they will also oppose the nomination of Michael Mukasey to be the U.S. Attorney General. Using similar terms, all three put out statements saying they were concerned about comments in the retired judge made in testimony in front of the Senate on October 18 in which he would not say if he considered waterboarding as torture.

"While his legal credentials are strong, his views on two critical and related matters are, in my view, disqualifying," Obama said in a statement. We don't need another attorney general who believes that the President enjoys an unwritten right to secretly ignore any law or abridge our constitutional freedoms simply by invoking national security. And we don't need another attorney general who looks the other way on issues as profound as torture. Judge Mukasey's professed ignorance of the debate over the propriety of practices like "waterboarding," or simulated drowning, as a means of interrogation, was appalling."

Asked about waterboarding in his hearing, Mukasey said, I don't know what's involved in the technique," Mukasey said. "If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."

Clinton said, "Judge Mukasey has been given ample opportunity - both at his confirmation hearings and in his subsequent submission to the Judiciary Committee - to clarify his answers and categorically oppose the unacceptable interrogation techniques employed by this Administration. His failure to do so leaves me no choice but to oppose his nomination."

A vote on Mukasey nomination is not expected for at least a week, as Senate Democrats are pushing him to answer written questions on torture and other issues they raised after hearing.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  October 30, 2007; 12:41 PM ET
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