Sen. Leahy Rejects Mukasey - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sen. Leahy Rejects Mukasey

Burlington, Vermont - November 2, 2007

Senator Patrick Leahy said he will not support the confirmation of Michael Mukasey for U.S. Attorney General because the nominee has refused to define waterboarding as torture.

Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether the full Senate gets to consider President Bush's choice to head the Justice Department.

At issue is the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, which simulates a drowning. Mukasey has said he personally finds the technique "repugnant," but said he did not know if amounts to illegal torture.

At a press conference today, Leahy told reporters he has no doubt that waterboarding is torture.

"The United States and its Attorney General must stand for the rule of the law -- and stand in the breach against anybody who would try to undercut it," Leahy said. "There is no question in my mind that waterboarding is torture and is illegal; it is illegal under the laws of the United States, and our treaty obligations, which have the force of law in America."

New York Sen. Charles Schumer and California Sen. Diane Feinstein, both Democrats, are standing by Mukasey. That likely gives him enough support to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee when it votes next Tuesday.

Kate Duffy - WCAX News

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