Six Democrats Vote with Lieberman and GOP to Rubberstamp Bush's Torture Policies
Olbermann Suggests Mukasey Will Provide Cover for Bush Against War Crime Charges
By Jon Ponder on 11/9/2007, 6:17am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Until last night, the criminal responsibility for the torturing of terror suspects by the U.S. government was entirely on the heads of George Bush, Dick Cheney, their senior aides and the civilian and uniformed military leadership who approved and implemented "advanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding.

Late in the evening yesterday, however, the U.S. Senate, including all Republicans who were present, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CN) and six senior Democrats, willingly assumed responsibly for Bush's torture policies by rubberstamping his nominee, Michael Mukasey, to be the next U.S. attorney general.

Mukasey --- a crony of Rudy Giuliani, the Republican presidential candidate who, during his tenure as New York City mayor, revealed fascistic tendencies that are alarmingly similar to those of George Bush and Dick Cheney --- indicated during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he will continue to greenlight Bush's torture policies.

Now the question is, will Mukasey also assist Bush, Cheney and the rest in trying to avoid war-crimes charges after they leave office.

The six senior Democratic senators who voted to confirm Mukasey and thus condone torture were:

  • Charles Schumer (N.Y.)
  • Dianne Feinstein (CA)
  • Ben Nelson (NE)
  • Evan Bayh (IN)
  • Mary Landrieu (LA)
  • Tom Carper (DE)

Profiles in courage among senators who are running for president --- including a senator who was a prisoner of war --- were also absent last night:

All four Democratic presidential candidates - Sens. Hillary Clinton (NY), Barack Obama (IL), Joe Biden (DE) and Christopher Dodd (CN) - missed the vote, as did Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2008.

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) also did not vote.

Beyond the disgrace Bush's torture policies have brought to the nation, earlier this week, MSNBC newsman Keith Olbermann asserted that George Bush understood that waterboarding was torture, and thus a crime under domestic and international law, when he approved it in 2003.

In a "Special Comment" on Monday Olbermann recounted the story of Daniel Levin, a Bush Dept. of Justice official who voluntarily submitted to waterboarding so that he could judge for himself whether or not it was torture. Afterwards, when Levin declared that the drowning technique was indeed torture, Bush had him fired.

Olbermann suggested that Bush's real motive for torturing suspects was to keep terror plots coming --- even the ones that were lies invented by tortured men desperate to bring an end to their agony --- in order to perpetuate the climate of fear Bush requires in to keep his terror-addicted base of dim-witted paranoiacs and Christian nationalists in line. Here's how Olbermann concluded his editorial on Monday night, addressing George Bush personally:

Now, if that is what this is all about, you tortured not because you're stupid and you think that torture produces confession, but you tortured because you're smart enough to know it produces really authentic sounding fiction. Well then you're going to need all the lawyers you can find, because that crime wouldn't just mean impeachment. Would it, sir? That crime would mean George W. Bush is going to prison.

Thus, the master tumblers turn and the lock yields and the hidden explanations can all be perceived in their exact proportions and in their exact progressions. Daniel Levin eminently practical, eminently logical, and eminently patriotic way of testing the legality of water boarding had to vanish and him with it. Thus Alberto Gonzales has to use that brain that sounds like an old car trying to start on a freezing morning to undo eight centuries of the forward march of law and government.

Thus Dick Cheney has to ridiculously assert that confirming we do or do not use any particular interrogation technique would somehow help the terrorists. Thus Michael Mukasey, on the eve of the vote that would make him the high priest of the law of this land, cannot and must not answer a question, nor even hint that hes thought about a question which merely concerns the theoretical definition of water boarding as torture. Because, Mr. Bush, in the seven years of your nightmare presidency, this whole string of events has been transformed from its beginning as the most neglectful protection ever of the lives and the safety of the American people, into the most efficient and cynical exploitation of tragedy for political gain in this country history.

And then to the giddying prospect that maybe you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s, and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism itself would be nearly invisible. But, at last, this frightful plan is ending with an unexpected crash. The shocking reality that no matter how thoroughly you might try to extinguish them, Mr. Bush, how thoroughly you might try to brand disagreement as disloyalty, Mr. Bush, there are still people like Daniel Levin who believe in the United States of America as true freedom, where we are better not because of schemes and wars, but because of dreams and morals.

Mukasey is a former judge from New York City who, despite his Republican Party affiliation, was reportedly highly regarded in the liberal enclave. Now that he has agreed to join the Bush administration, his reputation is destined for the ash heap of history alongside other once-respected figures like former Sec. of State Colin Powell, who have colluded with the Bush regime.