Friday, 2 November 2007

Writing Chuck about Mukasey

Occasionally I feel the need to engage in probably futile exercises, just so I can go on record. Today I sent the following web email to Senator Charles Schumer:
Change your mind - vote against Mukasey!

Neither Senator from my state of Washington is on the Judiciary Committee, so I feel compelled to write you on the matter of Michael Mukasey's nomination to be the chief law enforcement officer of our nation. Regardless of how nice he may be, Mukasey's equivocations under questioning demonstrate that he is unfit to take over as Attorney General, where a clear moral compass is needed more than ever in the wake of the errors left behind by Alberto Gonzales.

Arlen Specter and Lindsay Graham know Mukasey is not fit, but they will likely capitulate to the pressure of being Republicans. You do not have that handicap. Listen to your mother, talk to those like Sheldon Whitehouse who have made the necessary decision, and bring along others like Dianne Feinstein, in order to keep Mukasey's nomination from having to even go to the floor of the main Senate.

It's not just the bit about waterboarding. Mukasey has been equivocating all over the map, and you know it. Admit you were wrong, and do the right thing!

Thanks to you and your staff for taking the input of concerned American citizens such as myself.
Charles Schumer seems to exemplify for me exactly the wrong way to be a liberal. He's strident and stubborn in defending entrenched party positions, while he bends in exactly the places where liberalism can best take the moral high ground. Nonetheless, he's pretty effective and powerful, and we cannot lightly brush him off.

Why must Russ Feingold and his kind be so rare?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A note to Senator Schumer and Judge Mukasey:
After the end of WWII, minutes of Hitler's War Cabinet were released to the public. One particular meeting seems appropriate to our discussion here.
After the fire bombing of Dresden in which 25,000-50,000 German Civilians were killed, Hitler demanded that any British or American Pilot should be tortured and executed on the spot of his capture.
Army Chiefs Generals Jodl and Keitl offered no objection to this unlawful order.
Herman Goering, who was never known for his courage or convictions in WWII, stood up to Hitler and said that you can't do that. First because it violates the Geneva Convention and, second, because one of the results would be that German Pilots who were also prisoners of war would be subject to the same treatment.
Amazingly, Air Force Chief Goering carried the day and it was agreed that there would be no reprisals. Herman Goering was a German Ace in WWI. He succeeded Baron Von Richthon as commander of "The Flying Circus."

Unfortunately, Martin Borman with the cooperation of SS Chief Heinrich Himmler instituted those reprisals anyway. It is suspected with the secret approval of Hitler.

Mauthausen contained stone and granite quarries, called the `weinergraben,' belonging to the municipality of Vienna, which were used paving its streets.
In the last months of the war forty-seven downed American pilots were imprisoned in Mauthausen. They were among those who were compelled, whipped while barefooted, to make the climb up the 148 steps of the quarry in freezing weather, bearing heavy slabs of granite. Men who reached the top were marched back
and given heavier loads. By morning all were dead.

All connected to this atrocity were tried and convicted under terms of the Geneva Convention for War Crimes.

If in public even Adolf Hitler bowed to the Geneva Conventions. How in the world does an Attorney General or Attorney General Nominee hold that we, and more particularly, they are not so bound?

I don't want anyone in the Department of Justice who argues against or finesses implementation of the Geneva Conventions.
My argument is that everyone is bound by the Geneva Conventions and that they are not subject to interpretation. Something either is or is not a war crime and that there are no degrees of war crimes.
Senator Schumer has to realize that we executed people at the end of WWII for these things. One Japanese Commander was even executed because these activities occurred under his command. This despite the fact that he was able to convince the court that he had no personal knowledge as to their occurrence. He was held accountable anyway. The court held that he "should" have known.

In 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.

I would only ask Senator Schumer where is the moral ambiguity that allows Judge Mukasey any "WEASEL" room for not taking a stand on Waterboarding?

The Washington Post