October 30th, 2007
05:32 PM ET
10 years ago

Mukasey: Waterboarding 'repugnant,' no legal opinion

Mukasey says he personally finds waterboarding 'repugnant.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush's pick for attorney general, Judge Michael Mukasey, called the interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" a "repugnant" practice Tuesday, but again refused to say whether it violates U.S. laws banning torture.

As he did in his Oct. 18 confirmation hearing, Mukasey told Senate Judiciary Committee members that he has not received classified briefings on what techniques American interrogators are allowed to use and cannot make a legal judgment.

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Filed under: Michael Mukasey
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Patrick, New York, NY

    Water boarding is torture period and if this guy dosent have the guts to say it then we should deny him. AND BOB tortue dosent give you the truth from anybody ask any POW like JOhn Mccain they will always tell you torture never works!!

    October 31, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  2. John Fontaine, NY

    These people want to KILL US! They don't have morals, they don't have ethics, they don't debate if it is right or wrong they just want to KILL US!

    If we capture some, and we can use Waterboarding to stop something from happening in the future – go ahead and do it.

    The lawyers in the government are destroying our Intelligence System and our ability to stop future attacks.

    Again – These people want to KILL US.

    This is not a Republican Issue or a Democrat Issue, it is all of us. They want to destroy us and our way of life.

    Again – These People want to KILL US!

    October 31, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  3. Ginger Lee, Northern Utah

    Next bikini waxing suspects to gain information since bikini waxes are defined as "illegal".

    I don't care, rendition and torture are just as dirty as the Japanese-American internment camps of WWII because they were "imminent dangers."

    October 31, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  4. noah, menlo park ca

    The parade of mental dwarves continues.

    October 31, 2007 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  5. jw, canadian,ok

    Where does 'Dubya' find these yahoos? To Phil: The US uses waterboarding and it's against our law and international law. Where you been, dude?

    October 31, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  6. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    That was meant as sarcasm, wasn't it Bob? When people can be held with no charges, no trials, no attorneys and unable to see or refute the evidence against them, being innocent has nothing to do with it.

    October 31, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  7. therealist

    "Mukasey told Senate Judiciary Committee members that he has not received classified briefings on what techniques American interrogators are allowed to use and cannot make a legal judgment."

    Once again, democrats want to put in place a judge that rules by the progressive agenda instead of US law. Classified or not. No one is surprised by this continued show of mindless partianship from our pitiful 110th liberal Congress. The worst Congress in American history.

    October 31, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    I find it a very simple staright forward question. Judge Mukasey, is water boarding torture? Yes or no.

    Its not pigeonholing the canidate. He has been asked a question that he is expected to answer. Ask John McCain if water boarding is toture, Senator McCain will tell you in a heartbeat, no if ands ors about it, water boarding is torture.

    The United Staes has a long history of not condoning torture, the reason is simple, torture does not product good information.

    If he is unable to provide the Senate Committee, with a dirtect answer, then he is unfit to fill the chair of the Attorney General of the United Statess.

    October 31, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Pat Lambert

    If the Senate approves this "Bush Enabler" then they need to be voted out.

    October 31, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Tom Dedham, Mass

    My great hope one day is some bleeding heart liberals kids are kidnapped and we are lucky enough to capture one of the suspects and instead of trying to get information from him to save the kids, we offer him teas and cookies.

    The VERY FEW people that have been waterboarded were not pulled from the streets of the US, but in the field of battle and these individuals are not allowed the same Geneva convention rights.

    Barking dogs, loud music, sleep deprivation are NOT brutal torture as the MSM has fed you sheep.

    Waterboarding did allow us to get a confession out of KSM that he killed Daniel Berg and many others, now how did he kill Berg, he cut his head OFF with a DULL knife so it was more painful.

    Go on and defend their rights to cut our heads off, no problem.

    Did you all miss the story where our soldiers found rape rooms and torture rooms in Iraq and in those rooms there were MANUALS on how to TORTURE AMERICAN SOLDIERS via vicious and brutal techniques, waterboarding was not in the manuals as it isn't BRUTAL enough.

    Listening to this BS reminds me of the poll that said, 19% of Democrats in this country believe the world would be better off if the US lost this war and 22% were undecided.

    That in itself answers all my questions.

    October 31, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Ryan Indianapolis

    Oh my gosh can any more Democrats try to start a fight over non-issues. I tell you what Dems when we capature terrorist on the battlefield we will give them a 60minute massage, clean shower,shave, hair cut, and some botox treatments???Your party is so WEAK.

    October 31, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Bob, Seattle, WA

    To Noah: But I am not 'dead'. I still have my head. I will survive waterboarding because it only gives the impression of drowning. Guess what? One actually lives through the ordeal, unscathed.

    October 31, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Ryan Indianapolis

    How are waterboarding (simulated drowning) and giving the president powers not afforded by the constituion (superceding the FISA act), non-issues for this confirmation?

    October 31, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Moe, NY

    I suggest that we subject Mukasey to waterboarding and perhaps then he will be able to form a legal opinion.

    October 31, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. dukesjames griffin ga.

    These people want to kill us by Mr. John Fontaine NY. sir you blame the wrong people, sorry for you because you do not know thus you have the right to believe that which you understand to be fact; it is not fact;So Mr. Johnny Fontaine think for a moment–who or what type of person would seize another human being-make the person vanish take the person to a place and torture that person maybe rape the person maybe even kill the person all the time deny-ing any knowledge of that person where-about's is that normal Johnny? who does that? The Mob-The Mafia-The Nazi's-Johnny who does that? Who makes a man a offer that he can not refuse? So johnny believe me you have been lied to-bush aint what you think he is none of them are. see johnny you new-york guy; bug spray is for cock roaches. What happened to New York is punk-that should never get a pass in NY. New Yorkers aint punks. what is wrong with ya johnny-need a few slaps to the face?

    October 31, 2007 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  16. Ann ME

    Stupid Democrats wanted a new attorney general, but won't vote him in.

    November 1, 2007 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  17. Phil Chicago, Ill

    David – Dallas, TX
    Steve – Lyons, CO
    Micheel – Georgia

    And the rest of you howling because Judge Mukasey doesn't want to play the "what-if" game ....

    So you folks would rather have an OPEN hearing – describe ALL of the methods that are approved and outlawed – and have Judge Mukasey answer EACH one?

    How about we post our Military Plans for fighting terrorism on the internet?

    How about we just discontinue any counter-terrorist activity, throw our arms in the air shouting, "We surrender – don't hurt us pleeeaassee"?

    Judge Mukasey understands the law and the antics questioners use attempting to score political points. The FACT is – Mukasey said he would NOT violate or support technics which violate our laws. DEMANDING hypothetical specifics and then howling when the judge refuses to play along is another reason Democrats can't be trusted to protect the American people. You're more concerned about political opportunity than PROTECTING our country.

    America-hating wimps – all of you!

    November 1, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Russ, Juneau, AK

    There's no great mystery here: "waterboarding" IS a form of torture. It would certainly be (and has been) viewed as such when done by others to Americans. (I believe at least one Japanese officer was convicted of a war crime for using a version of the technique on Allied prisoners during World War II.) The only question is whether or not the U.S. government is going to utilize such methods of torture, and whether it is legal uunder our laws for it to do so. (There's actually another issue: whether torture is even an effective means of obtaining good intelligence, but that's another matter.)

    Having said that, I can understand why Judge Mukasey is reluctant to offer a quasi-legal opinion without having an opportunity to review a complete set of facts.

    November 2, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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