At a meeting of former White House speechwriters last week I learned that my old boss, Jim Fallows of The Atlantic, has a blog on the magazine’s site. Here’s an excerpt from a recent post:
On crucial points, Mukasey's second-day testimony amounted to a request that he and the Administration be trusted to do the right thing. Nothing against him personally, but the time for trust has passed. Unless Mukasey explicitly repudiates the most abusive parts of his predecessor's (and his President's) record, the Senate would be negligent and reckless to approve him.
A specific point: the "waterboarding" outrage. As is now becoming famous, Mukasey said this, when asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse whether waterboarding was constitutional:
“I don’t know what is involved in the technique,” Mr. Mukasey replied. “If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.”
Either way you slice it, this answer alone is grounds for rejecting Mukasey. If he really doesn't "know what is involved" in the technique, he is unacceptably lazy or ill-informed. Any citizen can learn about this technique with a few minutes on the computer…”
So, if Mukasey was telling the truth in this answer, he is too lazy for the job. If he was lying, he's too dishonest.
Jim seems to think that proven laziness and dishonesty disqualify a man for high office. They don’t, not in a democracy. Take Bush’s reelection. Please.
If Mukasey is even remotely interested in the technique of waterboarding — which is doubtful, ignorance being bliss — he can read a first-hand account from a survivor right here on Bad Attitudes. And below is a helpful diagram, from 16th century Antwerp.