The Guardian has a promising new website, Guardian America. In it Sidney Blumenthal offers a piece on how Rudy Giulianiís old pal, Michael Mukasey, has publicly revealed that he intends to be not the nationís lawyer but just another of Bushís sock puppets.
The Senate Democrats could have spared us this further indignity but a controlling majority of them are too cowardly to do so. Principal among these cowards is the revolting Charles Schumer of New York. You may have seen him once or twice on TV, where he plays a liberal.
Those with long memories may remember Schumerís shameful role in the Waco massacre, in which the Republicans played the good guys and Democrats played the cop-sniffing bullies. Chief cheerleader for those parties principally responsible ó the incompetent Janet Reno and the gutless Bill Clinton ó was then-Congressman Schumer.
This appalling and totally gratuitous slaughter led directly to the tragedy of Oklahoma City, where Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building on the anniversary of the Waco murders in a demented attempt to avenge the victims.
Back to Blumenthal:
Mukasey is not a free agent. He had been strictly briefed and in his testimony was following orders. He has avoided calling waterboarding torture because that is consistent with the administration's position and past practice. Mukasey's refusal to disavow waterboarding reveals his acceptance of his assignment to a secondary role as attorney general, an inferior agent, not a constitutional officer, to certain political appointees in the White House.
Those who are responsible for waterboarding have defined and dictated Mukasey's evasions. His acquiescence demonstrates that no one in his position could take a contrary view to that of David Addington, Vice President Cheney's former counsel and now chief of staff, who directed and coauthored the infamous memos by former deputy assistant director of the Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo justifying torture, and charged the current acting director of OLC, Stephen Bradbury, to issue new memos rationalising it.
Addington is the reigning legal authority within the administration, presiding over the attorney general no matter who would fill the job. Addington rules by decree and tantrum, intolerant of any alternative opinion, which he suppresses with intimidation and threat. Gonzales, as White House counsel and then attorney general, was the marionette of Karl Rove and Addington. Rove is gone, but Addington remains.