The Global Citizen
I have no interest in paying $27 for John Bolton's Surrender is Not an Option, even if he were willing to sign it from me. But I have been enjoying recent reviews of the book.
Mark Goldberg's take, written for the American Prospect, is especially sharp. As a reporter for the Prospect and my fellow co-contributor to the now fortunately defunct Bolton Watch blog, Mark was at the UN following Bolton's diplomatic mishaps from recess appointment to resignation. His review provides important context for the events described in the book.
Yesterday I took my annual pilgrimage from the global to the local and spent the day as poll watcher in Virginia. One of my duties was to hand out sample Democratic ballots to voters before they went inside to vote. The polling station had two parking lots on either side of the entrance. By law we needed to be at least 40 feet from the door. On a busy year there would have been at least two workers per party there, but this was an off year election so there was only one from each party.
This is the second "Weekly Gaff," a feature inspired by Frank Gaffney, who has engineered a campaign of misinformation in the pages of the Washington Times. In last week's edition, we touched on treaty arch-enemy Senator Jim Inhofe's attempt to "retrofit unilateralism" and his concession that the arguments against the treaty aren't actually true.
This week, Gaffney only mentions the Law of the Sea as one of many instances of President Bush's selling out conservatives. He says the Law of the Sea would subject the U.S. to international tribunals, which is demonstrably false. I've explained that briefly here. It is explained further in this Duke University policy brief. Senator Inhofe even conceded as much here.
Just in case our recent array of posts and our organization's stand against Attorney General nominee Judge Mukasey are not convincing enough, here is a letter sent to the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from four retired Judge Advocates General on the issue.
November 2, 2007
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman United States Senate Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Leahy,
Years from now, hopefully not too far off in the future, historians will note the heroism displayed by Daniel Levin.
Who is Daniel Levin? He used to be the Acting Assistant Attorney General, who according to ABC News was:
As Raj Purohit and Scott Paul have noted, we are strongly opposed to Judge Mukasey's nomination to be our country's next Attorney General.Surprisingly, this decision became quite easy for GlobalSolutions.org.After all, for the next Attorney General to be unable to say if torture is torture, how can this person be trusted to speak truth to power, that is the current White House?
After Judge Mukasey's first day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, his nomination appeared more than safe.He was honest and straight forward, saying that "Torture is unlawful".Then, one day later, it became obvious that somebody got to him.
Because he then testified that he could not say if waterboarding is torture.
Amazingly, this morning's Washington Post editorial board argues that:
Mr. Mukasey is being judged not on his merits but as a proxy for Mr. Bush. Yet critics of the nomination, while understandably disturbed by Mr. Mukasey's unwillingness to label waterboarding illegal, may be working against the last, best hope to see the rule of law reemerge in this administration..
My colleague Howard Salter and I had a funny conversation a couple of weeks ago that evolved into this blog post of his, a lost scene of the Godfather acted out by various personalities in Vice President Cheney's office. The title of the post: Who Got to Mukasey?
I smacked myself afterwards for failing to make the obvious connection that should be obvious to all Godfather fans. Judge Michael Mukasey is Frank Pentangeli, the would-be witness against the Corleone crime family who suddenly recants his testimony. In Godfather, Part II, the Corleones fly Pengangeli's brother in to remind him where he came from; Howard jokes something similar may be afoot with the sudden change in tone between days one and two of the Mukasey hearings.
We have been following the AG nomination process closely and decided yesterday that we needed to oppose Mukasey - here is our statement:
"GlobalSolutions.org opposes the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey for United States Attorney General because of his unwillingness to support long-established international legal standards related to torture and interrogation. An individual unable to state on the record that waterboarding is torture cannot be trusted to hold the position of Attorney General. The United States is a nation of laws and our standing in the world has eroded in recent years because the current administration has flouted well-established legal norms. The Senate must prevent a continuation of this negative trend and should reject the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey."
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