President Bush's nominee for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, declined Thursday to say if he considered harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding, which simulates drowning, to constitute torture or to be illegal if used on terrorism suspects.A dog-and-pony show not resulting in straight answers? Why, I'm as shocked as you are! Though I and anyone else with at least partially-functioning mental faculties should not be shocked at this:
"Is waterboarding constitutional?" Mr. Mukasey was asked by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, in one of the sharpest exchanges.Is or isn't waterboarding torture? Is or isn't ketchup a vegetable? These are questions man was not meant to ask. Do you think you could handle even a hint of the profound mysteries of the universe, the paradoxes that lie dormant throughout the dimensions, woven in the fabric of space and time, ready to trip up the unaware without a moment's notice?
"I don't know what is involved in the technique," Mr. Mukasey replied. "If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."
"I mean, it is or it isn't," Mr. Whitehouse continued.Good job, Sheldon, if that is your real name. You just gave away, in a public forum, valuable information that will now be used by our enemies to adjust their tactics in their eternal quest to defeat liberty, freedom, fuzzy little bunnies and the Super Magical Jesus Baby.
Waterboarding, he said, "is the practice of putting somebody in a reclining position, strapping them down, putting cloth over their faces and pouring water over the cloth to simulate the feeling of drowning. Is that constitutional?"
Mr. Mukasey again demurred, saying, "If it amounts to torture, it is not constitutional."I'm not. That was some funny shit. Imagine, if you will, decades of wingnut screeds, first screamed, yelled and vomited out in diabolical, blood-soaked gatherings, always crowned with a virgin sacrifice to their unnamed dark lord - one can almost smell the long-dried stain of carnage on the filthy, cold stone - always held in dungeons one wag calls "thinktanks," then hastily typed up and printed by chained and starving minions, a jagged, venomous poetry directed at the strawman of lefty "moral relativism."
Mr. Whitehouse said he was "very disappointed in that answer; I think it is purely semantic."
"I'm sorry," Mr. Mukasey replied.
And now, here we are.
If I may, I'd like to close out with another humorous note. Once more unto the breach, dear Patsy:
"I don't know whether you received some criticism from anybody in the administration last night after your testimony," he said, "but I sensed a difference, and a number of people here, Republican and Democratic alike, have sensed a difference."Everything according to plan. Delicious.
Mr. Mukasey insisted there had been no pressure from the White House on Wednesday, saying, "I received no criticism."