The Next Attorney General and Waterboarding
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Michael Mukasey's on his way to the full Senate for likely confirmation as Attorney General of the United States, but the issue of waterboarding could still cause him problems. If it's torture, would that incriminate high level US officials? We hear from a man who's been waterboarded--and trained American service people how to endure it. Also, a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, and drug lords in South America are building submarines.
Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey (2nd-L) talks with Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 50 in Northern Afghanistan ()
At least fifty people, including five members of Afghanistan's parliament, were killed by a suicide bomber today in northern Afghanistan. John Hemming is chief correspondent in Kabul for Reuters News Service.
- John Hemming: Correspondent, Reuters News Service
The Next Attorney General and Waterboarding ()
Michael Mukasey is now considered certain to be confirmed as the next Attorney General of the United States after today's vote by the Judiciary Committee to send his name to the full Senate. The former judge has refused to say whether he thinks waterboarding is torture, but told New York Senator Chuck Schumer he would enforce a law against waterboarding if Congress passed one. That was good enough for Diane Feinstein of California, who joined fellow Democrat Schumer in providing the two deciding votes. Eight other Democrats voted no, insisting that waterboarding is torture and that Mukasey should declare it already illegal. Should a Medieval practice be classified as torture? Would that incriminate US officials all the way up to the White House? We talk to a Navy veteran who's been through it and taught it. Does it provide reliable information that could save innocent lives?
- Malcolm Nance: Veteran counter-terrorism consultant
- Lee Casey: former staffer in the Justice Department
- Scott Horton: Professor at Columbia Law School
- John Dean: former Counsel, President Richard Nixon, @JohnWDean
Subterranean Cocaine Trafficking ()
Today's Los Angeles Times reports that a routine patrol by the Colombian coast guard revealed a mini-shipyard in a forest of mangroves. Two 55-foot fiberglass submarines were under construction, one ready for launch and the other 70% complete. Each was powered with 350-horsepower diesel engines and capable of transporting three to five tons of cocaine to the US. In August, the Houston Chronicle reported a submarine-like vessel with 5.5 tons of cocaine worth $352 million. John Otis wrote the story.
- John Otis: South America Bureau Chief, Houston Chronicle
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