Saturday, November 10, 2007

Democrats And Waterboarding

by Alan Dershowitz - November 7th, 2007 - Wall Street Journal (

Michael Mukasey, whose confirmation as attorney general now seems assured, is absolutely correct, as a matter of constitutional law, that the issue of "waterboarding" cannot be decided in the abstract. Under prevailing precedents--some of which I disagree with--the court must examine the nature of the governmental interest at stake, and the degree to which the government actions at issue shock the conscience, and then decide on a case-by-case basis. In several cases involving actions at least as severe as waterboarding, courts have found no violations of due process.

The members of the judiciary committee who voted against Judge Mukasey, because of his unwillingness to support an absolute prohibition on waterboarding and all other forms of torture, should be asked the direct question: Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur? [That would be millions if nuclear bombs were involved.] Would you want your president to authorize extraordinary means of interrogation in such a situation? If so, what means? If not, would you be prepared to accept responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds [millions] of Americans?

Very interesting article. Alan Dershowitz is a liberal who, like Christopher Hitchens, recognizes that our system is under attack from a movement, Islamo-fascism, that could easily destroy us. He recognizes that there is a powerful element in the Democrat Party which does not care about that war. They are so focused on their war against free enterprise (and thus a war against America) that they are indifferent to the war with the Islamo-fascists.

The last paragraph sums up Dershowitz's advice to the Democrat Party. Though I am not interested in maintaining this issue as a partisan issue I consider his advice frightening. That is because he is encouraging the Democrat Party to have the anti-war element in their party pretend to care about defending our nation so they don't lose the election. He might argue that he is asking this not be a partisan issue, but his goal, a Democrat victory, indicates that is not the true motivation.


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