Larry Johnson over at Daily Kos has released a letter to the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling for a hold on Mukasey’s nomination for Attorney General until Judge Mukasey clarifies his position on waterboarding. They ridicule Mukasey’s claim of ignorance on the subject, and suggest a classified briefing for him and other Committee leaders, which would be taped in order to “enhance the likelihood of candor”. Johnson is a former Intelligence analysis and operations officer, and was deputy director of Office of Counter Terrorism at the U.S. State Department.
The letter follows the news last Friday that Democratic Senators Feinstein and Schumer said they would vote to recommend Mukasey out of committee. The memorandum from assorted former intelligence operatives from the CIA/FBI/DIA and State Department is full of lofty calls for a return to American values and a return to the “high moral ground” supposedly held previously by the U.S. military and CIA. One only has to contemplate the history of the CIA, of how the U.S. government has trained torturers around the world, of the U.S. unprovoked invasions of Iraq and Vietnam with deaths in the millions, of the torture-assassination program that was Operation Phoenix, in addition to the fact the agents’s memorandum says nothing about other forms of torture, or about the CIA extraordinary rendition program, to recognize the bogus nature of such previously held moral values and positions.
The letter itself is worth publishing as an example of the rebellion within the governmental bureaucracy against the hard-line Bush/Cheney cabal, for whom anything goes. You can bet that these former government spooks wouldn’t have published if there wasn’t some support for their position within the active military and intelligence community.
The memorandum also demonstrates that political opposition to the Mukasey nomination hasn’t totally crumbled in the wake of Feinstein and Schumer’s genuflection to Bush. Johnson says this letter can be posted “at any blog or site, in full”, asking only for attribution to No Quarter. What follows is the full text of this letter to the Judiciary Committee: