Friday, November 9, 2007

Michael Mukasey confirmed Attorney General despite controversy

Michael Mukasey will be sworn in as Attorney General today after the Senate confirmed the retired judge last night by a 53-40 vote.

His nomination had been considered at risk after a number of Democratic senators opposed Mukasey because of questions that arose from his views on waterboarding and the president's power to order electronic surveillance.

Mukasey, 66, a former federal judge from New York, told senators he considers waterboarding "repugnant," but he could not categorically say whether the technique amounts to torture, which U.S. and international law bans.

The White House issued a statement after the vote thanking the Senate for confirming Mukasey, whom Bush called "a man of strong character and integrity, with exceptional legal judgment."

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said he believed Mukasey would enforce a law banning waterboarding.

A majority of Americans consider waterboarding a form of torture, but some of those say it's OK for the U.S. government to use the technique, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released this week.

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