Scott Lemieux makes it. Suffice it to say that torture plays a role. I would add that there are issues here beyond the merely pragmatic one of whether or not Mukasey is really worse than the current Acting AG. For Senators to elicit sworn testimony on the subject of waterboarding, hear the nominee refuse to call it torture, and then confirm him nonetheless would be to give a senatorial imprimateur to the notion. Actually blocking his confirmation seems both futile and unlikely to accomplish anything, but I don't see how any decent person could vote "yes" in good conscience.

In related news, read Dahlia Lithwick and Lithwick with Phil Carter on this business.

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