Just how serious is the condition of the Mukasey nomination? The Los Angeles Times notes, "Mukasey, adopting a middle ground on an issue that has become central to his nomination, said coercive interrogation methods, including a form of simulated drowning, were 'over the line' and 'repugnant.' But he declined to say whether he thought so-called water-boarding was a form of torture that would be illegal in all cases."
"His position, detailed in a letter late Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where his nomination to succeed Alberto R. Gonzales has stalled, fell short of assurances sought by some leading Democrats and cast doubt over whether Mukasey would be confirmed."
The New York Times: "Mukasey noted that Congress has not explicitly banned waterboarding by the C.I.A., though it was outlawed for use by the military in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. That left room for interpretation as to whether waterboarding or any other technique is prohibited as 'cruel, inhuman or degrading' treatment, he wrote."
"'Legal questions must be answered based solely on the actual facts, circumstances and legal standards presented,' he wrote. In the absence of knowing exactly how specific classified interrogation techniques have been used, Mr. Mukasey continued, he did not want to offer legal opinions on 'hypotheticals.'"
Bush reacted to the "social spending" in the recent Democratic appropriations bill, which h