(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/2/2007) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose confirmation of Judge Michael Mukasey as Attorney General.
Mukasey, whose nomination seemed assured at the outset of Senate hearings, has refused to classify so-called “waterboarding,” an interrogation method that simulates drowning, as torture. Instead, Mukasey insisted that he needed a classified briefing on the issue to make a final determination.
SEE: Getting Waterboarded
The Independent of London reports “…waterboarding has been considered torture for over a century and the US military is banned from using it…” (Independent, 11/01/2007)
According to a report by Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights: “The United States has historically prosecuted waterboarding as a war crime: in 1947, the United States convicted a Japanese military officer of a war crime and sentenced him to fifteen years of hard labor for using a form of waterboarding against a U.S. civilian.”
To read the full report, click here.
On Friday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said: “No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture.” Senator John McCain
(R-AZ) has also said, “It is torture.”
“Waterboarding is torture, and the use of such brutal techniques erodes America’s moral leadership in the world,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey P. Saylor. “Torture is not a legacy we want to pass on to our children.”
Sen. McCain, among many others, has also pointed out that such methods are ineffective tools in efforts to protect national security. McCain said, “If you inflict enough physical pain on anybody, they will tell you anything you want to know.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey P. Saylor, (202) 384-8857, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org