Waterboarding is “repugnant,” says Mukasey, but I can’t tell you whether it’s illegal until after I’m confirmed.

Bush’s nominee for Attorney General boldly promises to ban “repugnant” activities such as waterboarding if (and only if) he decides that they are illegal, which he can’t decide until he knows the details, which he can’t know until he’s confirmed because he’s not cleared for them and can’t talk about because they’re classified and might “provide our enemies with a window into the limits and contours of any interrogation program we may have in place and thereby assist them in training to resist the techniques we may actually use.” Nine Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are fine with that.

Bonus bullsh*t The Republicans demand that the Democrats “stop playing politics with the Justice Department.” No, seriously.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: