Rip Currents

With Michael Mukaskey’s Attorney General nomination now being sent to the full Senate, the fallout continues over his refusal to label “waterboarding” as torture.

While the interrogation technique has been dramatized in the recent movie “Rendition” and last year’s “The Good Shepherd,”  one of the more compelling pieces of footage comes from Current TV, the network founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt that won an Emmy in September.

In the segment, originally posted in September, one of its correspondents, Kaj Larsen, undergoes the waterboarding technique. Last night, Keith Olbermann played some of it in his “special comment” section on a Justice Department official, Daniel Levin, who went through the same technique and then was forced out after he concluded that the process was indeed torture.

100algore2005 In the midst of the confirmation battle, Current replayed the segment last week. I talked with Gore on Friday (for a larger story upcoming in Variety), and he said of Larsen’s piece, “That is not something that you are going to see the mainstrrean reporters doing and it is not something that I would have necessarily have approaved of in advance if I had known he was going to do it. But I admire him for having the guts, and since this is being done right now in the name of the American people, six years running, it is of course time that we took a hard look at what is being done in our name.”

By the way, Friday was the last day to register for the Democratic primary ballot in New Hampshire, and perhaps the last chance the Gore would have to get into the presidential race. he was at his home in Nashville.

Mukaskey is expected to get confirmed, with Democratic senators Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein offering their support.

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