Dear Attorney General Mukasey,
By all accounts you are an honorable man with a distinguished career record. Why on earth would you want to sign on with the Bush Administration?
OK, I get it, serving as United States Attorney General would be an outstanding way to cap off a lifetime of service in the legal profession. That’s true even if you serve only fifteen months until the next Administration is sworn in. Plus, you come into office with the luxury of low expectations: just cleaning up the mess at Justice left behind by Alberto Gonzales — something a man of your abilities should have little difficulty accomplishing — will secure your place in history.
The problem is your reputation will be tarnished and your stature degraded by serving in this administration. This started happening even before you were confirmed.
There you were the other day, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, refusing to define waterboarding as torture. That this is even a subject for debate demonstrates the Administration’s complete moral bankruptcy. That you refused to take an unequivocal stand against the practice does not speak well of you either. See? You’re already up to your knees in their muck.
The fact is, they need you more than you need them. They need credible, honorable people to point to, to lean upon, to hide behind.
They will use you, like they used Colin Powell and David Patraeus. You will emerge sullied and diminished.
I wish you luck. I hope you know what you’re doing.