Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey
I remember when George W. Bush nominated Michael Mukasey to serve as Attorney General in 2007, the announcement was met with some initial relief. Alberto Gonzales had become such a national laughingstock, and was so woefully inept, many believed Mukasey would have to be an improvement, if only because he couldn't possibly be worse than his predecessor.
That feeling did not last. Mukasey soon after endorsed the administration's torture policies and said a president has the power to ignore some laws during wartime. He was confirmed as A.G. anyway., thanks in part to unanimous Republican support.
Several years later, we're still learning more about the man.
"You may not be interested in Islamism, but Islamism is interested in you," warned former Attorney General Michael Mukasey at a Saturday CPAC panel of activists so fringy that they were not technically invited to the conference.
"I want to thank CPAC for making this panel necessary," said the Bush-era attorney general, taking a sarcastic swipe at the organization for frowning on the panelists. "And thank Breitbart.com for making this panel possible."
The "Uninvited" panel, organized by Breitbart media, brought together anti-Muslim activists like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer, and Mukasey fit right in.
Mukasey specifically argued, "The vast majority of the world's 1.4 billion Muslims adhere to a view of their religion that agrees on the need to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on the world."
Remember, this guy wasn't just some random official in an obscure office in the Bush/Cheney administration; he was the nation's top law enforcement official. He ran the Justice Department.
With the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq coming tomorrow, there's a fair amount of reflection about the players and personalities that defined the previous administration. Mukasey was not responsible for the war, which preceded his tenure by several years, but I hope as we look back, we don't forget just how ridiculous it was that this man was the Attorney General.