Saturday, July 15


Is there anyone in the United States except those inside the Bush administration, their sycophants in the Republican Congress, and their cheerleaders in the wingnut media and their followers (think Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Coulter, Ingraham) who believes that torture, rendition, secret prisons and holding "enemy combatants" without legal recourse, and in defiance of the Geneva Convention, are in the best interests of American soldiers, or compatible with the traditional U.S. values and the Constitution that formerly made this nation a beacon of freedom and justice in the world?

The top lawyers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines contradicted the Bush administration on Thursday on how to bring terror suspects to trial, endorsing an approach that extends more human and legal rights to detainees than one that administration lawyers have pressed Congress to authorize.
While another hearing this week featured sharp exchanges between administration lawyers and senators from both parties — Mr. Graham told the lawyers that they should “forget about” the tribunals President Bush tried to set up — the hearing with the military lawyers consisted mostly of senators and witnesses affirming their shared views.

Senator Warner told the military lawyers that “there’s certainly no consensus here to just rubber-stamp what’s in place.”

When Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the committee, suggested that “none of you believe we should simply ratify” the president’s approach, he was met with a string of nods from the uniformed lawyers on the panel.

And when Mr. McCain asked if Secretary England had done the right thing in declaring that the Geneva Conventions extended to detainees, the panel nodded again.

“This panel has got it right,” Senator Graham said.

Mr. McCain cautioned against narrowing the protections granted to detainees, arguing that the debate was not about extending rights to terrorists, but promoting a high standard. “America’s image in the world is suffering,” he said.

“We will have more wars, and there will be more Americans who are taken captive,” said Mr. McCain, who was a prisoner of war for six years in Vietnam. “If we somehow carve out exceptions to treaties to which we are signatories, then it will make it very easy for our enemies to do the same in the case of American prisoners.”

Tags: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home