Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Senate Votes 90-9 to Improve Treatment in Military Prisons

Friends! Is Democracy fighting back? Is Liberty reasserting itself?

The Senate voted by a vote of 90-9 to impose stricter limits on the treatment of detainees in US Military Prisons. The measure is a rider added by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to the enormous DOD spending bill. This was added despite warnings from the President that he would veto the bill. Here is the CNN.Com article. The White House is saying Bush will be giving a "major speech" about it soon.

If Bush vetoes this bill his first veto of his Presidency will be declared to defend torture. Think about that. Think about it twice if you ever voted for this man.


Anonymous said...

Bush gave his speech. And his response  to the Senate was to imply quite strongly that they were "appeasing" terrorists.

Bush's speech (to which I listened on NPR because the White House promised it would be new and unprecidented) was full of his usual stuff about how bad the terrorists are. Nothing new. As usual, he completely misses the point (or rather wants US to miss the point) that enemy identification and the conduct of the conflict are two distinct questions. He seems to assume that our adherence to our own principles should be negatively correlated with how evil our enemies are.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

The White House's Statement of Administration Policy on the Defense Appropriations Act (to which McCain's bill was an amendment) makes it clear that any attempt by Congress to make inquiries about or regulate "detainee" treatment is grounds for a veto. It reads in part,

"The Administration understands that amendments may be offered to establish a national commission on the detainee operations or to regulate the detention, treatment, or trial of terrorists captured in the war on terror. The Administration strongly opposes such amendments, which would interfere with the protection of Americans from terrorism by diverting resources from the war to answer unnecessary or duplicative inquiries or by restricting the President's ability to conduct the war effectively under existing law. The Constitution and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Joint Resolution (Public Law 107-40, September 18, 2001) provide the authority the President needs to conduct the war effectively and protect the American people."

It is fascinating to me that they claim their powers from the post-9/11 authorization, which is quite short. Other than invoking the War Powers act, it simply says,

"That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

It should be clear that this has nothing to do with Iraq... but it is interesting that it allows the President to use his war powers against, "persons." Is this the first time that the U.S. has effectively declared war on individuals?

I still can't believe that the Administration is effectively admitting that the Army is not obeying its own Field Manuals regarding interrogation. It boggles the mind that President dares to claim that even an inquiry into the treatment of prisonsers would harm the war on terror! The only reason they can get away with saying they are not torturing prisoners is that (thanks to Alberto Gonzales) they have redefined torture.

But they are torturing prisoners, and I do not care who they are. Torture is wrong, wrong, wrong. Praise the Senate for saying so.

Anonymous said...

The President is not above the law. This is what these ultra-conservatives just do not understand. It is a terrible syllogism they produce: 1. The president is the commander in chief. 2. A commander in chief should not be restricted in the battlefield, in time of war. 3. This battlefiled includes the USA. 4. We are at war, and there is no way of knowing the war is ever over. 5. The commander in chief alone can declare the war ended. Therefore there can be no restrictions on the president at all. QED.

The president has two responses to those who disagree. (1) Trust me trust me trust me.
(2) If you disagree, you are anti-American, unpatriotic, and harming the war effort. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

That is tyrrany.

For Liberty! A Blanaced Budget! And the Democratic Party!

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

It should be noted that McCain's amendment received 46 Republican votes (in addition to Jeffords and the 43 Democrats), and it was also supported many retired Generals including former Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and John Shalikashvili.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Following up an earlier story, Amnesty International has called for independent investigations and has sent a letter to Tony Blair begging for his help in the matter (the Foreign Office has since said he cannot help non-British nationals at Guantanamo, but left open the question of British nationals being held there.) Amnesty points to hunger strikes of 210 of the 500+ prisoners at Guantanamo. The military is now engaging in force-feedings to prevent it.

A London-based lawyer says that twenty of his clients have been, "reestrained against their will, with a tube forced down their noses." The lawyer added that these facts, "make me sick."

Dr. Strangelove said...

The Federal Register reports statements from the 9 Senators who voted against the amendment. Here are some of the most fascinating ones.

"From my first statement in the Senate Armed Services Committee in May of last year, I have made it clear that we are spending far too much of our time and effort on the prisoner abuse issue and not enough time on the quality of our interrogations... It is my feeling that the more we air this issue publicly, the more we are emboldening the terrorists."
-James Inhofe, (R-OK)
[Translation: the real problem is that we're not torturing them enough.]

"The information we get from interrogating terrorists is some of the most valuable information we get. It saves lives, period. We have learned that one of the most effective tools we have in getting this information is the terrorists' fear of the unknown. Passing a law that effectively telegraphs to the entire terrorist world what they can expect if they are caught is not only counterproductive, but could be downright dangerous."
-Pat Roberts (R-KS)
[Translation: everyone knows our official policy of humane treatment of prisoners is a lie--and that's a good thing.]

"There is a classified annex to the Army Field Manual that is not addressed in this amendment. There are people who are not in uniform, who may not even be citizens of the United States, who represent us in very strange and dangerous places, whose lives may be put in jeopardy by the process that is spelled out in this amendment. I speak for them. There are changes that have to be made if we are to be faithful to those people who live in the classified world and will be covered by the classified annex."
-Ted Stevens (R-AK)
[Translation: we secretly pay foreign thugs to torture people.]


"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."
-Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984

"Cases in which the U.S courts have concluded that the defendant tortured the plaintiff: [...] 'Plaintiff was removed from ship, interrogated, and held incommunicado for months. Representatives of defendant threatened her with death if she attempted to move from quarters where she was held. She was forcibly separated from her husband and unable to learn of his welfare or whereabouts.' See Simpson vs. Socialst People's Libya Arab Jamahiriya "
--Jay S. Bybee "Torture" Memo written for (not by) Alberto Gonzales, August 1, 2001