Thursday, September 14, 2006

Moderate Senate Reps Stand Up to Bush

Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Caroline and John Warner of Virginia pushed legislation to the full Senate that President Bush opposes because it doesn't let him torture people.

And Colin Powell has resurfaced to oppose his former boss, writing a letter of support to Sen. McCain.

Dr. Rice chimed in with her own letter of support for the President's position, see above link). I need to look up the bill itself, but the AP reports that the Pres' version of the bill would
... go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terrorist trials, using coerced testimony and protecting U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that violate the Geneva Conventions.

Here's Dr. Rice's reasoning that those things actually do adhere to the vague terms of the Geneva Conventions against "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment:"
In a case where the treaty’s terms are inherently vague, it is appropriate for a state to look to its own legal framework, precedents, concepts and norms in interpreting these terms and carrying out its international obligations.

Bush's crack legal team, specifically John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, declares that the Constitution is the legal framework for the President to pretty much do whatever he wants when it comes to "defending the nation;" interprets lots of formerly identified torture techniques to no longer be torture; and considers the past five years of unlawful detentions and creative, "coerced interrogations" to be precedent, therefore the "norm."

This is an attempt to legalize the torture that BushCo has been engaged in for the past 5 years. What Bush has been doing to detainees has long been recognized as torture. There's nothing inherently vague about it.

And if the AP article is accurate, that the bill would permit the withholding of classified evidence from the accused, first of all, where's the "legal framework, precedents, concepts and norms" in American law to support that? And, second ... Oh. My. God.

Secret fucking evidence. How much more of an appropriate title could there be than King George? And of course a totalitarian, authoritarian cobag like Bush who thinks the Constitution allows him to do whatever he thinks is in the national defense also thinks a simple bill could amend the constitution, Amendment VI:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

There is no secret evidence withheld from the defense. That's as un-American Soviet-Communist-Gulag-Archipelago-Nazi-Islamofascist as you can get.

Why even have a trial? With indefinite detentions, that wasn't a problem.

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