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Finally!

The Republican sharks smell blood in the water, and McCain is using it as an opportunity to both do the right thing and gain some momentum going into 2008. At last, they're breaking their damn ranks.

I gotta imagine it feels good to be John McCain right now. He gets to follow his conscience!

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
abce
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
The new measure would require all service members to follow procedures in the army field manual for treatment of anyone in US military custody.

So basically, this is a PR ploy, since the US is already prosecuting and jailing those involved in Abu Ghraib, no?

Oh, I see: Supporters of the amendment also hope a commitment to treat detainees fairly when in US custody will help to secure humane treatment of US nationals or servicemen captured abroad. Because the terrorists are going to stop chopping of heads because we've reaffirmed the rule of law?

Of course, we can see the true sentiment of the BBC reporter: Stories of abuse and maltreatment of prisoners have fuelled reactions to stories such as the alleged desecration of the Koran by US troops at Guantanamo. Let's see, those would be the allegations, subsequently disproved, and irreponsibly propagated by the media, right? They are no longer "alleged", but rather "false accusations of".
crs
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
Prosecuting and jailing the pawns involved in Abu Ghraib. It's not a PR ploy if it reaffirms a law that has been undermined by the executive branch at every opportunity, from senior officers who had no interest in following up on early reports from the prison, all the way up to speeches and interviews given by the Secretary of Defense.
the amendment "would limit the president's ability as commander-in-chief to effectively carry out the war on terrorism."
(from http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/10/06/senate.detainees/index.html)

If this is purely duplicating existing law, how can that be true?
abce
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC)
See, you switched to an article with different coverage.

My interpretation of that (and I'm not McClellan, so YMMV), is that the intent of this law completely duplicates existing law; but that the inclusion of "cruel" and "unusual", words that are not clear (witness our internal challenges to those), as well as very challenging (what do you do with an unusual prisoner?) can then limit.

I think he should veto it. Folks need to get off their high horses about Gitmo.
tirianmal
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC)
erm ... how can you go from talking about Abu Ghraib to telling folks to get over Gitmo? They're different situations. You're changing subjects as much as crs changed articles.
abce
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC)
The original article referenced Gitmo. The lead photo in the original article referenced Gitmo.
crs
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC)
Admitted that the BBC article showed some bias. It was the last of a series of articles that I checked out about it, and I kinda ended up skimming that one. Silly me, assuming that one story was as good as another, and just copying and pasting the last URL I looked at.

However, I'll say that folks need to stay up on their high horses about Gitmo. Prisoners are being held without charge, without trial, and without any civilian overview whatsoever. The rule of law needs to stay intact, here. Even if they have the best reasons in the world this time around, we have to keep the rules intact so we don't see heinous abuses of this down the road. The rules, as they stand, don't scale.

It seems to me that, if it closes the loopholes in existing law that emboldened field officers in letting their troops run rampant, then the law is worth passing. There's still the open question of whether command encouraged the Abu Ghraib behavior. If this law gives future investigations any more leverage in gathering evidence, it's worthwhile.

If it augments prosecutors' ability to punish the people responsible for torture in the name of the American Government, then it should pass.
navrins
Oct. 6th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
The president's ability to effectively carry out the war on terrorism has been much more limited by his administration's poor planning skills and unwillingness to face facts than by the law. This won't change that.
abce
Oct. 6th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
So I just went and read the actual amendment. Now I'm very concerned. Why are extending Constitutional Protections to enemy combatants everywhere in the world?

Note that the 5th amendment is not about punishment. Interpreted one way, it means that we can't go terrorist-hunting without convening a grand jury first (of course, I may be a pessimist, so I'll let the civil rights lawyer comment on that. The 14th is about citizenship (I assume the reference here is that even if you catch an American citizen fighting for the enemy, you can't treat them like an enemy combatant). I'm trying to figure out the reference to the US declaration on the Committee on Torture proceedings (given that our declaration seems to have been, "yes, very good, but we don't have to pass any laws because of this", and Article I of the Committee's Findings seem to rule out any questioning of a prisoner (really, that's mental stress, which counts as torture).

On reading the text of the amendment, I'm more concerned. I agree that there are issues with middle and senior personnel not being held totally accountable for activities on their watch, but this is not the way to approach it. What, are we next going to Mirandize people shooting at our soldiers before we shoot back?
crs
Oct. 6th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'd just like to step back from the content of the amendment, and anything substantive about the discussion, to congratulate Bush on handling the news cycle so well with his speech. The Senate thing is no longer the headline at cnn.com.
abce
Oct. 6th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
Come on, Chris, that isn't fair. You know as well as I do that Rove deserves that credit.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )