Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Friday, September 22, 2006

Politics on a wire

Republicans Reach Deal on Detainee Bill

Published: September 22, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 — The Bush administration and Congressional Republicans reached agreement Thursday on legislation governing the treatment and interrogation of terrorism suspects after weeks of debate that divided Republicans heading into the midterm elections.

Under the deal, President Bush dropped his demand that Congress redefine the nation’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions, handing a victory to a group of Republicans, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, whose opposition had created a showdown over a central aspect of the rules for battling terrorism.

The administration’s original stance had run into fierce resistance from former and current military lawyers and Mr. Bush’s former secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They argued, as did Mr. McCain and the other two senators leading the resistance, that any redefinition would invite other nations to alter their obligations and endanger American troops captured abroad.

“There is no doubt that the integrity and the letter and the spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved,” said Mr. McCain, who was tortured during more than five years as a prisoner in North Vietnam.

Members of Congress and administration officials announced the deal after emerging from a tense and intricate all-day meeting in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office in a Senate building, saying they would try to push it through in the five days Congress is scheduled to meet before lawmakers leave to campaign.

A lot of people on Kos are pissed, and rightly so, but they didn't understand two things.

One, there probably isn't enough time for this to pass, reconcile with the House and then go to the White House, same with the wiretapping bill. It's going to take some effort to get them through, and there are more than a few people who don't want any vote on this at all. The compromise ie enough for them. A bill can wait.

Two, this isn't about torture. It never was. It was about Bush punishing the GOP for running from him. He was going to make them pay for their "independence" by forcing this. I wondered why he would bring this up when it would bring a nasty debate up during the election.

Well, that was it. He wanted the Dems to make outraged noises. They didn't. I wish this was about morality, but it isn't. It was a Rove trap. He wanted to make the Dems look weak and make them the party of terrorism.

No matter what the bill said, McCain and Bush were at each other, allowing Bush some of his scariest performances of the year.

"I'm trying to protect your family, Matt" was my favorite moment of creepitude. The local papers were whining that Chavez called Bush satan, but half the UN clapped. And one should take a message from that. Even an insane insult is applauded about Bush, one of the most despised leaders on the planet.

This is not a debate about torture. That's coming next year in a House and hopefully, Senate committee next year. This is a debate about seeing if the Dems would fall for a trap.

The White House is as cynical as a Hollywood press agent. They will push any issue for advantage, even torturing prisoners. Even as written, much of it will not survive legal challenge. But when you start getting angry, remember, these people aren't concerned with the law, but with winning. And that is all they care about.

posted by Steve @ 12:15:00 AM

12:15:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans