Two great pieces today summarize the case against the republican rascals in the senate. The Washington Times editorial board makes a crystal clear case.
Messrs. Warner, McCain and Graham, joined by a panoply of active-duty and retired military lawyers, suggest that the administration’s proposed changes to Article 3 give too much authority to the military, and would undermine our international credibility and give other nations a pretext for mistreating American troops.
Leave aside the question of whether the rogue states confronting America today would ever afford decent treatment under any circumstances. Since actual torture is already illegal, it would be helpful if Mr. Warner, et al., could explain what interrogation methods or punishment they object to (loud music? interrogating someone for a prolonged period of time? limiting commissary privileges?) even if it lessens the likelihood of preventing the next attack on Washington or on U.S. servicemen in Kabul or Baghdad.
If this is the legal standard Mr. Warner and Company insist on, they are making a serious mistake. This will compromise our ability to discover and block future terrorist attacks. And we suspect that polling will soon show that the U.S. public by a wide margin will be with the president and his commonsense views.
In the New York Post, Richard Miniter says we a performing “A Deadly Kindness.”
The kinder we are to terrorists, the harsher we are to their potential victims.
One detainee slashed a doctor who was trying to save his life; the doctors wear body armor to treat their patients.
Striking the balance between these two goods (humane treatment, foreknowledge of deadly attacks) is difficult, but the Bush administration seems to lean too far in the direction of the detainees. No expense spared for al Qaeda health care: Some 5,000 dental operations (including teeth cleanings) and 5,000 vaccinations on a total of 550 detainees have been performed since 2002 – all at taxpayer expense. Eyeglasses? 174 pairs handed out. Twenty two detainees have taxpayer-paid prosthetic limbs. And so on.
What if a detainee confesses a weakness (like fear of the dark) to a doctor that might be useful to interrogators, I asked the doctor in charge, would he share that information with them? “My job is not to make interrogations more efficient,” he said firmly. He cited doctor-patient privacy. (He also asked that his name not be printed, citing the potential for al Qaeda retaliation.)
Food is strictly halal and averages 4,200 calories per day. (The guards eat the same chow as the detainees, unless they venture to one of the on-base fast-food joints.) Most prisoners have gained weight.
Much has been written about the elaborate and unprecedented appeal process. Detainees have their cases reviewed once a year and get rights roughly equivalent to criminals held in domestic prisons. I asked a military legal adviser: In what previous war were captured enemy combatants eligible for review before the war ended? None, he said.
America has never faced an enemy who has so ruthlessly broken all of the rules of war – yet never has an enemy been treated so well.
As usual, you won’t see any of these facts highlighted in the mainstream media’s latest coverage. It’s too much fun to scandalize the absurd posturing of media stunt artists McCain and Lindsay Graham. One would think that an intellectual media would tire of the excessive preening of McCain and Graham. However, these mainstream media types recycle plotlines more often than “As The World Turns,” “Dallas,” or “Dynasty.”
President Bush made a vigorous defense of the administration’s view of two pending bills at his rose garden news conference on Friday.
The bill would also provide clear rules for our personnel involved in detaining and questioning captured terrorists. The information that the Central Intelligence Agency has obtained by questioning men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has provided valuable information and has helped disrupt terrorist plots, including strikes within the United States.
For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high — a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.
He gave us information that helped uncover al Qaeda cells’ efforts to obtain biological weapons.
The second bill before Congress would modernize our electronic surveillance laws and provide additional authority for the terrorist surveillance program. I authorized the National Security Agency to operate this vital program in response to the 9/11 attacks. It allows us to quickly monitor terrorist communications between someone overseas and someone in the United States, and it’s helped detect and prevent attacks on our country.
The principle behind this program is clear: when an al Qaeda operative is calling into the United States or out of the country, we need to know who they’re calling, why they’re calling, and what they’re planning. Both these bills are essential to winning the war on terror. We will work with Congress to get good bills out. We have a duty, we have a duty to work together to give our folks on the front line the tools necessary to protect America. Time is running out. Congress is set to adjourn in just a few weeks. Congress needs to act wisely and promptly so I can sign good legislation.
While moonbat warrior chief Keith Olbermann and his sidekicks Jonathon Turley and Howard Fineman falsely attacked President Bush in a profane edition of “Countdown” on MSNBC on Friday night, Mr. Bush is actually headed toward a moral victory on this issue that will translate into a win for our nation and the republican party.
The President was very effective in the news conference on Friday, and George Bush has succeeded once again in controlling the political agenda by playing terrific offense and cornering his opposition into a rhetorical box from which they are squealing hysterical slogans and unhinged melodies.
Senators Warner and Collins may seem like statesmen with conviction, but McCain, Graham and their admirers in the chattering class have discredited themselves by accusing President Bush of attempting to codify torture. They know that this isn’t true, and these strident voices are dangerously close to the treasonous model set forth by the New York Times.
It is time for the media’s brightest spotlight to shine on those who repeatedly share the views of our enemies the terrorists.