Skip to comments.Bush warns detainee program might end
Posted on 09/16/2006 3:18:44 PM PDT by upchuck
Sept. 16, 2006, 3:53PM
WASHINGTON - President Bush heatedly warned rebellious Republicans and other lawmakers Friday that CIA questioning of high-value terrorism suspects will end unless the rules are clarified on how far the interrogations can go.
"Congress has got a decision to make. Do you want the program to go forward or not?" Bush said of the interrogations, his voice rising as his hands chopped a lectern to punctuate his point. "The bottom line is simple: If Congress passes a law that does not clarify the rules, the program's not going forward."
The political fight about the international rules that the Supreme Court has said must govern treatment of terror suspects dominated the president's Rose Garden news conference.
Warner and fellow Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have argued that changing the standard would open the door for other countries to interpret the rules on prisoner treatment in ways that could endanger captured Americans. Former Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell also expressed concerns about the Bush proposals, saying he feared the United States was compromising its moral authority in the world.
On Powell's concerns, Bush snapped, "It's unacceptable to think there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective."
Bush said the standards are so vague that CIA officers could face criminal prosecution for using interrogation techniques such as applying heat or cold to prisoners' surroundings or temporarily withholding food or light.
"Instead of picking fights with Colin Powell, John McCain and other military experts, President Bush should change course, do what the American people expect, and finally give them the real security they deserve," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
But Bush repeated contentions that using rough techniques to get information from terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, already had stopped further attacks inside the United States. Bush warned in dire tones that any compromise of the interrogation program would increase the risk of attack.
"Time is running out," Bush said. "Congress needs to act wisely and promptly."
Congress will face several options next week on how to proceed on the interrogation program.
The House Armed Services Committee passed 52-8 with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans the administration's version of the bill. The legislation would assign Congress the task of providing detailed wording on what is legal in detainee interrogations.
As the leader of GOP senators, Frist can have the Senate debate Bush's proposal, which he supports.
Any bill that goes to the full Senate floor would be subject to proposed amendments and the resulting legislation would then have to be reconciled with the House's pro-Bush bill by a Senate-House committee.
There are several key differences between the Bush administration's plan and the Warner-McCain-Graham bill, but the critical impasse is about the Geneva Conventions' language.
Under the Bush bill, Common Article 3 would be interpreted to ban "severe physical or mental pain or suffering, including severe physical abuse" the same language used by McCain in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which banned torture in interrogations. But McCain wants to preserve Article 3's broader protections, such as the prohibition of degrading treatment and other aggressive techniques that fall short of torture.
McCain's bill would ban "cruel, unusual or inhumane treatment" as defined by U.S. courts interpreting the Constitution's 5th, 8th and 14th Amendments.
Thanx to SC Swamp Fox for the graphic.
Fair 'nuff. "The people" must choose what they want.
He's still using the "I" word. Good. 5 years too late, but good nonetheless.
The detainees should be placed under house arrest in the residences of these traitorous schmucks. Let the RINOs quote the Geneva Convention when protecting their families.
Why not wait until after the election? If the Republicans still control Congress, issue an Executive Order and be done with it.
Good question. I don't know.
funny that Mccain choose the week of 9/11 to do this huh?
Please Messrs. Warner, McCain, and Graham, please tell me when American prisoners of war were last treated humanely by a nation that signed the Geneva Conventions. Germany? Japan? Korea? Vietnam? Where are these enlightened nations that treat our own so well?
McCain, of all people should understand what is at stake here. This is not about beating, cutting, or electrocuting prisoners.
You forget - the Courts decided that he exceeded his authority by deciding this issue. He has to have a law passed by Congress.
And if this doesn't motivate Conservatives to keep a GOP President and Senate in order to get constructionist judges, I don't know what will.
Awesome graphic SC Swamp Fox!
Ping to #1 and #12.
Detainee program is like prisoners, right?
Taking no prisoners now?
Maybe we'll just kill 'em instead? Needs to be done anyway.
Actually, the difference is in the spelling. We get to follow the Geneva convention--- while the Muslims get to follow the Gen'evil' convention.
At least these low-foreheaded RINOS are being consistent in their "feelings" that we can win an asymmetric war by losing it. I think they deserve a group hug...
NOT TRUE...IF HE CAN'T GET WHAT HE WANTS OUT OF THE SENATE [HOUSE HAS ALREADY GIVEN HIM WHAT HE WANTS]...IT WILL END!!!
I REALLY liked this recent FR thread:
"Tortured screams ring out as Iraqis take over Abu Ghraib"
If anyone missed it, IMHO, it is WELL worth reading (and maybe e-mailing to McCain and his "boys and girl").
In the meantime, if there is no way we can handle these prisoners, there is no sense in taking any more.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.