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Five O'Clock Flashback | Main | Anonymous Firefox Browser Released -- Michael
September 21, 2006

Bush Pimp Slaps McCain [Jack M.]

Apparently, the good old fashioned pimp slap wasn't covered in the impending deal on "detainee interrogation methods" that is about to be announced.

Courtesy of The Corner at National Review Online, the President has had the following to say about the bill that has been reworked and will be presented to the Senate:

I had a single test for the pending legislation, and that's this: Would the CIA operators tell me whether they could go forward with the program, that is a program to question detainees to be able to get information to protect the American people. I'm pleased to say that this agreement preserves the most single — most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks, and that is the CIA program to question the world's most dangerous terrorists and to get their secrets.

The measure also creates military commissions that will bring these ruthless killers to justice. In short, the agreement clears the way to do what the American people expect us to do, to capture terrorists, to detain terrorists, to question terrorists, and then to try them. I hope the Congress will send me legislation before it wraps up their business next week.

The devil is in the details, of course, but it appears the President is convinced that the compromise will allow the intelligence community to use the tools necessary to protect American lives. Even if these tools may include some (but not all) of the practices that McCain, Lindsey "Wagner" Graham and Andrew Sullivan find to be "gob-smackingly vile".

Hopefully, the final bill will measure up to the billing (no pun intended) that the President is giving it. If so, it will be a welcome piece of legislation.

I'll post an update when I can find an official summary of the agreement, or a more detailed news account of what the bill includes.

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE BY ACE: Jim Angle on FoxNews just claimed that the deal concerns the War Crimes Act-- that rape, murder, maiming and other "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions would be prosecutable, "anything else short of torture would be considered acceptable."

Still doesn't define the what torture is.

Also, no classified information will be shared with terrorists, no sources & methods, etc.

The agreement is now forged between Bush and the rebel Republicans. Whether or not the Democrats will agree is another question.

It would be better, politically, if they mostly didn't, but enough came on board to push it through.

I'm not sure this defines anything. But it doesn't outlaw anything, either.

Is the status quo progress? Not sure.


Fox News (of course) has a good account of the agreement here.

With regard to coercive techniques, the bill apparently does this:

One official said that under the agreement, the administration agreed to drop language that would have stated an existing ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment was enough to meet Geneva Convention obligations. Convention standards are much broader and include a prohibition on "outrages" against "personal dignity."

In turn, this official said, negotiators agreed to clarify what acts constitute a war crime. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he had not been authorized to discuss the details.

which I think is a win for the administration and for the intelligence community. Let's have a public debate over what constitutes a war crime and what the standards should be. And let's have Congress on record as giving legal guidance to those who may be called upon to take these actions.

I'm fairly confident that the end result of having to "define" these practices will result in the American public having a much different standard of "torture" than St. John of Free Media Love, Lindsey "Wagner" Graham, and St. Andrew of the Blessed Heart Ache. And I have a feeling that the final definitions agreed to legislatively will be more reflective of the American public's mood than of the mood of the self-annointed trinity.

I really wanted to excerpt a John McCain of Lindsey "Wagner" Graham quote, but there really isn't anything striking about their remarks. Graham insists he was only really ever concerned about the use of classified information. McCain made some general remarks about how this bill ensures a President has the tools he needs.

Which is revealing, in and of itself. Their quotes don't exactly sound triumphalist.

Which, in DC speak, means they lost.

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:44 PM

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