Sponsored Content
« Brit Bloggers Begin Beaming BBC-Bashing Broadcast | Main | Co-Hosting Soxblog's Blogcast Today, In Ten Minutes »
September 22, 2006

Summary Of The Interrogation Deal

Long story short: On most issues, the President got what he wanted.

On the purely symbolic and semantic issue of whether or not the Geneva Conventions would be expressly "modified," McCain got what he wanted. The Conventions will not be modified. The War Crimes Act, by which infractions of the Conventions are punished, will, on the other hand be modified.

In other words, the Conventions are being modified indirectly but inarguably, but McCain gets to claim he won on that issue.

On the critical issue of waterboarding, they seem to have punted. Unable to come to any agreement on that, they left it vague.

There will be no lawsuits; no private causes of actions are allowed. The Congress gets to define "grave breaches," which will give rise to prosecutions; anything less than a "grave breach" may be defined as acceptable by Executive Order. Does the president have the power to define waterboarding as non-"grave" if the Congress has defined "grave breaches" as including techniques that inflict "serious mental harm"?

Who knows. No one does. There was no meeting of the minds on this point.

Victory for coercive interrogations? Not quite. But the issue remains open, and may be revisited.

The politics of it are clearly a win for Republicans. The Democrats no longer have the cover of war hero/torture victim John McCain. Most Democrats in competitive races will have to support this compromise if they want a chance of actually winning. Democratic Senators who aren't up for reelection, and those in safe Congressional districts, will be able to vote against this and slam it as permitting torture.

The Democrats hope that this strategy will immunize their candidates in competitive races against the issue, while the rest of the Democratic Party plays to the soft-on-terror base and assures them they're still the party of guaranteeing the Bill of Rights for terrorists.

So, on this issue, Democrats will try to keep it local (hey, Bill Nelson voted for the compromise!) while Republicans will try to nationalize it, and portray the whole of the Democratic Party as soft-on-terror, mitigated only by a few cynical go-along-to-get-alongers in key races.

The issue will still cut against Democrats, though. Their strategy may help some candidates avoid it, but there is little doubt as to what would happen should the Democratic Party take Congress.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:51 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
OrangeEnt: "London's subway system is f*cking awesome! Trains ..."

Legally Sufficient: "Hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of M ..."

Jim[/i][/b][/s][/u]: "Ralph Cramden had the Lunar Trajectory figured out ..."

18-1: "The America of 60 years ago would beat modern Amer ..."

Tom Servo: "The shuttle was a good vehicle, but it was vastly ..."

nurse ratched : "Very cool ONT! Thank you Mr Ball! To infin ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "Hey Roger Ball! London's subway system is f*cki ..."

Bertram Cabot, Jr.: " [i]Will private and commercial spaceflight be ex ..."

bear with asymmetrical balls: "[i]Glad to see more doubt being cast on the allege ..."

mikeski: "[i]I had occasion (business travel) to ride the D. ..."

BlackOrchid: "SEPTA omg the suck ..."

Archimedes: "[i]I had occasion (business travel) to ride the D. ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64