/*PenDragn: The White House "Won" On Detainee Abuse , Editorialists Agree*/

9.23.2006

The White House "Won" On Detainee Abuse , Editorialists Agree

Though headline writers who seem to have a special connection with Karl Rove have been pretending that the Republicans in Congress got substantial concessions from the Bush administration. That is not the case according to analysts willing to say what they believe.

Washington Post Editorial: The Abuse Can Continue: Senators won't authorize torture, but they won't prevent it, either.

The Post had a great piece the other day which I wrote about in "Republicans Ready to Cave on Bush Administration Desire for Torture" which you should be able to read about in the sidebar.

NYTimes Editorial notes:
In recent decades, women’s advocates and human rights activists have made huge progress on the issues of rape and sexual assault — in the United States and globally. Both crimes are now more powerfully defined in state and federal laws. In international law, where rape and sexual assault have long been classified as torture and war crimes, the world has begun to accept the importance of enforcement. In 1998, a tribunal convicted a paramilitary chief for watching one of his men rape a woman in Serbia. A year ago, the world rose up in outrage when United Nations peacekeepers raped women in Congo.

You’d think this was a settled issue. But it’s been opened up again in the bill on jailing, interrogating and trying terror suspects that President Bush is trying to ram through Congress in a pre-election rush. Both the White House and Senate versions contain provisions on rape and sexual assault that turn back the clock alarmingly. They are among the many flaws that must be fixed before Congress can responsibly pass this legislation.
Well, I'm sorry guys, but the Republican controlled Congress does not have to do anything, as long as TV news, which does such a good job of passing on the Bush administration's spin on everything, keeps it up. I've even seen some newspaper headlines indicating that Bush caved when nothing of the sort happened. The Republicans once again bent over to the Bush administration showing they will not check this administration in any of its fondest desires.

From the New York Times again. This time Adam Liptak's "Detainee Deal Comes With Contradictions"
“The only thing that was actually accomplished,” said Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University and the author of a book on habeas corpus, “was that the politicians got to announce the existence of a compromise. But in fact, most of the critical issues were not resolved.”

Martin S. Lederman, who teaches constitutional law at Georgetown, said the bill continued to allow the harsh treatment of detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency.

“They appear to have negotiated a statutory definition of cruel treatment that doesn’t cover the C.I.A. techniques,” Professor Lederman said. “And they purport to foreclose the ability of the courts to determine whether they satisfy the Geneva obligations.”

The bill would allow, and perhaps require, the president to issue regulations concerning “the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions,” and it calls for them to be published in The Federal Register.

Legal experts differed about whether that bargain, trading power for transparency, was sound.

Changes to the procedures for the military commissions established to try terrorism suspects for war crimes also met with mixed responses. Revisions that would let defendants see the evidence against them were welcomed by military defense lawyers and human rights groups.

But some voiced concern that using statements obtained through coercion, even coercion forbidden by the McCain Amendment to Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, would still be allowed in many circumstances. So would be hearsay evidence, as well as a combination of the two.

“You create a situation,” Ms. Daskal said, “in which someone could be convicted based on a second- or third-hand statement from a detainee during an abusive interrogation.”

The issue that most engaged administration critics was the new bill’s aggressive and possibly constitutionally suspect efforts to keep the courts from hearing many detainees’ challenges or claims based on the Geneva Conventions. Though people charged with war crimes would receive trials before military commissions that largely resemble courts-martial and criminal prosecutions, the administration has announced plans to use just a score of those.

About 430 people are being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and there is no guarantee that they will ever be tried. The legislation, unchanged by the compromise, would prohibit habeas corpus challenges to these indefinite detentions.

“You’re creating a system,” Ms. Daskal said, “where Khalid Shaikh Mohammed,” called the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, “will have more rights than the low-level detainee who was sold into U.S. custody by bounty hunters.”


This is the terrible deal that even the supposed rebel Republicans worked with the Bush administration!

What I want to say, I can't right now. I've always striven to keep my blogs clean and I actually have a deal with one of my hit counters to do so now.

But we need to ask ourselves if we want to re-elect these roll over Republicans so that they allow the Bush administration to continue with their anti-civil rights agenda.