Thursday, September 28, 2006
The detainee bill winds its way through the Senate
President Bush is urging senators to send him the detainee bill to sign before they adjourn. It amazes me how tough this has been, for such an obviously necessary bit of legislation.
Backers of the new bill beat a key challenge today to the bill, which sets rules for interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects. The vote was a startling 51-48, rejecting an amendment that would have restored the rights of foreign suspects deemed as enemy combatants and mostly held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to challenge their detentions.
I mean, if you catch somebody shooting at our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, they should be able to `challenge' our right to take them prisoner and interrorgate them?
What universe do some of these senators live in?
"People shouldn't forget there's still an enemy out there that wants to do harm to the United States, and therefore a lot of my discussion with the members of the Senate was to remind them of this solemn responsibility," Bush said.
Well, he's right on this one...I just hope President Bush remembers that little statement..say, when it comes to dealing with Iran, or with domestic jihadis.
And I would also remind terrorist appeasors like Arlen Spector(r-PA), Patrick Leahy (d-VT) and Carl Levin (d-MI) that habeus corpus (the legal name for this right)has been suspended before in time of war and national emergency.
So, what else is in this bill that's so horrible? Not much.
The bill sets standards for interrogating suspects, but through a complex set of rules that could allow techniques like sleep deprivation and prolonged time in stress positions.
The bill prohibits and defines such widely accepted atrocities as rape and torture, but otherwise allows the president to interpret the Geneva Conventions, the treaty that sets standards for the treatment of war prisoners.
It establishes military commissions that would give defendants access to classified evidence being used to convict them, and allow limited use of evidence obtained by coercion. The bill also expands the definition of "enemy combatants" to include those who provide weapons, money and other support to terrorist groups.
I especially like that last bit, that includes jihadi enablers in the mix.
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said the bill should not "create a long-term battle with the courts over everybody that's being detained. It is a function of the military and the executive branch to conduct a war."
I guess some democrats forgot that...though, given the lackadaisical way we've waged this war, I can understand their lapse of memory even if I can't excuse it.
More to the point was Missouri Sen. Christopher `Kit' Bond (r-MO) when he said there were "partisan efforts to slow the fight against terror."
Of course there are, Senator Bond! The last thing these people want is to have to vote against a bill that directly highlights their obstruction of the war effort a month before the midterms...
"Some want to tie the hands of our terror fighters," said Senator Bond, alluding to opponents of the bill. "They want to take away the tools we use to fight terror, to handcuff us, to hamper us in our fight to protect our families."
Well said, Senator. That's exactly what they want.
These people labor under the allusion that the Geneva Convention somehow guarantees humane treatment of our prisoners as a quid pro quo,
There are a number of Americans who spent time as the involuntary `guests' of the Nazis, the Japanese, the North Koreans, Hezbollah, North Vietnam and the Soviets who could tell them exactly how well that's worked in the past.
And I guarantee you, convicting and hanging a few jihadis, followed by a pigskin burial would go a lot farther towards stopping jihad recruitment among Muslims than merely keeping them in relative luxury at Club Gitmo.
Take away the inducement of jihad coochie heaven and 72 virgins as sex slaves and the idea of blowing yourself up to murder the infidel becomes a lot harder to sell to a potential shahid.
In case anyone's interested, that's exactly how the US defeated Islamic terrorism the last time we fought against it.
It's time we got a clue and started taking this war seriously.