Friday :: Sep 15, 2006

What defeat for Bush?

by soccerdad

From Jack Balkin

The so-called "final" version of the Warner-Graham bill, now dubbed the Warner-McCain-Graham bill on military commissions, can be found here. It is still a very bad bill, eliminating judicial review and habeas corpus, and limiting criminal enforcement of Geneva Common Article 3 under the War Crimes Act (apparently Geneva CA3 is still law, but only "grave violations" of Geneva are criminally enforceable). Additionally (p. 82), the new bill says that "no foreign source of law can be used in defining or interpreting" America's obligations under title 18 of the U.S. Code-- i.e., the U.S. criminal code, which would include, presumably, the War Crimes Act and the anti-torture statute.

But even this is not good enough for George W. Bush. Apparently the President has made noises that if he doesn't get provisions actually limiting the scope of Geneva Common 3-- also known as the right to "alternative sets of procedures" (the prisoner abuse that dare not speak its name)-- he will veto the bill. Let's see now, preventing stem cell research and protecting the right to torture-lite-- yes, I can certainly see why those are the two things sufficiently important in the world that George W. Bush would threaten a veto.

Passage of this bill which gives Bush 90% of what he wants will be followed by a signing statement and they'll do what they want anyway. Who is going to stop/prosecute them?

All this strikes me as clever posturing to yet once again create the impression that the US will follow the GCs, when in fact they have no intention of doing so. And people who hate Bush, with good reason I might add, get over excited when they see the slightest set back for Bush.

So given signing statements, a complete disregard for other branches of government, and a Justice Dept that is led by people who believe in torture why should I be happy today with this thin gruel?

soccerdad :: 9:49 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!