Thursday :: Sep 21, 2006

Gang Of Three Reach Partial Deal With Bush on Detainee Treatment

by Steve

The White House and the Gang of Three have reportedly reached agreement this afternoon on a detainee treatment bill that only resolves some of the issues of dispute.

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.

Yet the agreement is still not enough to resolve all outstanding issues, nor to deal with Arlen Specter’s demand that the agreement be sent through his Judiciary Committee first to satisfy him on habeus corpus.

The agreement did not extend to a related issue _ whether suspects and their lawyers would be permitted to see any classified evidence in the cases against them.

But the real reason Bush is jumping at this or any deal right now is because the Agency has suspended its interrogations of detainees until Congress gives them a get-out-of-jail free card through this legisation. And with no interrogations going on, Bush feels he is flying blind, not that much if anything was coming from these "interviews". So it became imperative for Bush to get anything at all from Congress that dealt with defining unlawful methods, and he probably feels he'll deal with the issue of habeus corpus after the midterms.

All I can say to John McCain is you had better get language in this that bars Bush from issuing a signing statement to undermine it again.

Steve :: 2:30 PM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!