Friday, September 22, 2006
The three senators have contended that the administration was undermining Geneva Convention protections in a way that could leave Americans vulnerable in the future, and that its plan for military tribunals of terror suspects would allow evidence obtained coercively, and information they were not allowed to see to be used against them.
Another fantastic Legislative/Executive compromise: The congress does everything exactly as George wants, and in return he'll pretend that he's the one giving in so they can claim they tried to stand up against his unpopular policies. Our government at work.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 — President Bush and three Republican senators said this afternoon that they had reached an agreement on legislation to clarify which interrogation techniques can be used against terror suspects and to establish trial procedures for those in military custody.
“We did our duty,” said Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, one of the three. He noted that the legislation would still need close study by both houses of Congress.
Mr. Warner and the other two rebellious Republicans, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, met at the White House with Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, who stood behind Mr. Warner’s shoulder as the senator announced the agreement.
“It is good news and a good day for the American people,” Mr. Hadley said.
Mr. McCain said the agreement means “that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved.” The senator said the agreement “gives the president the tools that he needs to continue to fight the war on terror and bring these evil people to justice.”
But Mr. Hadley added a note of conditionality, calling it a “framework for compromise,” and Mr. Warner said that only President Bush’s signature on the bill would complete the agreement.
Mr. Bush welcomed the accord, which he said met his key test of allowing the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogations of terror suspects to continue.
“I’m pleased to say this agreement preserves the most single, the most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks,” he said, adding, "The agreement clears the way to do what the American people expect us to do — to capture terrorists, to detain terrorists, to question terrorists, and then to try them.”
Mr. Bush urged the Congress to send him legislation before it goes into recess next week before the fall elections.
Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said the agreement had two key points. “Classified information will not be shared with the terrorists” tried before the tribunals, he said. And "the very important program of interrogation continues.”