Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On Gitmo



I will start things off with a link and quote from a story in today's Washington Post. Here's the lead from the article: As Congress opened hearings yesterday on the treatment of terrorism detainees, the Bush administration's view was neatly summarized by Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department lawyer serving as lead witness. "The president," Bradbury said, "is always right."

So it seems that we are heading down the path of giving the President exactly what he wants in Gitmo. Unfortunately for Republicans in Congress, it's not exactly clear what Bush wants. Between shutting it down/keeping it open/applying Geneva/not applying Geneva- there is plenty to be confused about.

For as long as I can remember, the administration has said that the detainees in Gitmo had no rights- however, two days ago they announced that Geneva would apply.

Now add this to the confusion:

The witnesses were even dismissive of the new Pentagon memo applying the Geneva Conventions to all detainees for the first time. "It doesn't indicate a shift in policy," Dell'Orto said.

And in a veiled warning, Bradbury told Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) that Bush still didn't need Congress. "The court did leave open the theoretical possibility that the president could come back on his own," he said.

It was an aggressive performance for an administration that wants Congress to create a new legal system to deal with the 1,000 terrorism suspects in custody. But administration officials are confident that the legislative branch will do the White House's bidding -- in part because lawmakers who oppose Bush's wishes can be accused of coddling terrorists.

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If that's not disgusting, I don't know what is.

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