A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Stephen Hadley appeared on Face the Nation on Sunday to continue with the 'suasion' that unless the administration's policies are set forth in law, the CIA interrogation program itself cannot go forward. I found in interesting that Hadley referred to the McCain Amendment known as The Detainee Treatment Act as the model for what the administration was trying to do now. Of course, he made no mention of the fact that Bush used one of his infamous 'Signing Statements' to proclaim he would follow the act if he felt like it and not otherwise. Also, there were some amendments the Act which may have weakened the thrust of the legislation. Further, Amnesty International proposes that the Detainee Treatment Act now makes the use of torture as official U.S. policy.

Below is part of the transcript from FTN with Hadley followed by the information from Wikipedia. As you can see, Hadley using the Act as an example seems a little far fetched. It should be noted that Mr. Schieffer did not call him on this.

[SCHIEFFER: So you're going to publish what that means" Is that what you want to do?

MR. HADLEY: You're simply going to – we want to do what the Congress did in December of last yea and say that mean the McCain Amendment, the Detainee Treatment Act, which precluded (sic) cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and defined what those terms meant by reference to U.S. law.


MR. HADLY: This is about – it's very simple, Bob – a clear standard recognized under U.S. law that the Congress of the United States adopted in December to great applause, sponsored by Senator McCain, adopting that as our standard so that the men and women in the Central Intelligence Agency can run a program, which is probably the most important tool we have in the war on terror. That's what this is about.]

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCain_Detainee_Amendment

The McCain Detainee Amendment is an amendment to the United States Senate Department of Defense Authorization bill, commonly referred to as the Amendment on (1) the Army Field Manual and (2) Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment, amendment #1977 and also known as the McCain Amendment 1977. The amendment prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by confining interrogations to the techniques in FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation.

Contents [hide]
1 Legislative history of the amendment
2 Signing statement by President Bush
3 Criticism
4 See also
5 References

Legislative history of the amendment
Amendment 1977 amended the defense appropriations bill for 2005 passed by the United States House of Representatives. The amendment was introduced to the Senate by Senator John McCain (R Arizona) on October 3, 2005 as S.AMDT.1977.

The amendment was co-sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, Gordon H. Smith, Susan M. Collins Lamar Alexander, Richard Durbin, Carl Levin, John Warner, Lincoln Chafee, John E. Sununu, and Ken Salazar.

On October 5, 2005, the United States Senate voted 90-9 to support the amendment. [1] The Senators who voted against the amendment were Wayne Allard (R-CO), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Signing statement by President Bush

After approving the bill President Bush issued a signing statement: an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.[2] In it Bush said:

"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."

The Boston Globe quoted an anonymous senior administration official saying, "Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, (but) he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case. We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it's possible that they will." [3]


The McCain Amendment cited the U.S. Army's Field Manual on interrogation as the authoritative guide to interrogation techniques. On December 14, the New York times reported that the Army Field Manual had been rewritten by the Pentagon. Previously, the manual's interrogation techniques section could be read freely on the Internet. But the new edition's includes 10 classified pages in the interrogation technique section. [4]

Also, the McCain Amendment's anti-torture provisions were modified by the Graham-Levin Amendment, which was also attached to the $453-billion 2006 Defense Budget Bill. The Graham-Levin Amendment permits the Department of Defense to consider evidence obtained through torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and expands the prohibition of habeas corpus for redetainees, which subsequently leaves detainees no legal recourse if they're tortured. [5]

Critics say these two actions deflate the McCain Amendment from having any real power in stopping torture by the United States Government, and these were the true reasons why President Bush "conceded" to McCain's demands. Yet, this was largely ignored by the mainstream media, who instead credited Bush's concession to "overwhelming Congressional support" for the measure. [6] [7]

Amnesty International claims that the amendment's loopholes actually signal that torture is now official US policy. [8]

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?