September 22, 2006

The compromise on the detainee legislation.

It's not easy to evaluate the compromise on the detainee legislation. You've certainly got to look beyond the President's conspicuous concession to see what was really decided. Marty Lederman offers this:
The fine and careful folks over at Human Rights First are painting it as a significant victory for McCain, going so far as to argue that "the language in today’s agreement makes clear that ‘alternative interrogation procedures’ such as stress positions, induced hypothermia and waterboarding are not only prohibited by the treaty, they are war crimes." I would really like this to be true. But, as of now, at least, I don't quite see it. And, what's far more important, obviously the Administration doesn't see it that way, either....

[T]he more serious problem is not so much the delegation of some unreviewable interpretive authority to the President (troubling though that is), but instead that the legislation itself would define "cruel treatment" far too narrowly, so as apparently to exclude the CIA's "alternative" techniques, no matter how cruel they are in fact. I hear word that Senator McCain thinks the bill's definition of "grave breaches" of Common Article 3 covers the "alternative" CIA techniques. I hope he can make that interpretation stick somehow, but on my quick [first two] readings of the language, it still seems to me as if it's carefully crafted to exclude the CIA techniques. See, most importantly, the limiting language defining "serious physical pain or suffering," which is carefully drafted to exclude the CIA techniques such as Cold Cell and Long Time Standing....

[The legislation] would preclude courts altogether from ever interpreting the Geneva Conventions -- any part of them -- by providing that "no person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas or civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States, is a party as a source of rights, in any court of the United States or its States or territories."...

If I'm right, and if this is enacted, the only hope would be the prospect of the Supreme Court holding that both the habeas cut-off, and the "no person may invoke Geneva" provision, are unconstitutional.
Much more at the link, with lots of updates incorporating new arguments. Read it.

It's important to analyze the text of the legislation closely and to understand the relevant case law (about, for example, Congress's power to limit judicial review). Plenty of people have lots of different motivations to make claims about this compromise. Don't let yourself be spun.

103 comments:

MadisonMan said...

It's not like the President will feel bound to follow the letter of the law, anyway, if he doesn't like it. Can I predict a signing statement that will accompany the bill's passage?

I would reserve judgement until the bill actually passes. I'm assuming the strangely silent Democrats will now be forced to find their voices, however.

Fenrisulven said...

Plenty of people have lots of different motivations to make claims about this compromise.

Including Human Rights First.

Opposes American government's efforts to protect U.S. borders.s

Supports and defends the rights of illegal immigrants

Supports International Criminal Court

Charges that the Patriot Act and Operation Liberty Shield severely erode American civil liberties

Endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act (CLRA) of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national security policies that had been adopted after 9/11.

Filed amicus curiae briefs on behalf of Jose Padilla

Deplores the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities, claiming that prisoners there are rotuinely tortured by American authorities


http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6806

All of which is fine. But they are not without their own agenda.

MadisonMan said...

By the way -- I just noticed the site counter! Who will be the lucky 6 millionth visitor?!! (Missed by only 800!)

Fenrisulven said...

The comments on Lederman's page are very informative. Ignoring for a moment whether you support/oppose torture, what does the bill actually say?

Time to put the coffee on and settle in.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think many on the left are so used to shirking the law, they don't realize that conservatives are actually concerned what the law says because they intend to follow the law in the end. Many on the left are so used to reinterpreting the consitution and disregarding laws with their own moral views, that they perceive the language and the procedure of anti-terror legislation more important than the law itself.

When push comes to shove, if Bush refused to waterboard Al-Zawahiri and Chicago was nuked the next day the Left would be blaming bush for his incomptence in not waterboarding an obvious threat.

MadisonMan said...

When push comes to shove, if Bush refused to waterboard Al-Zawahiri and Chicago was nuked the next day the Left would be blaming bush for his incomptence in not waterboarding an obvious threat.

Riiiight. The Left wouldn't be stunned and inarticulate with grief. The very next day they'd be in the blame game. Just like 9/11, eh? How vividly I recall all the discussion on 9/12 that this was all Bush's fault! And you ignore all those on the "Right" who oppose torture.

I'll readily concede that it's easier to oppose torture than to support it. It's only in the unlikely event of a dreadful attack that one's decision can really be called into question. If you're supporting torture, however, and another attack occurs -- what then? Was all the torturing in vain? Do you just torture harder?

Fenrisulven said...
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Fenrisulven said...

How vividly I recall all the discussion on 9/12 that this was all Bush's fault! [saracsm]

True. Next day was hyperbolic. Next week would have been more precise.

Ann Althouse said...

If Chicago were nuked, there would be no Left left. None with any significance among Americans at least.

MadisonMan said...

Next week would have been more precise.

You remember things differently than I. Even after a week, I was just dreadfully sad that something like this could have happened. My main recollection of that time is the desire not to go overboard on retaliation before definite knowledge of who was behind the attack emerged. I don't recall that knowledge emerging before October.

You may recall that President Bush had quite high approval after 9/11 for quite some time -- was everyone approving of him and blaming him at the same time?

noah said...

The real villain here is the SCOTUS. Its bizarre holding that AQ prisoners are protected by the Geneva conventions has forced Congress to allow coercive interrogations because it is obviously necessary. Naturally some members of Congress including the odious Sen. McCain would prefer not to have their hands dirtied. Tough shit.

Michael said...

If Chicago were nuked, there would be no Left left. None with any significance among Americans at least.

That's pretty rich coming from Madison.

Or do you give Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama that much importance?

Fenrisulven said...

You may recall that President Bush had quite high approval after 9/11 for quite some time -- was everyone approving of him and blaming him at the same time?

No. But the pet goat baffoon and coward at an undisclosed location memes were in their first murmurs. I could fire up the Lexis-Nexis and find/not find more incriminating quotes. But I'd rather not clutter the thread. I'll cede the point to you.

Too Many Jims said...

"If Chicago were nuked, there would be no Left left. None with any significance among Americans at least.

That's pretty rich coming from Madison."

I took Ann as meaning that the "Left" will be marginalized by nuking of Chicago. That Americans won't have the "stomach" for a left that is soft on terrorism.

Fenrisulven said...

Sloanasaurus: if Bush refused to waterboard Al-Zawahiri and Chicago was nuked the next day the Left would be blaming bush for his incomptence in not waterboarding an obvious threat.

Its worse than that, considering that prime targets are metropolitan ares [Blue Cities]. They want to deny me the tools to prevent my platoon from being blown up by IEDs, but will give a wink/nudge if I risk the ICC to save their city.

PatCA said...

The detainees at Gitmo are having a real chuckle today, I'll bet. While we politic and compromise and prepare briefs, they plan.

Bruce Hayden said...

Now all we need is compromise legislation on the FISA update.

Icepick said...

If Chicago were nuked, there would be no Left left. None with any significance among Americans at least.

Ann, if you had an award for comment of the day, you would have won it yourself on this date.

LoafingOaf said...

I took Ann as meaning that the "Left" will be marginalized by nuking of Chicago. That Americans won't have the "stomach" for a left that is soft on terrorism.

If Chicago were nuked we'd have martial law and Lord knows what else. Would certainly make the controversies about the Patriot Act look like the good old days.

Goesh said...

It's a nasty, brutal business and I maintain my position that civilians should not have to die to uphold principles designed for uniformed soldiers in conventional warfare. I don't suscribe to the wag-the-electrode theory set forth by the Left and some on the Right, that all captured enemy combatants will be brutalized if Laws aren't set in place to protect them. Hogwash! Common sense precludes paper laws. The vast majority of enemy combatants have little intelligence value and never will. The fact that we treat their wounded and always have is a strong point and refutes the hysterical assumption that our forces and operatives are all potential monsters that must be kept in check. We want the information the senior commanders and financiers have, not where Abdul has been hiding his AK-47.

It's going to be a whole lot simpler to turn enemy combatants over to the host nations and simply observe and record the interrogations. Let's call this compromise Pontius Pilate's Rule of Water, that when in doubt, wash your hands of them and let host nations hook electrodes to their scrotums. Out of purview, out of mind as they say, huh John?

Secondly, this attempt to feel good and look good while dealing with vicious, murderous fanatics will give further impetus to mercenaries, excuse me, I mean private security firms who contract with nations. Well now! If them former Spetnaz commandos and Selous Scouts and assorted others get rough with the lads they capture, at least it ain't our boys and girls doing it. That's worth some chest jutting, ain't it?

Sloanasaurus said...

Another factor about the potential nuking of an American city that is generally overlooked is the inability by the Left to appreciate the response by America to such an attack. The response is easy to predict. Americans would be calling for full nuclear response. If the political leadership was unwilling to respond in kind, then new political leadership would be found.

Regardless of what terrorist organization nuked Chicago, America would respond with Nuclear weapons to the first person on the enemy list (which would be a future nuclear Iran or North Korea). The public would be calling for a full nuclear response - the total destruction of Iran or North Korea. This appreciation for the influence of hysterical mob rule in democracies is precisely why Kadaffi decided to get off the enemy list.

Daniel DiRito said...

I've got to hand it to the Democrats. The strategy of allowing the Republicans to "thrash out" their differences on the treatment and prosecution of detainees has played out exactly as planned...for the Republicans. Don't let anyone convince you that you can go to the well too often...that is if you are a Republican and your opponent is a fully inept Democratic Party.

Amidst a trend of favorable polling data and a firestorm of speeches by the President to refocus the voting public on their fear of terrorism, the Democrats stood in the background for the past two weeks and watched what the GOP will call the difficult work of creating legislation that preserves our commitment to civil liberties while at the same time providing our determined President with the essential tools needed to pursue those who seek to kill us all.

OK, perhaps I'm being too harsh. There is a possibility that in the past two weeks the Democrats were able to devise their sixth iteration of a campaign slogan and strategy to roll out with less than 50 days to the election. Perhaps they could call it "Fifty States, Fifty Days...But Never Fifty Percent"! It's catchy, it's succinct, and it may well be accurate come November 8th. Arrgghh!

Read more here:

www.thoughttheater.com

The Jerk said...

The response is easy to predict. Americans would be calling for full nuclear response.

Yep. But will the Administration then use it as a pretext to attack a country that had nothing to do with the nuking? If recent history is a guide, I'd put the odds at 50/50.

Abraham said...

The very next day they'd be in the blame game. Just like 9/11, eh? How vividly I recall all the discussion on 9/12 that this was all Bush's fault!

So, has Michael Moore's 9/12/2001 screed disappeared down the memory hole already?

"Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the “terrorist threat” and today’s scariest dude on planet earth — Osama bin Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn’t add up.

Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path?

Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today?

Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause — but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can — I don’t know.

What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact — WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden!

Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!"


I can understand why inconvenient truths like these want to be swept under the rug. But as long as the Democrats go out of their way to court lefties like Moore, they own this rhetoric, and I will not allow it to be wished away.

Fenrisulven said...

But will the Administration then use it as a pretext to attack a country that had nothing to do with the nuking? If recent history is a guide -

What history is that? The Fantasy Strawman World of the Left, where Bush blamed Iraq for 9-11?

On a serious note, I'm not sure America has the will to launch a retaliatory strike. We're going to murder 12 million innocents because the CIA claims a "high probability" that a Russian nuke was handed off to Al Queda by Ahmadinejad?

I can already hear the Left staying our hand with discussions of "root causes"

MadisonMan said...

Democrats court Michael Moore in much the same way that Republicans court Ann Coulter. They're both unfortunate publicity-mongers who will say anything about any tragedy if it ups their book sales. If "the Left" is defined as Michael Moore, well like fenrisulven, I'll concede the point -- but I'll expect you to equate Ann Coulter and her wacko ideas as "the Right".

My own personal experience with all these liberals on the near West side of Madison is that the months after 9/11 were all about (1) finding those responsible, (2) bringing them to justice, if possible and (3) preventing a recurrence. Approval ratings are congruent with that assessment, I think. When Iraq was thrown on the table is when the "left" that I associate with rightly (IMO) blamed Bush for taking his eye off the ball.

Fritz said...

Mad Man,
To compare Moore with Coulter is an insult. A better comparison would be Dowd. Moore isn't witty nor funny.

Tim said...

Which of our enemies ever followed the Geneva Conventions?

Anyone?

Tim said...

Are the terrorists criminals, soldiers, or neither?

If they're soldiers, why are they entitled to due process? And what nation claims them?

If they're criminals, why are they fought on battlefields with extreme prejudice rather than arrested?

Anyone?

Tim said...

What's the "bright line" between coercive interrogation and torture?

Or is all coercive interrogation torture by definition?

Anyone?

Tim said...

Should terrorists have access to classified information, including sources and methodologies, as part of their defense?

Tim said...

What is the material difference between a terrorist captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan versus one captured on the battlefield in Iraq and how we should handle each of them?

Or a terrorist captured in New York City?

Tim said...

What is the American Left prepared to do to defeat our enemies?

Beside making sure the 527's are fully funded for the benefit of Democrats, that is?

Anonymous said...

So, how about actually discussing the matter at hand? I haven’t looked at the whole thing, but here are two provisions that stand out to me:

(a) IN GENERAL. No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas or civil action or proceeding to
which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee,
member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States, is a
party as a source of rights, in any court of the United States or its
States or territories.

Translation: We don’t need no stinking treaties: You can’t bring an action claiming a violation of the Geneva Conventions in any US court. Note that the prohibition is not limited to foreigners. So if the government declares you an enemy combatant, and tortures you, even if you are a US citizen, you’re out of luck on this avenue. Or any other one, for that matter.

Assessment: Astounding and depressing that the US has decided to abrogate its responsibilities in this fashion. You don’t see the rest of the world saying they need to abrogate their treaty obligations to fight terrorism. And if you don't care for that argument, think about whether you really want a system where the US government can disappear anyone--including you. Forever.

item 2:
INTERPRETATION BY THE PRESIDENT. (A) As provided by the Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative
regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave
breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Translation: the White House can do whatever it wants.

Assessment: Presumably this is an attempt to codify the Yoo President as Maximum Ruler theory. Looks innocuous but isn’t because of the first clause. A major cave-in by Congress on the governance front.

As far as the debate over whether the standards are lower, I think that’s a red herring. If the language is vague, the decider gets to decide (see INTERPRETATION). So I think the source who said Bush got what he wanted is correct, at least as to these standards.

GOP bonus: Congress codifies torture AND the party gets to use torture as an election issue. A deeply repellent strategy. But that doesn't mean it will not work.

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven: You ask about what would happen if "a Russian nuke was handed off to Al Queda by Ahmadinejad". Which do you think is more likely, Ahmadinejad handing off a nuke to AQ or one of our "friends" (e.g. Pakistani or Saudi) arranging for AQ to get their hands on a nuke?

My view is that Iran is a state actor (allbeit a bad actor) and doesn't want to commit suicide by doing such a thing. AQ (and its individual allies within our "friends") on the other hand is not a state actor and can take whatever action it wants.

wheeler said...

tim,

wow. i had never previously considered those questions. apparentlty, i - and everyone else who opposes the president's policies - am an idiot. thank you for revealing our ignorance. henceforth, before trying to figure out the best answer to a problem, i will first ask you to reveal the obvious.

noah said...

Republicans do not court Ann Coulter (she has never met Pres. Bush for example and I have never seen her at a political event of anykind). On the other hand, leading Dems slobbered all over themselves to praise Fahrenheit 9/11.

But madisonman is probably impervious to facts.

Goesh said...

iwiwTim, in recent times not the Germans or the Japanese or Koreans or Vietnamese and certainly not the Iraqis. Jihadists sawing off heads for the videocam doesn't count since they are not in uniform don't you know....I suppose for that matter during the cold war the horrific methods used by the KGB doesn't count either since they weren't in uniform. I know an old Bulgarian resistance fighter who spent time in a Soviet-run prison around the time of the Polish revolt. He told me he witnessed an interrogation where the prime suspect and two others were strapped down and their captors took a carpenter's saw and sawed off one man's leg just below the knee, then did the second man and the prime suspect spilled his guts and saved his leg. Rest assured those legless fellows would have wanted sleep deprivation, shaking, yelling and threats any day over the saw. They bled to death in severe shock and pain and their bodies carted away like garbage he said. About as sick as this is the notion that our enemies will respect us for not depriving them of sleep or scaring them with dogs and making them wear women's underwear or screaming at them and making threats. Would you provide info to someone who was preventing the fullfillment of your spiritual obligations of killing and all they could do was parrot Miranda to you?? I would threaten to file a law suit if the halal food was cold, that's what I would tell them.

MadisonMan said...

Should terrorists have access to classified information, including sources and methodologies, as part of their defense?

I think I agree with Lindsay Graham on this one -- it's a little too Soviet to throw someone in the slammer if they can't see what's being used to convict them. Terrorists needn't have access to the info -- but their lawyers should.

MadisonMan said...

On the other hand, leading Dems slobbered all over themselves to praise Fahrenheit 9/11.

I'll preface this remark by saying I've not seen F9/11.

But the movie did come out after Iraq had been invaded. It was conceived, I think, after Iraq was invaded, and it should be viewed in that context -- made by someone angry at the invasion of Iraq, when it was the Taliban in Afghanistant that gave aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.

What do you think would have been the reaction to F9/11 if it were released long before the invasion of Iraq? I think it would've flopped; do you?

Sloanasaurus said...

The jerk said:

"....Yep. But will the Administration then use it as a pretext to attack a country that had nothing to do with the nuking? If recent history is a guide, I'd put the odds at 50/50...."

I would put it at near 100%. If you are the arch enemy of the united states and have developed nukes; and you consistently and openly support terrorists groups and use such groups as proxies to wage war upon America and to kill americans; and you consistently use dangerous rehetoric such as "we will destroy the great satan" and then the United States gets attacked.... you're screwed. Then to go back and claim that you had nothing to do with the mysterious terrorist nuclear attack on the United States is folly. Its best to go hide in your bunker.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Too Many Jims said...

Sloan said: "use such groups as proxies to wage war upon America and to kill americans." Are you talking about Iran? Which of their proxies have waged war upon America and killed Americans? Even assuming that you are talking about Hez and that Iran was responsible, the Barracks attack was 20+ years ago.

Abraham said...

You can’t bring an action claiming a violation of the Geneva Conventions in any US court.

I'm no international law expert, but hasn't that always been the case? The Geneva convention was never an agreement to adopt specific domestic statutes, it was an agreement to apply international war crimes trials. That the U.S. does not use the Geneva convention as a source of primary domestic authority does not seem in any way to be an abrogation of the treaty.

Note that the prohibition is not limited to foreigners. So if the government declares you an enemy combatant, and tortures you, even if you are a US citizen, you’re out of luck on this avenue. Or any other one, for that matter.

Now you've jumped the shark. This doesn't make any sense whatsoever. If you are in the United States, the applicability of the Geneva Convention is irrelevant to your rights under constitutional and statutory law.

You don’t see the rest of the world saying they need to abrogate their treaty obligations to fight terrorism.

Of course not - there are no such treaty obligations. Never has a terrorist attack even triggered the NATO mutual defense clause. Not that other countries refuse to honor what treaties do exist when it doesn't suit them - for example, refusing to extradite captured terrorists because they could face the death penalty. Nor has the UN been inclined to enforce its own proclomations. In any case, nowhere does it say that the U.S. will not abide by the Geneve Convention - just that redresses for violations of the Convention are addressable, as always, in international and military trials, not domestic civilian courts.

Garage Mahal said...

Let's just invoke Martial Law, and cancel all elections.

I'm with Goesh: Common Sense precludes paper laws. Nukes over Chicago, and ticking time bombs are serious enough threats to to suspend all these stupid and outdated documents.

George Bush - L'etat, c'est moi

Sanjay said...

Professor Althouse, not to sound harsh, but this is an unusually content-free post from you. My general sense is you avoid posting unless you have something to add or there's a quirkiness to the subject matter -- but this is almost better handeled with an "Instapundit"-esque, `go check out Lederman.'

Jim said...

I failed to read any comments in the NYT or WSJ about any amnesty that the bill gives to CIA torturers or those higher-ups who ordered the torture.

Does the bill cover that?

LoafingOaf said...

Another factor about the potential nuking of an American city that is generally overlooked is the inability by the Left to appreciate the response by America to such an attack. The response is easy to predict. Americans would be calling for full nuclear response.

I don't know about that. At the very least it's not "easy to predict." If a terrorist group nuked an American city, I'd support the military finally taking its gloves off (no one seems to give us credit for the fact that so far we haven't taken our gloves off...because we're a rather nice country). But we can kick so much butt without nuking cities, I'd like to think we'd only nuke a country if it was the only option.

If the political leadership was unwilling to respond in kind, then new political leadership would be found.

Not if the government nevertheless responded in a manner that eliminated the threat.

Regardless of what terrorist organization nuked Chicago, America would respond with Nuclear weapons to the first person on the enemy list (which would be a future nuclear Iran or North Korea). The public would be calling for a full nuclear response - the total destruction of Iran or North Korea.

I don't agree. I wouldn't be calling for us to kill millions of people and with no regard to whether the country we're striking was involved. And even if the country were involved, I still wouldn't overlook that those governments don't represent their people.

But hopefully we'll never face such circumstances. And I continue to not understand why people don't see the need to change the status quo in the Middle East through democracy. What a shame that the whole world isn't united around the success of a new and better Iraqi government. And what a shame that no one toppled Saddam many years ago.

Ann Althouse said...

Sanjay said..."Professor Althouse, not to sound harsh, but this is an unusually content-free post from you...."

Somehow it got an Instapundit link...

I had a point to make.

Sloanasaurus said...

"....I don't agree. I wouldn't be calling for us to kill millions of people and with no regard to whether the country we're striking was involved. And even if the country were involved, I still wouldn't overlook that those governments don't represent their people....."

This is exacty the naivete I am talking about. If terrorists were able to kill say 100,000 civilians in a nuke attack, almost every american in the country would have a personal connection to the loss. The economic consequences to the attack would also be devestating. The political pressure for a total nuclear response would be overwhelming especially if the opponent is unable to strike back.

Sloanasaurus said...

One point lost about Iraq is that no matter how bad it seems currently, the chance that Iraq will again pool its resources to develop nuclear weapons is pretty much nil. This fact is often ignored by the critics. Both Bush and Kerry agreed in 2004 that the greatest long term threat was the proliferation of nukes by terrorist states. Prior to 2003, 3 terrorist states had programs to develop nukes - they were Iran, Iraq, and Libya. Today, there is only 1 - Iran. While N. Korea is also a threat, they are mostly a threat for spreading techology to these terrorist states rather than using their weapons aggressively. Today N. Korea has two less customers.

Fenrisulven said...
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Anonymous said...

Abraham—My understanding (and no, I’m not an international law person either) is that the various Conventions require the signatories to create at a minimum a “regularly constituted” court. (see Hamdan) So to that extent, at least, the Conventions must create that right in domestic (US) law.

On the jumping the shark point, I don't think it's unreasonable at all. If--as has already happened--a US citizen is declared an enemy combatant, then that citizen would presumably fall under this regime. So that citizen, then, would not be able to bring an action demanding to be tried in a domestic court. In fact, that citizen could simply be held, indefinitely.

My broader point was that this language seems to be a bar to any action—including a habeas petition—from being brought. I agree that there’s a right to a direct appeal. But what if there’s no trial, or the trial is not a “regularly constituted” one? Haven’t we in effect, then, suspended habeas in this country?

You may say that I’m going over the top, but I don’t see anything in the language of the statute to preclude my scenario. I hope you can point me to something that shows I’m wrong. I’d be happy to be shown wrong here.

As to your other point, yes of course countries sometimes don’t honor their treaty obligations. But I think that’s different from essentially eviscerating them, which is what I read this language as doing. If there’s no mechanism for enforcing an obligation, is there any obligation? It may be that this is a right with no remedy situation; I don’t know, but given the apparent desire to preclude review, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that’s the intent of the statutory language. I haven’t seen anyone put forth a plausible alternative construction.

Here I'd like to put a plug in for Balkinization. I suspect that many readers of this blog don't agree with the political outlook of at least some of the posters there, but in my opinion their analysis is generally thoughtful and fair.

Seven Machos said...

Sparky -- You are wrong when you say: You don’t see the rest of the world saying they need to abrogate their treaty obligations to fight terrorism.

Take France. France has a long and sordid history of torture, which continues to this day. If the French don't do the torturing themselves, they hand the torturee over to the Algerians, or one of the other hellholes of the world that France utterly failed to colonize but still maintains corrupt ties with.

You are also wrong to break this down to simple re/blue partisan politics. The United States is ongoingly using open, representative, constitutional governmental procedures to resolve a vitally important and thoroughly complex moral and legal issue. What more, really, can you ask from any government than that?

Jason said...

(a) IN GENERAL. No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas or civil action or proceeding to
which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee,
member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States, is a
party as a source of rights, in any court of the United States or its
States or territories.


Sparky, you seriously misread this. It is stating what most Americans believe; the Geneva convention is not the source of rights. In other words you can't show up at a habeas corpus hearing and claim that since your lunch arrived at noon instead of eleven thirty, your fundamental human rights had been violated.

Fenrisulven said...

sparky: Here I'd like to put a plug in for Balkinization. I suspect that many readers of this blog don't agree with the political outlook of at least some of the posters there, but in my opinion their analysis is generally thoughtful and fair.

Agreed. Its so refreshing to be able to exchange ideas without being shouted down. Some of the more liberal commenters are beginning to domesticate me ;)

Fenrisulven said...

Jim: You ask about what would happen if "a Russian nuke was handed off to Al Queda by Ahmadinejad". Which do you think is more likely, Ahmadinejad handing off a nuke to AQ or one of our "friends" (e.g. Pakistani or Saudi) arranging for AQ to get their hands on a nuke?

Because of their ties with former Soviet scientists traipsing back and forth across the border and Caspian Sea, and because of the Russian black market, I'd say its more likely Iran ends up with Soviet warhead.

EDIT: I think I see what you mean - renegades with help from Islamic sympathizers within the Paki admin would not be deterred by MAD, and may even be counting on it to provoke a nuclear exchange between Islam and the West [if the nuclear fingerprint was traced back to Islamabad]. I've always been focused on a possible coup in Paki instead.

My view is that Iran is a state actor (allbeit a bad actor) and doesn't want to commit suicide by doing such a thing. AQ (and its individual allies within our "friends") on the other hand is not a state actor and can take whatever action it wants.

Iran is a state actor with a history of terorrism by proxy [Hezbollah]. I agree they do not want to commit suicide, thats the entire purpose of handing off a 3rd party blackmarket warhead to Al Queda anonymously. If they have certainty [even if wrong] that the incident can't be traced back to them, the MAD deterrent becomes a Maginot Line.

Fenrisulven said...

Even assuming that you are talking about Hez and that Iran was responsible, the Barracks attack was 20+ years ago.

The current war started more than 20+ years ago, it just took an attack on the mainland to get our full attention.

That and rising WMD proliferation. If ME sponsors of terrorism had not been pursuing WMDs, we would not be there now.

In a perverse sense, we're lucky OBL jumped the gun and attacked us before AQ got their hands on nuclear, bio, or chem weapons.

Abraham said...

Abraham—My understanding (and no, I’m not an international law person either) is that the various Conventions require the signatories to create at a minimum a “regularly constituted” court. (see Hamdan)

That is, in fact, incorrect. The Convention requires that any sentences imposed must be handed down by such a court, and that the court meet minimum standards of judicial fairness. But it does not require that any sentences be handed down at all, and if no sentences are imposed, no court should need be constituted. And it certainly doesn't require that captives be given the privilege of suing their captors in domestic civilian courts!

You may say that I’m going over the top, but I don’t see anything in the language of the statute to preclude my scenario.
This statute doesn't say anything about your scenario because it is not addressing that topic. The statute cannot overrule the Fifth Amendment or the Eigth Amendment, nor does it overrule Section 1983. Just because you can't file a suit based on the Geneva Convention doesn't mean that you can't file a suit based on any other constitutional or statutory grounds.

Fritz said...

Would the left please come clean, get rid of the empty platitudes and tell the truth. Torture is the left's cover for their real policy, no interrogation period! Until I am told that they have methods to extract information from suspected terrorists in a timely fashion, they have no argument.

Tim said...

Frtiz,

Do not hold your breath. It is something they will never admit. They think Bush is the enemy and the terrorists nothing more than a nuisance, albeit with legitimate grievances we should mitigate. Until they can win an election, they are just happy to keep the conversation on US war crimes, torture and Bush's imperial presidency going in an effort to undermine American confidence and distract us from waging the war to victory.

Cedarford said...

A Althouse - If Chicago were nuked, there would be no Left left. None with any significance among Americans at least.

Pretty much. I am moderate-conservative who still likes many Democratic and even liberal positions - particularly on the wealth inequalities, lack of health care coverage for 1/7th and growing of all working Americans - but I have a profound distrust about the inclination of liberals to defend us. From criminals, from terrorists. I see the obsession of terrorist rights over citizens as just a continuation of them favoring criminal rights over society's. And consider them going waaaay out on a limb - both with terrorist liberties and their obscene Left-Radical Islam solidarity against the West rallies. I am amazed how exposed the Left has made itself in the War with Radical Islam.

I see no likelihood the danger of a terrorist mass murder of Americans is going to end. If it happens, even not with nukes, you will see that limb sawed off. Fast, as repercussions are directed not just at radical Islamists but their Leftist defenders in academia, the media, activist lawyer groups, and Congress being marginalized as dangerous to America's security and liberties.

Noah - The real villain here is the SCOTUS. Its bizarre holding that AQ prisoners are protected by the Geneva conventions has forced Congress to allow coercive interrogations because it is obviously necessary.

There are lots of stupid players involved in the pile of confusion the war against radical Islamists has become. But yeah, SCOTUS has not solved any of the questions, it seems, but has perversely opened the door to more mischief with idiocies like Handan, Rasul, and saying Article 3 protects terrorists until "due process".

******************

I fear this emphasis on lawyers and terrorist rights has cost us dearly. It has made us lose our clarity of thought that existed after 9/11 and trapped us in what "motions" terrorist lawyers file and what pronouncement a SCOTUS oracle makes rather than fight the enemy, develop strategic communications, or confront the war of ideology being fought. Making the war lawyer-dominated has also cost allies who are happy to duck committing until "those American courts" set America's direction.
*************
There are 950 lawyers representing 430 Jihadists we captured. The numbers would swell if GITMO was not so remote. The government employes 1500 lawyers "countering". The annual cost per captured Jihadi inc. legal battles, is estimated to be 13-15 times more than a US soldier felon in the military system.

In WWII, no Nazi or Nipponese POW got a lawyer for the duration of the war. We had 2.2 million in custody. In the same war, many lawyers volunteered thinking they would be rear echelon "law experts" or staff the courts. Lindsay Graham's beloved JAGs winning the war with motions...

But in WWII, a large number of people doing lawyerly duties was unecessary. The lawyers were surplus - and most were converted into intelligence, admin, even front line troops - assigned as needed to direct function areas America determined would best win the war. Lawyers served as stretcher bearers, company commanders, pilots, gunnery officers...

*****************
Sparky - If--as has already happened--a US citizen is declared an enemy combatant, then that citizen would presumably fall under this regime. So that citizen, then, would not be able to bring an action demanding to be tried in a domestic court. In fact, that citizen could simply be held, indefinitely...No habeas.

What happened in Ex Parte Quirin was that SCOTUS ruled 9-0 that unlawful enemy combatants (8 in total), including 2 American Nazis, had no right to habeas. They were tried by a military tribunal then 6 were fried in the electric chair, including 1 American. In other WWII incidents, several Americans captured in enemy uniform were simply shot on the spot, no trial, on commander's orders. Others (working for the Japanese) were spared, but had treason trials.

Several members of the present court WISH to give full domestic court rights to Jihadis, presumably they are on the side that thinks that it is a criminal law enforcement issue - but their rulings have not dared reverse a unanimous SCOTUS decision...but sought refuge in statutory claims they say change the legal ground since Quirin and give terrorists rights by treaty and Congressional legislation - but not challenging Quirin's Constitutionality.

Fritz said...

Tim I won't. It is torture just reading all the empty platitudes. The US Military intentionally would rather capture terrorists to garner information to shorten the conflict, a humane act in my book, but capture has become adverse to killing them. The logic of domestic politics.

Fritz said...

Tim I won't. It is torture just reading all the empty platitudes. The US Military intentionally would rather capture terrorists to garner information to shorten the conflict, a humane act in my book, but capture has become adverse to killing them. The logic of domestic politics.

Mortimer Brezny said...

INTERPRETATION BY THE PRESIDENT. (A) As provided by the Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative
regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave
breaches of the Geneva Conventions.


This is boilerplate language that just reiterates the long-standing scope of Executive authority confirmed recently by the Supreme Court in Garamendi. There is nothing sinister about it. Professor Marty Lederman is purposely twisting this language because he is displeased with the compromise and scaring Democratic politicians and liberal activists results in more consulting fees for him. That is how law professors rake in the big bucks.

And if you think I am too cynical, please watch the press conference in which Musharraf hawks his new book!

Mark R. said...

But will the Administration then use it as a pretext to attack a country that had nothing to do with the nuking? If recent history is a guide, I'd put the odds at 50/50.

It's probably a straightforward task to measure the proportion of various isotopes in the residue and definitively "fingerprint" the uranium to its source. If that source was a known hostile country, the outcry for a in-kind response would be tremendous.

dogwhite said...

Madisonman:

I was standing in front of NYU Law on the morning of 9/11, about ten minutes after the second tower collapsed. I overheard one law student say to another: "You just know Bush is going to use this as an excuse to start a war." On 9/12 I wandered through a Union Square "vigil." A young woman sat on the steps on 14th Street holding a sign that read Bush = [swastika]. This was several days before the dire and ubiquitous warnings of the "brutal Afgan winter" began. Take your phony post-9/11 unity BS elsewhere.

Derve said...

Sanjay said..."Professor Althouse, not to sound harsh, but this is an unusually content-free post from you...."

AA: Somehow it got an Instapundit link...



LOL!

JSF said...

SCOTUS acted correctly by asking one branch to consult with the other. However, what I do not seem to understand is what the Left proposes (or essentially lack therof). On Pacifica Radio, they discussed how this is "torture". The AQ and Hezbollah's are stateless entities. Have they signed Geneva? They attack civilians and cut off the heads of soldiers. Can anyone from the Left classify the terrorists? And please let me know when they signed the Geneva accords on protecting our people.

Garage Mahal said...

The AQ and Hezbollah's are stateless entities. Have they signed Geneva?

If not the Geneva, what do we go by then? Please post me a link to the document, (in lieu of the Geneva), by which we are supposed to adhere to.

Garage Mahal said...
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Garage Mahal said...

Take your phony post-9/11 unity BS elsewhere.

Yea MadisonMan! How dare you! Democrats were only united for one day, and thats it.

Didn't you know Obedience = Patriotism?

You.Will.Comply

Only Conservatives and Republicans can even talk about 9/11.

Anything else other than full compliance, and you are nothing more than an ISlamofacist Appeaser. Don't you dare tell us you felt any pain that day.

Now watch this drive

Garage Mahal said...

If it happens, even not with nukes, you will see that limb sawed off. Fast, as repercussions are directed not just at radical Islamists but their Leftist defenders in academia, the media, activist lawyer groups, and Congress being marginalized as dangerous to America's security and liberties.

So let me get this straight. The Left would be responsible if we got hit again? Talk about shirking responsibility for you actions, or inaction. Your mention of the "left media" is probaly thee biggest myth the Right has sucessfully perpetuated that I've seen in my lifetime.

The buck will never stop with Republicans. Never.

I would like to hear how the "imaginary left" I hear about so often would be resposible. Repubs have complete control of of anything, and everything they could have dreamed for. Sure the Left made a little noise about wiretaps, phone records, and torture. But Bush did all of them before, and will continue to do so with or without the Law's consent.

You guys can't possibility believe this sh-t.

Seven Machos said...

Only Conservatives and Republicans can even talk about 9/11.

I think this is true, but not for the reason that the left thinks. It's true because every time lefties start talking about the war, they end up sounding quite foolish and losing electoral support. Hence, it is the left that shuts itself up about the subject (and complains, hilariously, about censorship).

Talk all you want. People criticizing you, people voting against you, people saying you are stupid and naive -- that's not a law against talking.

Seven Machos said...

Garage -- the Geneva Convention is a treaty. It protects signatories of the treaty. Furthermore, if others don't uphold a treaty, what is the purpose of upholding the treaty?

Fenrisulven said...
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Fenrisulven said...

garage: I would like to hear how the "imaginary left" I hear about so often would be resposible...Sure the Left made a little noise about wiretaps, phone records, and torture.

You've answered your own question. You compromise intelligence operations [SWIFT], disable interrogation efforts, supply propaganda to the enemy via fake Newsweek/AP/Reuters smears, leak ops to the NYTs via CIA, deliver conspiracy talking points to people like Chavez to parrot in front of the world at the UN - and not for some principle, but to hamstring Bush's policy for political traction.

The Left is not behaving like responsible adults. They have no plan, they see no threat. For the moment, their hysterics are being tolerated. If a successful attack is discovered to have been preventable but for Leftist handicapping, your party will reap the whirlwind.

Fenrisulven said...

It's probably a straightforward task to measure the proportion of various isotopes in the residue and definitively "fingerprint" the uranium to its source. If that source was a known hostile country, the outcry for a in-kind response would be tremendous.

As stated in the earlier hypothetical, the nuke is traced back to the former USSR. France and China call for Emergency Session of UN Security Council, revealing intelligence that the fingerprint is from one of 200 Ukranian Nukes lost while being transferred back to Russia. They warn of "grave" consequences should the US strike Moscow or Kiev. CNN is filled with clips of Russian mothers clutching their children, begging the US to be reasonable: "have mercy on us, we are not at fault".

Whats your next move? Or you going to nuke Kiev or Moscow?

Garage Mahal said...

Garage -- the Geneva Convention is a treaty. It protects signatories of the treaty. Furthermore, if others don't uphold a treaty, what is the purpose of upholding the treaty?

Ok, fine. The Geneva is out of the picture. Tell me then, or point me what the procedure, or protocol and guidelines are for treatment of that prisoner?? What is it ? You would need to draft another Geneva of some kind, I would think.

It would then bring up the question: When is a terrorist, a terrorist?

Garage Mahal said...

I think this is true, but not for the reason that the left thinks. It's true because every time lefties start talking about the war, they end up sounding quite foolish and losing electoral support. Hence, it is the left that shuts itself up about the subject (and complains, hilariously, about censorship).

Talk all you want. People criticizing you, people voting against you, people saying you are stupid and naive -- that's not a law against talking.


I hope you knew that when I said "Only Conservatives and Republicans can even talk about 9/11." it was 100% Snark !?

Fenrisulven said...

Garage: Your mention of the "left media" is probably the biggest myth the Right has sucessfully perpetuated that I've seen in my lifetime.

Myth? The rise of AM talk radio proves you wrong. Think of a business model: if half your client base peels away from you to start their own parallel venue, could something be wrong with your product?

If the media wasn't biased Left, FOX news wouldn't exist.

Here's Thomas Edsall of the Washington Post:

"And I agree that whatever you want to call it, mainstream media, presents itself as unbiased, when in fact, there are built into it, many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left."

Garage Mahal said...

You've answered your own question. You compromise intelligence operations [SWIFT], disable interrogation efforts, supply propaganda to the enemy via fake Newsweek/AP/Reuters smears, leak ops to the NYTs via CIA, deliver conspiracy talking points to people like Chavez to parrot in front of the world at the UN - and not for some principle, but to hamstring Bush's policy for political traction.

If you are trying to be a good soldier, then I understand. If you truly believe this, then you are weirdly paranoid. None of this is true of course.

The Left is not behaving like responsible adults. They have no plan, they see no threat. For the moment, their hysterics are being tolerated. If a successful attack is discovered to have been preventable but for Leftist handicapping, your party will reap the whirlwind

I agree the Left will get blamed for any future attacks for the foreseable future. No matter what the facts, we agree here.

In no instance would you ever hold this WH responsible, for anything, at anytime. No matter what the facts might be.

Garage Mahal said...

Myth? The rise of AM talk radio proves you wrong.

I actually agree. But I don't think you can argue there a liberal bias in the media today. Just admit, and say 'we won jack'. Cuz I agree!

Fenrisulven said...
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Fenrisulven said...

If you truly believe this, then you are weirdly paranoid. None of this is true of course.

Bill Keller of the NYTs did not out a legal and effective intelligence gathering operation?

Newseek did not falsely accuse US troops of Koran flushing, causing great outrage in the Muslim world?

Chavez did not repeat, almost verbetim, the conspiracy theories of the nutroots?

In no instance would you ever hold this WH responsible, for anything, at anytime.

Oh but I already have, from Tora Bora to Lebannon to Immigration Amnesty to Rampant Spending to Harriet Myers.

Seven Machos said...

I point you to the recent agreement in the Congress. We are dealing with how to treat Islamic jihadists right now.

Who could possibly argue otherwise?

Garage Mahal said...

Bill Keller of the NYTs did not out a legal and effective intelligence gathering operation?

Newseek did not falsely accuse US troops of Koran flushing, causing great outrage in the Muslim world?

Chavez did not repeat, almost verbetim, the conspiracy theories of the nutroots?


None of these are Democratic policymakers who should, or should not be held to account for neglect of counter terrorism.

The Chavez bit is irrelevant.

The Koran flushing I agree was a disaster.

By the way, I am not your typical Liberal, I'm not sure if this is confusing you.

Did you read the smackdown Clinton gave to Wallace? ;)

Garage Mahal said...

I point you to the recent agreement in the Congress. We are dealing with how to treat Islamic jihadists right now

I hate jihadis too.

Fenrisulven said...

Garage: None of these are Democratic policymakers who should, or should not be held to account for neglect of counter terrorism.

Well now you're changing your question. You had asked: I would like to hear how the imaginary left I hear about so often would be responsible... Sure the Left made a little noise about wiretaps, phone records, and torture.

Fenrisulven said...

The comments over at Lederman's have become a bit deranged. Byron York [via Powerline] provides more precise analysis. Key grafs:

"...it does appear that both sides did, in fact, get the main things they wanted. The Republican “dissenters” never wanted to cripple the CIA’s interrogation program...Rather, they wanted to work out a way to make most of the program legal using existing American law, not the Geneva Convention. And in that, they appear to have succeeded."

"For example, both sides appear to believe that the agreement permits the CIA to continue to use sleep deprivation, cold rooms, and other such techniques. On the other hand, the status of the most notorious of those techniques, waterboarding, is not quite clear"

Fenrisulven said...

Hmmm...blogger must think my link is too many characters, its inop.

Powerline has commentary and an active link to Byron York. Sry about that.

Did you know the Rove Decoder Ring will shock you for working overtime? Ouch. Off to bed I guess.

Revenant said...

Ok, fine. The Geneva is out of the picture. Tell me then, or point me what the procedure, or protocol and guidelines are for treatment of that prisoner?? What is it?

Pretty much whatever the military who captured that prisoner wants it to be. That's why we sign treaties with potential enemies restricting what our militaries can do to each other -- because people NOT covered by such a treaty have no recourse.

Revenant said...

By the way, I am not your typical Liberal

Yeah -- most of the liberals I know defend their beliefs honestly.

Cedarford said...

Mark R - It's probably a straightforward task to measure the proportion of various isotopes in the residue and definitively "fingerprint" the uranium to its source. If that source was a known hostile country, the outcry for a in-kind response would be tremendous.

It's the Tom Clancy myth. You cannot tell where a piece of refined uranium was mined from, or where it was enriched. Before or after detonation. You cannot tell where alloyed plutonium was made unless you have a sample of the plutonium from the ace human intel spies we largely lack in any field or know the exact makeup from sniffing the fallout from a bomb design that was open air tested generations ago pre-test ban treaty.

What we can do is check the type of nuke. Fission or fusion. Determine it's fissile material, efficiency, type of design. If it was the French design that was proliferated to Israel, then S Africa by the Israelis, then by the S Africans to who knows? Or if it was the Chinese PU-implosion type that was directly copied by Pakistan and sent off to several countries by AQ Khan but probing a crater in NYC would at best get you to "Chinese design, spherical PU-implosion, non-tritium boosted type."

The uranium gun-type is so commonly known you would not be able to get much, if anything, from examining residue in the dead and dying city involved.

Best thing we can do is say that we will plan on killing at least 10X the number of the enemy if attacked with nukes, once we know who they are, and we will be killing enemy civilians. Establish deterrence.

Mark said...

Regardless of what terrorist organization nuked Chicago, America would respond with Nuclear weapons to the first person on the enemy list (which would be a future nuclear Iran or North Korea).

If the terrorist nuked Chicago, the Left would applaud the terrorist act because Chicago has several Wal-Marts and McDonalds.

The Left hates Capitalism more than it hates Islamo-fascism.

Fenrisulven said...

Cedarford: You cannot tell where a piece of refined uranium was mined from, or where it was enriched. Before or after detonation. You cannot tell where alloyed plutonium was made unless you have a sample of the plutonium from the ace human intel spies we largely lack in any field or know the exact makeup from sniffing the fallout from a bomb design that was open air tested generations ago pre-test ban treaty.

Thanks. I did not know that. Apparently its a common misperception. Can you point me to a link with some official/authoritive info on this?

Rex Saxi said...

I am SO, SO happy torture is now legal.

Mark said...

Rex Saxi said...
I am SO, SO happy torture is now legal.


Me too. Especially since a Lefty federal judge is likely to rule that even speaking to an Islamist terrorist without first saying "Allah, may I?" represents torture.

The Lefties define torture so broadly, we need to make it legal.

Rex Saxi said...

Mark, maybe you can torture a captured 12-year old in Kandahar. I hear it's a very easy job.

My post saying I was happy that we legalized torure was my attempt at humor.

Fenrisulven said...

Mark, maybe you can torture a captured 12-year old in Kandahar. I hear it's a very easy job.

I had to kill a 12-year old in Somolia. So I don't get your point.

Rex Saxi said...

Fenrisulven: I am not sure what you mean by you "had" to kill a 12-year old kid.

My point is that all of you proud Americans and Christians, if you are really serious about torture should all volunteer to do it.

And at least one 12-year old has been imprsisoned by US forces in Iraq (his Dad was tortured, and released because he was innocent).

It's in this month's Harper's.

Fenrisulven also said in an earlier post:

"What history is that? The Fantasy Strawman World of the Left, where Bush blamed Iraq for 9-11?"

Fenrissulven, please read carefully paragraph 2:

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate

March 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH

Revenant said...

My point is that all of you proud Americans and Christians, if you are really serious about torture should all volunteer to do it.

And if you're really serious about people being allowed to eat hamburgers or use toilets, you should volunteer to slaughter cattle and clean sewers. Because after all, "gross and inconvenient" is exactly the same thing as "morally wrong".

Anyway, Rex, you forgot to quote the part of Bush's letter where he blames Iraq for 9/11, if such a part exists. I suspect you're misreading paragraph (2), which says only that invading Iraq is consistent with continuing to go after al Qaeda. You can read that as either a statement that the United States can walk and chew gum at the same time (invade Iraq AND hunt down al Qaeda), or a reference to the fact that Iraq was a haven for various terrorists and terrorist groups, including some al Qaeda affiliates. But however you want to read it, it says nothing about Iraq being involved in 9/11.

Childrens Clothing said...
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