Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Loss For The McCainiacs

It bears paying attention to how most of the world will read about the accord this afternoon between the McCain threesome (above) and the Bush Administration. Here's how Reuters, which will be picked up around the world, put it:
President Bush bowed to pressure from leading senators in his Republican party on Thursday, revising a bill for interrogating terrorism suspects that critics had said would allow abusive treatment.
Also playing it as a presidential defeat and raising continuing concerns about treatment of terrorist scum was CNN -- and expect its international broadcasts to be less complimentary than this, from its US web site:
The White House and dissenting GOP senators settled a disagreement Thursday on a bill setting out procedures for interrogating terror suspects and trying them in front of military tribunals.

The deal, reached after three days of intense intra-party negotiations, satisfied the concerns of three Republicans on how the measure would affect U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions.

Associated Press played it straighter, in an article that will be read by most Americans:
The agreement contains concessions by both sides, though the White House yielded ground on two of the most contentious issues. The Bush administration agreed to drop one provision narrowly interpreting international standards of prisoner treatment and another allowing defendants to be convicted on evidence they never see.

The accord, however, explicitly states the president has the authority to enforce Geneva Convention standards and enumerates acts that constitute a war crime, including torture, rape, biological experiments and cruel and inhuman treatment. White House officials said these provisions would provide the CIA the clarity it needs to continue with its interrogation program.

How did the agreement come so quickly? C-SM was not allowed a place at the table for some reason, but I'm pretty sure I know why:
  • Newsweek and The Guardian broke the news on exactly what the secret techniques are -- the worst being an open-handed slap -- leaving the McCain triplets embarassed to be caught making a big deal out of nothing.
  • Bush's recent speeches, followed by subsequent news disclosures, proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that these techniques, which are not torture, do work, saved many lives, and led to the capture of many dangerous terrorists.
  • Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN and scared the dung beetles out of everyone, creating a sense of urgency and unity just a few days after the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
Of the accord, President Bush said:
“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.”
Leader Frist illuminated the agreement, quoted in the NYT:
“Classified information will not be shared with the terrorists” tried before the tribunals, he said. And “the very important program of interrogation continues.”
Looks like a defeat from the McCainiacs and a victory for America.

Photo: Getty Images/NYT
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