July 13, 2006

BECAUSE SOME FOLKS JUST DESERVE LOWER STANDARDS:

Administration Prods Congress to Curb the Rights of Detainees (KATE ZERNIKE, 7/12/06, NY Times)

A day after saying that terror suspects had a right to protections under the Geneva Conventions, the Bush administration said Wednesday that it wanted Congress to pass legislation that would limit the rights granted to detainees.

The earlier statement had been widely interpreted as a retreat, but testimony to Congress by administration lawyers on Wednesday made clear that the picture was more complicated. [...]

The maneuvering now under way was prompted by that Supreme Court decision, which struck down the tribunals the administration had established for terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The court left it to Congress to decide what kind of trials to set up for detainees and what protections they should be granted in interrogations and handling before trial.

Administration lawyers have argued that the “most desirable” solution would be for Congress to pass a law approving the tribunals that the court said the president could not establish on his own, proceedings that would grant minimum rights to detainees.

But some leading senators said they believed that the White House stance might still be evolving, despite the public pronouncements by the lawyers who appeared before Congress. In particular, they thought the White House might be open to a solution that would abandon the tribunal approach in favor of one that would modify court-martial procedures to reflect the realities of putting terror suspects on trial. [...]

Mr. Graham said defining Article Three would be “the hardest part” of the debate on how to bring detainees to trial. He suggested that Congress could limit it in a way that resembled the language of the measure setting standards for the treatment of detainees that was written by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and signed into law last year.

“It says that every detainee will be treated humanely and that cruel, inhumane treatment will not be allowed against detainees,” Mr. Graham said. “Common Article Three with its language goes well beyond the McCain standard.”


Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2006 7:22 AM
Comments

Bush forcing his critics to put their money where their mouths are.

Posted by: erp at July 13, 2006 7:36 AM

Borrow some Chicom legal experts for advice--keep it civilized.

Whatever is done with the procedures, preserve the Nurenburg precedent on criminal organizations.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 13, 2006 1:19 PM
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