Friday, September 15, 2006
An excerpt from the President's press conference in the Rose Garden today...
Bush: Now, the court said that you've got to live under Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. And the standards are so vague that our professionals won't be able to carry forward the program, because they don't want to be tried as war criminals. They don't want to break the law.
These professionals are decent, honorable citizens who are on the front line of protecting the American people. And they expect our government to give them clarity about what is right and what is wrong in the law. And that's what we have asked to do.
And we believe a good way to go is to use the amendment that we worked with John McCain on, called the Detainee Treatment Act, as the basis for clarity for people we would ask to question the enemy.
In other words, it is a way to bring U.S. law into play. It provides more clarity for our professionals. And that's what these people expect. These are decent citizens who don't want to break the law. Now, this idea that somehow, you know, we've got to live under international treaties, you know -- and that's fine; we do.
But oftentimes the United States government passes law to clarify obligations under international treaty.
And what I'm concerned about is if we don't do that, that it's very conceivable our professionals could be held to account based upon court decisions in other countries. And I don't believe Americans want that.
I believe Americans want us to protect the country, to have clear standards for our law enforcement, intelligence officers, and give them the tools necessary to protect us within the law.
It's an important debate. It really is. It's a debate that really is going to define whether or not we can protect ourselves. I will tell you this -- and I've spent a lot of time on this issue, as you can imagine. And I've talked to professionals, people I count on for advice. These are the people who are going to represent those on the front line protecting this country. They're not going forward with the program. They're professionals -- will not step up unless there's clarity in the law.
Now I wasn't at that press conference, but I don't think there's any doubt about the professionals Bush is trying so hard to protect...
Professional thugs who want free reign to torture detainees in secret prisons without due process.
Professional bullies who have no problem giving orders to subordinates on how to best "extract vital information" from prisoners of war...
Professional liars who will be called upon to defend in court the actions of the aforementioned professionals if and when they are accused of war crimes.
Because in reality, the Bush professionals have shown they have a robust appettite for breaking the law and flaunting the internationally accepted tenets of the Geneva Convention.... but God forbid they should be held accountable or tried and punished for their actions.
If Congress buckles and passes the (un)law Bush has drafted that gives Rummy and the CIA free reign over how detainees are interrogated, Congress is signing the death warrants of every American citizen or soldier who is captured on foreign soil tomorrow, and for all the tomorrows thereafter.
And not surprisingly, Bush, with the help of his army of professionals, has once again employed the rhetoric of fear and the spectre of September 11, 2001 to bully Congress and the American people, and suborn the American justice system, to push us closer to Armaggedon.
God help us.
PEACE -- HeartSleeve