Sep 21 2006

McCain & Graham Surrender: We Can Interrogate Terrorists

Published by at 11:19 pm under All General Discussions

It seems that I was correct, all that talk about Bush capitulating to McCain and Graham and other lost Republican Senators was pure spin. Since Bush and Hayden are cheering the ‘compromise’ for clarifying what is legal actions in aggressive interrogations, defining the vague Geneva Convention McCain and Graham and Powell all said should never be clarified, I cannot help but conclude Bush won again.

Both sides declared that they had achieved their aims. Bush hailed the accord in a brief televised appearance from Orlando. He said the deal preserved “the CIA program to question the world’s most dangerous terrorists and to get their secrets.” CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told the agency in a statement that “if this language becomes law, the Congress will have given us the clarity and the support that we need to move forward with a detention and interrogation program.”

Of course anyone can declare victory, but Bush seems to be the one actually getting what he wanted while the opposition is redefining their terms for success.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a prisoner during the Vietnam War who led the Senate rebellion against the administration’s proposals, said, “The agreement that we’ve entered into gives the president the tools that he needs to continue to fight the war on terror and bring these evil people to justice.” But he added: “There is no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved.”

But how could that be? McCain and others claimed we couldn’t interrogate these murderers because we couldn’t afford to have the Geneva Convention touched one iota. But now it the ‘spirit’ has been ‘preserved’. Sounds like McCain has performed some reinterpretation of his own here. Clearly the Senators have agreed to define what is legal by defining what is not legal:

On the key issue of detainee treatment that had caused the impasse between the White House and the dissident Republicans, the two sides agreed on a list of specified crimes that would provoke prosecution of CIA interrogators and others.

A distinction without a purpose. Bush now has a definition of what is illegal, and therefore everything else is legal. Checkmate.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “McCain & Graham Surrender: We Can Interrogate Terrorists”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    So if this is true, we have defined our position.

    The logical followup is the EU or others will interpret a differential opinion.

    In my opinion what is needed is another convention beyond the Geneva Conventions that defines and codifies, with clarity the world view that insurgent actions resulting in deaths to innocent civilian non combatants is not considered an acceptable tactic, as well as human shields.

    Both of these should be held with all the respect they deserve.

    Perhaps then, we can believe the world stage has resulted in humane progress.

    But I will not hold my breath.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    To follow up, if certain tactics are not defined as unacceptable and can result with responses that justify taking out the violaters despite the collateral damage, we will forever committed to damnation of having to deal with asymetrical responses.

    At some point we have to say enough is enough. This is not an acceptable alternative, and if you choose it you bear the responsibility, then you are responsible for the consquences.

    You don’t get a free pass because of unacceptable tactics needs to be codified.

    It is very hard to unleash the dogs of war if you have to be committed to only using nerfbats.

    And so it goes!

  3. MerryJ1 says:

    “It is very hard to unleash the dogs of war if you have to be committed to only using nerfbats.”

    What a great line! kudos, Merlin!

  4. MerlinOS2 says:


    Thanks for your acknowledgment.

    I have personally been on the front lines in my past and I realize my position.

    It is not a quaint observation, it is a reality check.

    Thanks for yer support, like the Snapple commercials used to say.

  5. MerlinOS2 says:

    In war, you kill people and break things until you get your enemy to submit. If you try to play half measures, you only prolong the conflict and by way of that encourage more damage to those innocents where the conflict is taking place.

    We have somehow tried to take war down to Marquis of Queensberry rules.

    Can someone tell me how this is a workable altenative rather than just a PC alternative. It may sound nice but it clearly isn’t workable as evidenced by our situation in Iraq.

    Yes encouraging the locals to realize the possibilities after the war is over is a good thing, but it is counterproductive before the war is won, especially if the best you can do is aim for a stalemate.

  6. For Enforcement says:

    We have somehow tried to take war down to Marquis of Queensberry rules.

    BUT,,, with important limitations, the US has to keep one hand behind it’s back, can’t block their punches, and can’t hit back. We especially aren’t allowed to HURT THEIR FEELINGS, for God’s sake.

    and they are allowed to use a sword, cut our neck, cut off our head, spit in our face and hit below our belts with no penalties.
    The refereee has to determine any question of the rules in their favor. The only thing they are absolutely required to do is refer to us as the NICE guys.

  7. patrick neid says:

    yes….all the earmarks of another fabled Rove “bait and switch”. this guy knows how to put the worm on the hook! 🙂

  8. owl says:

    Enforcement…The refereee has to determine any question of the rules in their favor.

    And the referee is….?

    I agree (AJ) that Bush has allowed this trio to gently walk backwards and the truth is what is seeping out. The NYT and Dems are beginning to fight today since their shield trio has been removed.

    And the referee is…? Since I no longer trust the trio to share my views on this subject, and they all reside on the Armed Service Committee as our representatives, it is very important that this little problem be solved before the election. If we should lose……this goes down the drain. If we win…..we find ourselves with McCain as head honcho referee. With trusty sidekick Graham. Now don’t we all feel better…..especially since we have witnessed what losing does to McCain? Watch out internet and be verrrry afraid if your name happens to be Rummy.

  9. Detainee Deal – A significant win for our security…

    You can tell that the Bush/McCain deal is a win for Bush’s efforts at protecting the Country. Just read the news stories in the NY Times A Bad Bargin and Washington Post (The abuse can continue), along a perusal of the left wing blog sites like …

  10. Barbara says:

    This is win-win for McCain/Graham. Their names have been front and center in the media. As has been said, there is no bad publicity. However, as far as I am concerned all this brouhaha is an infringement by the legislative branch on the executive. Congress has no say in what goes on out of this country in time of war. The founding fathers were explicit that congress could have no hand in running a war.

  11. For Enforcement says:

    Owl, you did a great job in answering your own question about who is the referee.
    We don’t need McCain, Graham, Warner, et. al. as our referee? , they couldn’t even find the ring, they’re too busy tooting their horn.