President Bush’s comments today concerning Congress’ rejection of his plan to “clarify” Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions appears to be the beginning of the end for him. Presenting an ultimatum that Congress either goes along with his “calrification” of Article 3 or the program for interrogating terrorism suspects ends shows just how far he is willing to go.
Colin Powell, along with Sens. John Warner, VA, John McCain, AZ, and Lindsey Graham, SC, denounced the President’s plan to allow coercive testimony in trying terrorism suspects. Truthout.org describes the Bush plan like this:
Under the measure that President Bush proposed on Wednesday, Khalid Shaik Mohammed and other major terrorism suspects would face trials at Guantánamo Bay in military tribunals that would allow evidence obtained by coercive interrogation and hearsay and deny suspects and their lawyers the right to see classified evidence used against them.
This is against what Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is all about. The fact of the matter is that without the right to see the evidence presented against you, you have no basis to defend yourself. I wouldn’t mind having the cases themselves classified for a number of years, but for a suspect to be unable to defend himself is ridiculous. Bush tries to paint the critics of his plan as not wanting to …give our folks the tools to protect this country…. That kind of statement again shows how determined Bush is to defy international laws and agreements of which the United States are signatories.
I’m sorry to say, wait a minute, no I’m not. I’m not sorry to say that Bush is on the losing end of this fight. Warner, McCain, Graham, and Powell have all raised legitimate concerns that were the US to define, or “clarify” as Bush puts it, Article 3, our service-men and -women could potentially be subject to the same kinds of interrogations. Damn it, we’re supposed to be better than this! We’re the nation that is supposed to be the good guys. Good guys don’t torture and good guys make sure that even though we’re trying the bad guys in court, they have a right to see the evidence laid out against them. That’s how our justice system is supposed to work. Unfortunately, Bush wants to be judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to the farcical War on Terror. Just wait, there’ll be more asinine things to come out of his mouth before November so just kick back and enjoy watching he and his presidency self-destruct. I know I am.