Belfast Telegraph – Bush claims victory as Senate approves terror suspects bill: Both sides are claiming victory from the compromise. But human rights groups say the final version allows the President too much discretion in deciding what interrogation methods are legitimate, and in providing immunity for CIA interrogators from prosecution for war crimes. The Bill, passed by a 253-168 vote in the House, sets up military tribunals to try suspects. It thus complies with June’s Supreme Court ruling that any such system must be approved by Congress, and cannot merely be imposed by the Pentagon, as were the tribunals set up at Guantanamo Bay. But defendants’ rights will still fall well short of those guaranteed by civilian and most military courts. It also defines war crimes including torture, rape and biological experiments on detainees. But Mr Bush will have wide authority to decide which other interrogation techniques are legal. The legislation also fulfils a vital political purpose. With party ranks reunited, the White House is again trying to manoeuvre Democrats in a corner, in which it can depict the latter’s opposition to anti-terror legislation as proof of weakness on national security. Republicans are counting on the issue to retain control of Congress in November. After the House vote, Dennis Hastert, the Speaker, accused the 168 Congressmen who opposed it (all but eight of them Democrats) of “voting in favour of more rights for terrorists”. If Democrats had their way, he said, they would “coddle” the very people who were trying to harm Americans around the world.
Please note that – at the core of that latter deception – is the absolute certainty that all suspected terrorist are terrorists.
Some further reading for you below. Me, I’m rendered all-but-speechless right now, and have nothing to add beyond the one thing that is a certainty… America is now a rogue state.
Ian MacLeod’s Blog – They Passed the Torture Bill, Gave Bush Wiretapping, and America is Dead
The Existentialist Cowboy – The Week in Review from Republican Occupied America
Kurt Nimmo – Habeas Corpus Murdered, Few Notice
Amnesty International – USA: Congress rubber stamps torture and other abuses
Juan Cole – Craig Murray on Manufacturing Terror (Oil, Lily Pad Bases and Torture)
The UK Today – You may like to think that the following couldn’t happen here