Civilian Trial for KSM

Can some one explain why Justice Department is not advancing the argument that Bush administration gave up the idea of a "war on terror". The minute they decided that the Geneva Convention did not apply they were effectively arguing that it is not a war.
 All those criticizing the idea of a civil trial should be asked to explain why were these people not treated as Prisoners of War with the usual protections of the treaties that we signed on to.

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Torture No Longer Taboo

    As the Attorney General nominee was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was questioned repeatedly about the use of the technique known as waterboarding and whether he considered it legal. Judge Michael B. Mukasey, the nominee continued to avoid giving a legal opinion on the practice. According to legal experts, he had no choice but to avoid the rendering of an opinion because of the legal ramifications of the Attorney General calling the practice illegal. By doing so of course he would open the floodgates of litigation from detainees that have been subjected to the practice. For all practical purposes let's acknowledge that this practice constitutes torture.

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Reprinted from The Satirical Political Report

Within the past few days, both Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have attacked critics of the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program, including a federal judge who ruled last August that the program was unconstitutional.

As Gonzales succinctly said, "we shouldn't let facts like the U.S. Constitution get in the way of our fight to defend freedom."

Gonzales also criticized judges who recognized such facts as the Enlightenment, the Geneva Convention, Congressional statutes, the New Deal, the Great Society and global warming.

Despite the Democrats' midterm election victory, the Attorney General insisted that the Administration would continue to push for federal judges who share the philosophy of a Scalia or Thomas: "We believe that judges should adhere to "original in-tent," that is, the norms of pre-Magna Carta feudal society, when most folks were living in tents."


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Beating Back This Bill

There are two debates going on, one internal and one in public.  In public, the Democrats are rolling over, hence the anger at moral scolds like Obama.  In private, it looks like the Democrats are not rolling over on this.  They are furious about this compromise, which eviscerates Habeas Corpus.  Here's video of Ike Skelton, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.  Skelton is objecting to this bill, though a few days ago Skelton was saying "I will need to look at the final bill carefully, but elements of the compromise I have seen are promising." He's angry that the Democratic amendments were turned down.

The Senate is where this bill can be stopped.  The key Senators to move are the Maine Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.  If we can shift them, we can stop this bill from being passed.

Susan Collins
461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2523
Fax: (202) 224-2693

Olympia Snowe
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946

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Torture/detainee bill: Dems waving it through

For all the brave words from the lefty sphere (the spasm of which seems to have abated), HR 3901 seems to be making its way to the Senate exit without being greatly impeded.

According to this piece (from 1837 ET today),

Democrats do not seem inclined to go all-out to block passage of the detainee bill, but they are negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on offering amendments to the bill.

That's typical of what I've read of the mood in the Senate on the bill.

And from the horse's mouth:

"We can't stop a vote on it this week," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid Tuesday. He said a Senate vote to curtail debate on the detainee bill would take place Wednesday morning and he added, "we can't stop that."

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