Via Sullivan, it looks like the strategy of the Republicans is to neuter the McCain torture bill in conference:
It’s increasingly clear that the strategy of McCain’s opponents — the Vice President and his congressional supporters — will be to amend the McCain Amendment in the Conference Committee so as to exempt the CIA from the prohibition on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees. The Senate delegation to the Conference Committee presumably will include three of the nine Republicans who voted against the McCain Amendment — Ted Stevens, Thad Cochran and Kit Bond. A recent Congressional Quarterly article, reprinted here, reports Stevens — who would “lead the Senate’s conferees” — as saying that “he can support McCain’s language if it’s augmented with guidance that enables certain classified interrogations to proceed under different terms.” “‘I’m talking about people who aren’t in uniform, may or may not be citizens of the United States, but are working for us in very difficult circumstances,’ Stevens said. ‘And sometimes interrogation and intimidation is part of the system.”” …
But if Senator Stevens has his way, and successfully exempts the CIA from the McCain Amendment’s otherwise unequivocal ban on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the Congress will for the first time have ratified the Administration’s view that such cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is not uniformly off-limits, and will have given a green light to the CIA to engage in such conduct. Moreover, as explained above, that very unfortunate result would not be offset by any meaningful improvement in the law as it applies to the Armed Forces.
I mam not sure why three Senators, of only 8 who voted against the bill, would be included in the conference report other than to queer the entire process. In other words, we may be approaching a time when Democrats can rightly say that Republicans have had their own John Kerry moment:
“We were against torture before we were for it.”
Well we’ve already seen John Cole have his Pee Wee Herman moment.
Unless of course those Republicans plan to modify the bill to say torture is only to be allowed if funds are allocated to pay for it.
I don’t think ‘neuter’ is the proper word. It is important to emphasize that if they get their way, which they probably will, the ball will move in the _other direction_: US law will become _more_ permissive of torture than it was before, while allowing Republicans to claim credit for ending torture. I’d say it was impossible if it hadn’t happened so many times in so many ways in the last 5 years.
I believe that Davebo is referring to the phrase, “I know you are but what am I?”
I think you meant to write, “In other words, we may be approaching a time when Democrats can rightly say that Republicans are the pro-torture party.” Jeebus, John. If you can’t even call your party on it in an obvious situation, how can you expect it to change?
John, this process is standard operating procedure for the current Congress. Every time the Democrats support an amendment in the Senate that’s politically difficult for Republicans, the GOP simply passes a different version in the House (where the minority doesn’t get to introduce amendments without a permission slip) and then the amendment gets silently neutered in conference committee, where the Dems have absolutely no voice. This process has taken place time and time again.
The GOP has removed accountability from the process by making sure that these amendments die anonymously in the conference committee, without vulnerable Republicans ever having to vote against them on the floor of the House or Senate. Look back at how the conference committees were handled during the era of Democratic control and you’ll see that the rules have completely changed, and not to the benefit of the public.
neil is precisely correct.
Please write your congressman.
Actually, I prefer to think of it as a George Bush moment (Kerry was just doing a bad impersonation):
“I was against the Department of Homeland Security before I was for it.”
“I was against the 9/11 commission before I was for it.”
“I was for firing leakers in my administration before I was against it.”
“I was against litmus tests for judges before I was for it.”
I like to give credit where credit is due.
Please run on protecting terrorists from our evil military in 2006. I beg of you.
Sorry in advance for the post and run. Working in the humming economy, no time to really get into it. ;)
What next? A federal amendment about hazing at fraternities. Welcome to reality, you bleeding hearts: what went on in Abu Ghraib was nothing more than bunch of glorified fraternity pranks. The papers don’t publish pictures of those, why should they publish pictures of these?
John McCain never saw a windmill he didn’t want to tilt at, honestly. I think his time in that POW camp has been *way* too touchy about issues dealing with the treatment of prisoners. He should recuse himself from this entire debate.
DougJ–That is the first argument I have ever heard that stated that personal experience in a policy matter is a good reason not to participate ina a debate. Is Bush planning on recusing himself from energy policy, seeing as he is a failed oil magnate? No?
And Stormy, please run on a “Torture is an American value” platform in 2006. I beg of you.
Shygetz, after that time in the POW camp, there’s no way McCain can be objective about the issue of treatment of detainees. It’s just too much of a hot button for him.
Ted Stevens needs to be “interrogated and intimidated”.
Freedom can be so torturous at times.
Hopefully, that terrorist-protecting McCain and the Gang of 14 have something to threaten back with.
I’m surprised that this is the first time you’ve heard it–actually it’s a bedrock principle of the Bush administration that having too much personal experience on a given topic makes you unqualified for the new and out-of-the-box thinking that W. prefers from his aides.
Condi Rice – ostensibly an expert on Russia and the cold war – was put in charge of protecting us from Islamic terrorism. And she did so well after 9/11 that she even got promoted!
Mike Brown – fired from the International Arabian Horse Association, he was put in charge of ‘disasters’–seems like an obvious pick, actually.
Harriet Miers – the Queen of blank slates – she’s been a lawyer in Texas for quite some time, and yet no one can agree on what her views on anything actually are – perfect!
I think DougJ is channeling Stephen Colbert. “I don’t know how James Brady got to be such an anti-gun nut, but he better have a really good excuse!”
I like to think *he’s* channelling *me*. That show was great last night.
I’m surprised “reformer” McCain doesn’t do what he really should–stand up and scream about the conference committee process. On television. In front of everyone. The fact is is our political system has become so corrupted by late night insider deals in the House Rules Committee and in bill conference committees it’s disgusting. Maybe this is the perfect time for people take a look at what’s going on.
That’s because McCain isn’t the reformer everyone says he is.
Anyways, John’s wrong about this one, because the Republican Party was never against torture in the first place.
See, this is why I keep getting fooled by DougJ’s aliases. Stormy believes that the only people tortured by Americans at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo were terrorists, that (suspected) terrorists have no rights at all, even to a trial, and that the torture was the work of just a few bad apples. That’s beyond parody.
Here’s a question for Stormy: if it is determined that the people who outed Valerie Plame hurt American security, should they be treated as terrorists and tortured? Should Libby and Rove be declared enemy combatants and stripped of their rights?
I’m not asking this to be a smart ass. I think it is a fair question. It is likely that they did more to hurt the country than Jihad John Walker Lindh.
Both parties are in favor of torture in some instances. The Democrats are in favor of stabbing a baby in the back of his skull and then sucking out his brains for conveience. They are in favor of dehydrating innocent adults to death.
Republicans are in favor of breaking a few toes of the most savage animals that ever walked the face of the earth to gain information that will save American lives.
Democrats torture the innocent and the helpless. Republicans torture murdering terrorists. Its the Democrats who torture tens of thousand of innocents. The Republicans want to torture a few hundren criminals.
Democrats are the scum in this debate hands down.
Shit RA, you live in your own little world, don’t you?
You think ever guy who’s ever been tortured has been guilty of something? You think the CIA and the US Military don’t make mistakes? You think the Republicans wouldn’t be screaming bloody murder about torture and prisoner abuse if we had a Democratic President right now?
How the abortion debate neatly slips into every pro-Republican arguement seems to boggle my mind. I always appreciate the mentality that if Democrats can kill babies, Republicans can cripple social security, wage illegal wars, and committ every act of inhumane prisoner treatment under the sun, and it all magically balances out.
Here’s a news flash, Democrats aren’t actually for abortion. They’re for fully funded welfare and cradle-to-grave benefits for American citizens (whether or not this is a good idea). But when even minimum wage and income tax isn’t safe in this country, there’s no way on god’s green earth we’ll achieve that liberal utopia, so we have to make the hard choices between the livelyhood of a pre-teen unwed mother and the continued existance of her unborn baby. Basically, we get to choose who dies of poverty conditions first.
Republicans strip an alleged Bathist solider naked, run 100,000 volts through him, say “God said it was cool”, and come across as both anti-terrorist and pro-religion. I just wish Dems had it that easy.
See, it’s people like RA who gave the parodic DougJ enough plausibility to not be thought of as a parody. Back when he was doing his parody schtick, I wanted to believe it was parody, but at the same time, there are plenty of RAs out there who are actually serious, so one couldn’t be sure that Parody DougJ was, in fact, a parody.
Was thinking the same thing, SeesThroughIt, about RA. Are you sure RA is not a parody? That was a pretty out there post.
He must be a parody. If real, he couldn’t write.
I wonder if RA is “Ray” or “RayAbacus”, each of whom I’ve always assumed was a parody account.
Exactly…they’re for providing people with enough choices, information, and freedom that they’ll know how (and be able) to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. I’m not a Democrat, as I don’t live in the U.S., but you could probably paint me as a liberal. And I think that abortion is a horrible, horrible procedure, and feel nothing but sadness that they happen. But, unwanted pregnancies are an unfortunate fact, and I’ll be damned if I sit on my high horse and tell another woman what to do.
And in regards to torture, you’re fooling yourself if you think that every person tortured has deserved it. Some of these people may very well be terrorists, or aiding terrorists. But I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that a number of them were probably just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong last name or appearance. If you can sleep at night knowing that your country is torturing an innocent person…a husband, or a father, or a grandfather…well, I guess that’s between you and your conscience.
The Disenfranchised Voter
I told you guys stormy was a nutjob. Looks like RA is giving her a run for her money though. How much of an anti-choice nut do you have to be to compare supporting torture to allowing people to make their on decisions regarding abortions?
Next RA will be rambling on about the “abortion holocaust”…
The Disenfranchised Voter
The problem is, people like RA exist as non-parodies (at least around where I live). It’s hard to tell when someone is doing a parody and someone is being sincerely moronic. DougJ is usually good at it because he leaves enough clues to let you know that it is safe to laugh at this post, it’s all in good fun. But if RA is a parody, it violated the cardinal rule–it’s so close to moronic reality that it discomforts rather than entertains.