September 21, 2006

THERE’S A DEAL on the detainee treatment dispute. Via blogger-spam from the White House, there’s a release on the substance in the “extended entry” area. Click “read more” to read it. Here’s a news story on the deal, too. Also, there’s lots of commentary at The Corner.

UPDATE: Marty Lederman thinks the Bush Administration rolled its critics, and is unhappy. Dan Riehl thinks the same thing, and is happy.

And Atrios comments: “McCain sold out the country and the Democrats look like crap.”

Tom Maguire sees Atrios’ point: “Since Dems have been hiding behind St. John on this issue, they will have a hard time announcing at this late date that McCain lacks the integrity and judgment to be trusted.” It’s almost as if McCain and the White House suckered them or something.

White House release follows:


Common Article 3 And Military Commissions Agreement

“I had a single test for the pending legislation, and that’s this: Would the CIA operators tell me whether they could go forward with the program, that is a program to question detainees to be able to get information to protect the American people. I’m pleased to say that this agreement preserves the … most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks, and that is the CIA program to question the world’s most dangerous terrorists and to get their secrets. The measure also creates military commissions that will bring these ruthless killers to justice. In short, the agreement clears the way to do what the American people expect us to do, to capture terrorists, to detain terrorists, to question terrorists, and then to try them.”

– President George W. Bush, 9/21/06

National Security Advisor Steve Hadley: “What You Saw Today Was All Republicans Coming Together To Enable This Program To Go Forward In Order To Enhance The Security Of The Country.” HADLEY: “And I think you heard in the comments that were made when various senators came out to speak after we concluded our work for the day, you have both Senator Graham and Senator McCain talking about that this legislation would allow the CIA program to go forward. Senator Graham characterized this as an aggressive questioning program that would go forward in order to save American lives.” (Steve Hadley, Press Briefing By Teleconference, 9/21/06)

Common Article 3

Hadley: “Clarity To The Legal Standard In Connection With Common Article 3” Is “Achieved In Three Ways In The Proposed Legislation.” (Steve Hadley, Press Briefing By Teleconference, 9/21/06)

1. Listing “Actions Which Would Expose People To Criminal Liability.” HADLEY: “One will be to enumerate those actions that will constitute violations of Common Article 3, that are grave breaches of Common Article 3, and those are defined in statute. So it will be clear from the statute of the kinds of activities which, if engaged in by men and women who are involved in interrogation of – in questioning of detainees, what kinds of activities would subject them to criminal penalties as grave breaches.”

2. “Reaffirming The Standard In The Detainee Treatment Act” And Enabling “The President To Adopt Measures For Enforcing Those Provisions.” HADLEY: “The second is that the Detainee Treatment Act, or the so-called McCain Amendment, which was adopted in December of last year, is reaffirmed in the statute, and the statute also provides that the President shall take action to ensure compliance with this section. As you know, the section prohibits cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment within the meaning of cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment or punishment as prohibited in the 5th, 8th and 14th amendments – so-called McCain amendment standard.”

3. Granting The President The “Authority For The United States To Interpret The Meaning And Application Of The Geneva Conventions, Including Common Article III, And To Establish Standards And Administrative Regulations For Violations That Are Less Than Grave Breaches Of Geneva Conventions.”

Military Commissions

Hadley: “We Were Able To Address Outstanding Issues That Allows The Military Commissions To Go Forward And To Be Available … As A Proceeding For Bringing Terrorists To Justice.” (Steve Hadley, Press Briefing By Teleconference, 9/21/06)

Ø The Agreement “Makes Sure That No Sensitive Intelligence Will Have To Be Shared With Terrorists Or Their Lawyers.” HADLEY: “A provision dealing with classified evidence makes sure that no sensitive intelligence will have to be shared with terrorists or their lawyers. The bar is very high. … In addition, if classified information is required for the prosecution of a terrorist, there are a variety of ways in which the substance of the information can be provided and used at trial without transferring classified information. And of course, finally, under all circumstances, information about sources and methods, which is the most important, is protected.”

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