Skip to comments.Lindsey Graham, John McCain & John Warner Blast Bush Bid to Bypass Torture Ban
Posted on 01/05/2006 4:12:39 PM PST by new yorker 77
Reject assertion he has right to waive rules to protect US security
WASHINGTON -- Three key Republican senators yesterday condemned President Bush's assertion that his powers as commander in chief give him the authority to bypass a new law restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees.
John W. Warner Jr., a Virginia Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, issued a joint statement rejecting Bush's assertion that he can waive the restrictions on the use of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment against detainees to protect national security.
''We believe the president understands Congress's intent in passing, by very large majorities, legislation governing the treatment of detainees," the senators said. ''The Congress declined when asked by administration officials to include a presidential waiver of the restrictions included in our legislation. Our committee intends through strict oversight to monitor the administration's implementation of the new law."
Separately, the third primary sponsor of the detainee treatment law, Senator Lindsey O. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, told the Globe in a phone interview that he agreed with everything McCain and Warner said ''and would go a little bit further."
''I do not believe that any political figure in the country has the ability to set aside any . . . law of armed conflict that we have adopted or treaties that we have ratified," Graham said. ''If we go down that road, it will cause great problems for our troops in future conflicts because [nothing] is to prevent other nations' leaders from doing the same."
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
I know that is a rumor and a strong possibility but I don't see them getting far out of the starting gate. However, that does explain Graham's actions better than anything else at the moment.
McCain is currently 69 years old. If he were elected President, he would be 71 on Inauguration Day. Odds are that if Graham were his VEEP, then Graham would be Prez -- whether qualified or not.
So Much for the President's Assent to the McCain AmendmentThe executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.
Monday, January 02, 2006
The President signed the Defense Appropriations bill on Friday. In his signing statement he did at least two notable things.
First, with respect to several provisions of the bill, the President signaled his intention to reserve his authority, as Commander in Chief, to ignore statutory mandates. These include provisions that require advance notice of congressional committees before the use of funds to initiate a special access program, a new overseas installation, or a new start program; and a "report and wait" provision that requires the President to wait 15 days after notifying six congressional committees before using certain appropriations to transfer defense articles or services to another nation or an international organization for international peacekeeping, peace enforcement, or humanitarian assistance operations.
Most importantly, as to the McCain Amendment, which would categorically prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees by all U.S. personnel, anywhere in the world, the President wrote:
Translation: I reserve the constitutional right to waterboard when it will "assist" in protecting the American people from terrorist attacks. [UPDATE: Or, as Matthew Franck eagerly puts it over at the National Review, "the signing statement . . . conveys the good news that the president is not taking the McCain amendment lying down."]
You didn't think Cheney and Addington were going to go down quietly, did you? (And this even though they took their opponents to the cleaners by negotiating the Graham Amendments, which, by precluding substantial avenues of judicial review, are far more beneficial to their detention and interrogation policies than the McCain Amendment is detrimental.)
Questions of the hour: How, if at all, will McCain respond? And will these questions of presidential authority to ignore statutory restrictions on the conduct of war -- implicated as well in the current NSA wiretapping scandal -- be front and center in the upcoming Alito hearings?
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