Will there be a Compromise?

Thursday, September 14, 2006
In a move that gives Bush some but not all of what he wants:

Hours after Bush went to Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to back his own proposal for putting terrorism suspects on trial, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the bill which it said would provide suspects more legal rights.

The bill also resisted Bush's bid to more narrowly define the Geneva Conventions' standards for humane treatment of prisoners, which Bush had said was essential to continue the CIA's program to get valuable information from detainees.

The committee bill -- pushed by chairman John Warner of Virginia and fellow Republican heavyweights John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina -- cleared the committee 15-9 with support from Democrats and Maine Republican Susan Collins.

The committee's bill still faces a tough fight. It was unclear whether it would reach the Senate floor, as Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee could instead offer Bush's bill, which he supports.

But with support from Democrats and moderate Republicans, Warner, McCain and Graham could pass amendments to implement key parts of their plan opposed by Bush.

The bill which passed the committee would require that defendants have access to classified evidence used against them, limit the use of hearsay evidence and restrict the use of evidence obtained by coercion.

Now what? I understand that Graham is a JAG lawyer and very proficient in military law, is this something that he will give on? As for McCain I think he has his own demons to deal with here that have nothing to do with George Bush. Warner surprises me, however.

Just one Minute has an interesting post up on this and the battle for the NSA program.


David Thomson said...

President Bush must push this issue hard. If nothing else, it's a winner in November. Most Americans think that there is nothing wrong with being a little rough with suspected Islamic terrorists. John McCain and Lindsey Graham will wimp out when the public become more aware of their shenanigans.

terrye said...


My understanding is that Bush has threatened a veto, at least he has said he will reject any bill that does not meet certain standards. The House backs his plan so I bet a veto would stand.

Barry Dauphin said...

After people watched Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue for a decade rough up suspects to get info or confessions (and often approved of it), it is interesting how the rules for the military are turning into less than what the police often do.

Knucklehead said...

I heard some brief comment by POTUS about this saying he'd "resist" anything that didn't have "legal clarity".

Rick Ballard said...


Hewitt had half of McGraham on today and the transcript provides a good view of the vacuity involved. There is no need for the President to compromise. The McGraham/Warner cabal will show the courage of their "convictions" by folding like a cheap suitcase.

I hope Rudy goes on record on this - it would gain him some cred.

terrye said...


I hope you are right. I can not imagine they want to defy Bush to that extent. Do you think that some of this might be about avoiding a filibuster? I just can not help but think there is more to this than we see.

Rick Ballard said...


McGraham have their eyes focused on '08. They have made a determined effort, beginning with the establishment of the gang of 14, to seek ways to inflate their own importance while separating themselves from the herd. I can understand Snowe, Collins and Chafee joining them because of the political exigencies of their states and because they truly hold and are guided by precepts which are in conflict with the thrust of the party. I don't understand DeWine at all. Warner is a camera hog with a predilection for doing things which garner public attention (vide Elizabeth Taylor). Specter can be tossed in with Chafee with the bonus that he is also a camera hog with an amazing amount of confidence in his own very limited capabilities.

I think that McGraham will knuckle under to Bush. Graham will at any rate. He has not shown McCain's propensity to ignore reality to this point and he desparately wants to sit in the Oval Office. He doesn't really have a grasp of political calculus but he does understand simple political arithmetic and his current position is one which Giuliani can easily exploit.

If Giuliani is really serious, this would be a good time to show it.