Thu 14 Sep 2006
Like Glen, I seem to be coming down with a nasty case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, but when I read crap like this, I can’t help but think that the Bush administration’s actions are nakedly, disgustingly political:
The latest sign of GOP division over White House security policy came Thursday in a letter that Powell sent to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of three rebellious senators taking on the White House. Powell said Congress must not pass Bush’s proposal to redefine U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions, a treaty that sets international standards for the treatment of prisoners of war.
The campaign-season development accompanied Bush’s visit to Capitol Hill, where he conferred behind closed doors with House Republicans. His plan would narrow the U.S. legal interpretation of the Geneva Conventions treaty in a bid to allow tougher interrogations and shield U.S. personnel from being prosecuted for war crimes.
“The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,” said Powell, who served under Bush and is a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.”
Bush said that “there’s all kinds of letters coming out” and he cited letters from the Pentagon that support his argument.
Right, because the Pentagon is a reliable, independent source for analyzing White House decisions.
As near as I can tell, what the president has done is flout the law, get caught, and then declare that if Congress doesn’t retroactively ratify his illegal behavior, he’ll be forced to set the terrorists free. This is simply reprehensible.
It would be bad enough if the president simply didn’t care about human rights and the rule of law and so pursued policies that undermined them. But this is much worse: he’s actively working to undermine America’s founding principles, and he’s using his opponents’ scruples as a weapon. And he’s doing it at the peak of the election season, the time when weak-kneed politicians are most likely to buckle to the president’s demagoguery.