Friday, September 08, 2006
If the Bush administration's strategy on getting approval on detainee trials was to put the Democrats in a difficult position politically by forcing them to approve of the Bush policy, that strategy seems to be backfiring.
The military lawyers -- the judge advocate corps -- are already protesting.
(Perhaps that might have something to do with the fact that one of their own, Navy lawyer Charles Swift, successfully represented detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan in the case where the Supreme Court deemed the Bush policy unconstitutional.)
The right to a full and fair hearing requires the accused have access to the evidence used to convict them, even if it is classified information, the military advisors told the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.
"I'm not aware of any situation in the world where there is a system of jurisprudence that is recognized by civilized people where an individual can be tried and convicted without seeing the evidence against him," said Brig. Gen. James Walker, U.S. Marine Corps staff judge advocate.
"I don't think the United States needs to become the first in that scenario," he said.
More significantly, Senate Republicans are revolting (insert joke here):
One of those is John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam War prisoner and a 2008 presidential hopeful who faces a political dilemma. He has won acclaim for standing up to Bush on issues such as humane treatment of detainees, but he also is eager to build conservative support for the GOP primaries. Several colleagues cautioned McCain and the others to stick with Bush on the tribunals question, and House leaders scheduled a vote in two weeks on legislation likely to mirror the White House's proposal.Not surprisingly, the Democrats are more than happy to let the Republicans take the lead in crticizing the administration policy.
The day's events suggest that Republicans may spend a good portion of the 109th Congress's final weeks trying to resolve an issue that could factor heavily in the Nov. 7 elections. Earlier divisions among Senate Republicans on issues such as immigration have contributed to legislative stalemates, and party leaders are eager to avoid a similar impasse over detainee trials.
So, to keep track: Bush and (key) Senate Republicans on opposite sides of a controversial issue that was supposed to put Democrats on the spot! And the military lawyers are also opposed to the administration.
Technorati Tags: George W. Bush, Republicans, detainees, Gitmo