[saymaListserv] QUIT: today's news

Quakerkristi at aol.com Quakerkristi at aol.com
Thu Sep 7 11:21:29 JEST 2006


Dear Friends,
 
I encourage you to pay close attention to developments coming out of yesterday
’s speech by Bush re: the secret prisons.  When you read the [under-reported] 
excerpts of the speech pasted below (full text available at 
www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Transcript_President_Bush_explains_how_CIA_0906.html) alongside the 
attached article from The Nation website 
(www.thenation.com/doc/20060918/brecher), you can understand Bush’s sense of urgency.  Revising the War Crimes Act 
is not about protecting the soldiers, it’s about protecting Bush, Rumsfeld, 
Cheney, Gonzalez, etc., before they lose Republican majorities in Congress.  We 
need to speak out and not only demand that our Members of Congress to reject 
this legislation but also to educate those in our communities.  We will 
certainly have many more opportunities for local action in the coming weeks…
 
For excellent reporting on the Supreme Court case Bush refers to, see this 
week’s NPR story: 
“Law Professor Beats the Odds with High Court Win”
www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5767777. 
 
In the struggle,
John Humphries
Hartford Friends Meeting
 
President Bush, speaking at the White House on September 6, 2006:
“Some ask, why are you acknowledging this program now? There are two reasons 
why I'm making these limited disclosures today.
First, we have largely completed our questioning of the men, and to start the 
process for bringing them to trial, we must bring them into the open.
Second, the Supreme Court's recent decision has impaired our ability to 
prosecute terrorists through military commissions and has put in question the 
future of the CIA program. In its ruling on military commissions, the court 
determined that a provision of the Geneva Conventions known as Common Article 3 
applies to our war with al Qaeda. This article includes provisions that prohibit 
outrageous upon personal dignity and humiliating and degrading treatment. The 
problem is that these and other provisions of Common Article 3 are vague and 
undefined, and each could be interpreted in different ways by an American or 
foreign judges.
And some believe our military and intelligence personnel involved in 
capturing and questioning terrorists could now be at risk of prosecution under the War 
Crimes Act simply for doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way.
This is unacceptable. Our military and intelligence personnel go face to face 
with the world's most dangerous men every day. They have risked their lives 
to capture some of the most brutal terrorists on earth, and they have worked 
day and night to find out what the terrorists know so we can stop new attacks. 
America owes our brave men and women some things in return; we owe them their 
(sic) thanks for saving lives and keeping America safe, and we owe them clear 
rules so they can continue to do their jobs and protect our people.
So I'm -- today I'm asking Congress to pass legislation that will clarify the 
rules for our personnel fighting the war on terror. First, I am asking 
Congress to list the specific recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes 
under the War Crimes Act so our personnel can know clearly what is prohibited 
in the handling of terrorist enemies.
Second, I'm asking that Congress make explicit that by following the 
standards of the Detainee Treatment Act, our personnel are fulfilling America's 
obligations under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
Third, I'm asking that Congress make it clear that captured terrorists cannot 
use the Geneva Conventions as a basis to sue our personnel in courts, in U.S. 
courts. The men and women who protect us should not have to fear lawsuits 
filed by terrorists because they're doing their jobs.
The need for this legislation is urgent. We need to ensure that those 
questioning terrorists can continue to do everything within the limits of the law to 
get information that can save American lives.”
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