[saymaListserv] QUIT: today's news
Quakerkristi at aol.com
Quakerkristi at aol.com
Thu Sep 7 11:21:29 JEST 2006
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”
In the struggle,
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
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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