Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bush Cabal Pushes for Unwarranted Spying, Hearsay, Coerced Testimony & Restricted Access to Evidence

Let’s be clear about the Bush team agenda. Everyone wants bad guys held and interrogated, the question is how. Everyone believes suspected terrorists should be watched and monitored; the question is what safeguards are necessary to prevent abuse.

The current puppet show had the four Horseman, Bush, Cheney, Rove and Hastert descend on the Capital to push for the administrations plans. The days ago call for unity was simply a trumpeting for legislators to line up and support Bush’s terror programs through enabling legislation as several already having been found illegal.

House Majority Leader John Boehner issued veiled threats to his Republican colleagues who run away from the President’s plans. Senatory John Cornyn added his usual insightfulness with his belief the Bush plan would not endanger U.S. soldiers as al Qaida doesn’t take prisoners. “The prisoners they take they behead”. What about the other dozen or so groups President Bush rolled up into one big terror pot just a week ago? Does Hamas behead? Does Hezbollah behead? Does Iran or Syria behead?

Three ex military senators have proposed a separate plan from the President’s. While unity could have Bush negotiating, that’s not his style. Senators Warner, McCain, and Graham all propose more open access to evidence for the accused and limit the use of hearsay and coerced testimony.

Meanwhile the potential loss came from Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte. He believes Senator Warner’s plan would limit the nation’s ability to interrogate prisoners.
"If this draft legislation were passed in its present form, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency has told me that he did not believe that the (interrogation) program could go forward," Negroponte said.

Should Congress pass the draft legislation then the CIA would have to change their activities to ensure legality. They already have one Supreme Court judgment against them, so one would expect a back up interrogation plan to already be warming up on the sidelines.

As for the domestic surveillance program White House spokesman Tony Snow said the visit to the Hill would be a chance for members to ask questions and express concerns. A competing Republican plan places some restrictions on the program and steps up Congressional oversight. The committee vote on that bill was abruptly cancelled the day before the Horsemen’s visit. What might Bush, Cheney, Rove and Hastert tell the House members as they seek unity with impunity?

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