Sunday, September 17, 2006

WRONG SIDE

STEPHEN HADLEY


I watched Face the Nation this morning and let me start off by saying that it was great to have Bob Schieffer back in the chair as opposed to that sock puppet Russ Mitchell. Schieffer's guest in the first segment were Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Arlen Spector (R-Pa.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.). All of them support the premise that what Bush is trying to do as it pertains to pushing legislation that "clarifies" the Geneva Conventions and sets up kangaroo courts for detainees is wrong, but it was Graham (who was the only guest in studio) who really stole the show. If I didn't already know who he was, I would have thought that he was a Democrat. He clearly and concisely laid out why what Bush wants is completely wrong for the United States for the precise reason that if we go around changing the rules to suit our needs, then other nations with a less than stellar records on fairness and human rights would also feel they have the right to alter these protections. To paraphrase Graham, this is not the only war we will ever fight and we need to protect our own troops from potential abuses which will inevitably occur if we attempt to alter the Geneva Conventions as Bush wants to do. The very clear and concise explanations by Graham made for an excellent case against the Bush adminstration.

Providing balance during the second half was National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. He's basically been put into a position to defend the indefensible, but that doesn't stop him from trying to convince the moderator (or moderators as he also appeared on This Week and Late Edition) that it's in our national interests to alter Article 3 of the Conventions. In particular, the adminstration wants clarification of subsection c, which prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment[.]" Personally, I sort of look at this and think about Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart back in 1964 when he tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . ". Well said, Justice Stewart.

Schieffer closed the show by basically reciting the resumes of those who are the right side of this argument. McCain - a former POW, Graham - former JAG in the Air Force Reserve, John Warner - Senate Armed Services Committee and Colin Powell - former chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State. These people's collective experiences on matters of national security should be unimpeachable and as such, Schieffer cannot understand how Bush ended up on the wrong side of this argument. I can think of a couple of reasons, but it's a Sunday morning so I'll try to be nice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bush is going to torture anyway.
This is really just a backdoor effort th have Congress legalize their past war crimes and crimes against humanity.
They are trying the exact same thing with the N.S.A. domestic spying.

Bingo !