Video from Countdown - I've thought for quite a while that the *blind* for what Bush is really angling for is being hidden behind his belligerent rhetoric about needing tools to *get* information.
Tonight, Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Turley discussed the fact that the International Red Cross is going to visit the high value detainees that are now in Guantenemo Bay and that is the reason for Bush getting pushy and attempting to rush Congress into approving his changes to the law.
The Red Cross has said it plans to visit a group of high-level terror suspects transferred from secret CIA jails to the US base at Guantanamo Bay.
The group of 14 suspects include alleged mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
A Red Cross spokeswoman said it had assurances that it could hold the visit under its usual conditions, including private interviews with each detainee.
The visit to the Cuba base is expected to take place sometime next week.
Indeed, suppose that the prisoners were to tell in interviews that they were waterboarded-could anyone at that point doubt that Bush's methods, which he refuses to discuss, are actually torture?
And the timing is more than interesting. The date of the BBC article, above is the 7th of September, and we have to assume the information about it came out a day or two before the 7th for it to be news. When was it that Bush all of a sudden announced (really, admitted) that he had been renditioning prisoners in secret CIA prisoners and now the prisoners were in Guantenemo Bay? The 6th.
Some of these individuals are taken to the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In addition to the terrorists held at Guantanamo, a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the United States, in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The question is: Will they tell what Bush did or will he be able to put out the new law that makes it legal, first, for the CIA to continue torturing prisoners outside the United States, and second, retroactively makes what has been done legal so that those who have engaged in torture can't be prosecuted?
McCain, Graham and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) have rejected the Bush approach as too narrow and as an invitation to other countries, including Iran, Syria and North Korea, to reinterpret the Geneva rules as they see fit if they ever hold U.S. soldiers. "What is being billed as 'clarifying' our treaty obligations will be seen as 'withdrawing' from the treaty obligations," Graham said. "It will set precedent which could come back to haunt us."
Another dispute centers on trials for terrorism suspects, who in the Bush proposal could under some circumstances be barred from the proceedings and not allowed to view classified evidence against them. The Republican legislation, passed by Warner's committee 15 to 9 on Thursday, would make it more difficult to introduce secret evidence.
Why would it be that the prisoners would not be able to see the information against them? Isn't our nation one that is proud that we live by a rule of law and be able to confront our accusers? Is it that Bush is worried that an open court would show that the evidence against these 14 was gotten by means of torture?
And what about the moral basis that we have as a country?
Joining McCain and the other Republicans this week was former secretary of state Colin L. Powell, who wrote in a letter that reinterpreting the Geneva Conventions would encourage other countries to "doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."