Saturday, July 23, 2005

Update on McCain/Graham Proposals

As a follow-up to my post from last night, "More Stonewalling on Abu Ghraib," I wanted to note that the New York Times will report on the issues tomorrow, with a piece by Eric Schmitt. He basically echoes the Washington Post story from today, but adds a few more details on the amendments McCain and Graham intend to introduce.

Citing "Senate officials," Schmitt reports that McCain is "considering introducing four amendments," which would:

- "set standards for interrogating detainees held by the military and would limit them to techniques outlined in a new Army field manual."

- "require that all detainees held by the military be registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross. This measure seeks to prevent the holding of unregistered prisoners, or ghost detainees, in Iraq and Afghanistan and at other military sites."

- "prohibit the practice of seizing people and sending them abroad for interrogation," also known as extraordinary rendition. This was not reported in today's Post article.

- "bar the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in American custody."

Graham is considering offering an amendment that would "define the term 'enemy combatant' for detention purposes, and to regulate the military tribunals to be held soon at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba," Schmitt writes.

I see absolutely no problem with any of these amendments. I do not believe that they would do anything to limit the proper powers of the executive branch in fighting terrorism, and in fact I think they would provide a much-needed legal framework so that if abuses like those that happened at Abu Ghraib ever happen again, there is a controlling authority in place to deal with them.

[Update: There are new posts on this up on the main page.]


At 10:15 PM, Blogger cakreiz said...

I agree; I see no problem with these amendments. My problem is with revisiting Abu Ghraib through highly visible congressional hearings. If Congress wants to legislate on the issue, that's fine.


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