Looks like I missed a hell of a Press Conference by President Bush today:
Facing a GOP revolt in the Senate, President Bush urged Congress on Friday to join in backing legislation to spell out strategies for interrogating and trying terror suspects, saying “the enemy wants to attack us again.”
“Time is running out,” Bush said in a Rose Garden news conference. “Congress needs to act wisely and promptly.”
Bush denied that the United States might lose the high ground in the eyes of world opinion, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested.
“It’s unacceptable to think there’s any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective,” said Bush, growing animated as he spoke.
I’m trying to find video of it as I write but not having much success.
The Freepers put up one segment where David Gregory was pretty much thrown to the mat by Bush:
Dave Gregory?: (President says he looks beautiful today)
Critics say if a CIA officer or soldier were captured in Iraq or NK and roughed up and their government said they were interrogated in accordance with our reading of the GC and then put on trial and convicted of secret evidence we couldn’t see, what would you think?
Bush: If the nations adopted the standards within the Detainne Detention Act, the world would be a better place . We’re setting high standards, not ambiguous standards.
If our professionals don’t have clear guidelines within the law, the program isn’t going forward. Young interrogators won’t violate the law. American people have to understand this program won’t go forward if there are vague standards like Common Article 3 from the GC. You can’t ask young professional on the front line to violate law.
We can bring up example after example, but that’s the bottom line. Maybe some in Congress don’t think the program is important. I think it’s vital and need to make sure our professionals who conduct interrogations to find out who is coming to this country and I have to give them clear law. That’s the most important law.
The program isn’t going forward….you can give a hypothetical about NK or anyone but the program isn’t going forward without clarity in the law.
When David tried to expand on the question Bush pretty much moved on, apparently David said “but this is an important point” at which point Bush said “”I know YOU think it’s an important question but my point is the most important….next!”
Geez, wish I could have seen this press conference.
This from John Podhoretz:
Just when you think you might have him figured out, George W. Bush comes up with something new. He said flatly during his press conference that if Congress doesn’t agree to define specifically the forms of permissible interrogation of Al-Qaeda detainees, the “program will not go forward.” In other words, we won’t be able to interrogate them and get useful information out of them any longer, and you in Congress will be to blame for making America less safe.
And this short recap from Kathryn Jean Lopez:
Bush, taking no crap from John McCain, David Gregory, Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah (yeah, that’s a bit of a span…), or anyone else.
THIS is the the Bush I love to see.
Along the same lines of today’s Presser comes this from David Frum where he asks a pretty important question:
The bill to authorize military commissions now proposed by President Bush meets every reasonable requirement. It passes the test set by the Supreme Court’s Hamdan test, by asking Congresss for authorization. It creates a trial process that experts in military justice describe as the fairest such process ever devised by a belligerent power. It provides accused terrorists and other war criminals with lawyers, with ample rights of defense, and with appeal to a federal court of appeal, the DC Circuit. It obliges the government to share with the court any exculpatory evidence the government has. What could possibly be lacking?
McCain and his supporters cite two principal objections. They complain that the commissions can use “secret” evidence meaning, evidence unseen by the accused terrorist himself. And they complain that the commissions can bar the terrorist from the court when secure information is presented.
Both objections are true, but weirly beside the point. “Secret” evidence may go unseen by the accused terrorist but it will be available to the lawyer in charge of his defense.
And this “secret” evidence can only be kept secret after two independent certifications: first, the agency that classified the information in the first place must certify that the evidence cannot safely be declassified; second, the military judge (who will have seen the evidence) must certify that the trial can be conducted fairly even without the accused terrorist personally seeing it.
These rules are necessary essential because we are dealing with some of the world’s most dangerous people.
Suppose for example one piece of evidence at trial was a transcript of a recorded conversation between the accused and a US agent who had successfully infiltrated al Qaeda. One glance at the transcript would make clear that who the infiltrator was. Is that really information we would wish to disclose to an al Qaeda accused? Has anybody considered the possibility that some of these accused may after all be acquitted? Military justice is not perfect, and as the president has reminded us, there are at least 12 known cases of released Guantanamo detainees returning to the fight. What if they returned with US intelligence secrets?
I’m not saying that the president’s proposals are perfect in every detail. But they represent a careful, judicious and well-considered compromise between American ideals of fairness and the need to safeguard the nation against foreign terrorists who themselves disregard all laws of war. Improvements should be welcome. Cheap rhetoric about setting back the standards of justice by “200 years” (as the senator said in denouncing the president’s plan) is not.
A final cynical question. Some have wondered whether the president’s proposal was not timed to help Republicans in the 2006. I asked that question in this very space last week. OK: now let me suggest we do the unthinkable and submit Sen. McCain’s actions to the same suspicious scrutiny.
Most political observers agree that the worse Republicans do in 2006, the more likely they are to turn to McCain’s maverick candidacy in 2008. Republicans don’t like or trust McCain, but they want to win and the more they are convinced that their party is otherwise in serious trouble, the more likely they are to believe that McCain’s anti-party candidacy is the solution.
McCain may have heard these theories too. If he has, and if he agrees, is it not in his interest to maximize Republican losses in 2006? If a vote on military commissions would embarrass Democrats, does it not help Democrats to prevent such a vote from occurring before Nov. 2? And what better way is there is to delay such a vote than for the ultra-hawkish McCain to raise an enormous ruckus against the president and thus provide cover for Democratic stalling techniques?
Makes complete sense to me. He wants this nomination badly, and he knows if we get smacked around in November that his chances will go up quite a bit……
You can find the whole speech here, along with the complete video.
And check out what some of the wackjobs over at DummiesU said:
milkyway (1000+ posts) Fri Sep-15-06 10:58 PM
Bush implied he wants to fuck David Gregory.
“I must say, having gone through those gyrations, you’re looking beautiful today, David.”
This psycho is President of the United Sates, and he’s talking like one of the creeps on “Prison Break.” Bush frequently begins a conversation with a potential hostile person by making a demeaning sexual joke to let the other person know he’s the one with the power–if I want to fuck you I will, and you’ll be helpless to stop it. And in Bush’s twisted brain, exerting his control over another man by fucking him wouldn’t make Bush a fag, it just makes the other guy a woman, forced to be the receiver.
Nothing like a little homosexual rape humor to lighten up a press conference.
What the flying hell? Do these people even understand how silly and ignorant they look when writing this kind of vitriol?