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President Bush to Speak on the WOT at 1:45 ET

This is his third speech on the subject in the last few days. The president is expected to discuss new laws which would allow the US to try Gitmo detainees in military tribunals:

The Bush administration is expected to unveil a new plan Wednesday to change the law so that "unlawful combatants" held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can be tried for crimes before military tribunals.

Update: Allah reports that President Bush's speech is scheduled to begin at 1:30 ET.


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Comments (8)

It will be interesting to s... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

It will be interesting to see how the Dems will contort themselves to yet again go to bat for the terrorists we've captured in battle.

Anyone want to predict some of the excuses they'll come up with?

How about we're a nation of... (Below threshold)
mantis:

How about we're a nation of laws?

I guess that puts you on th... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I guess that puts you on the same side as the President here. He operated from a valid assumption, was told by the Supreme Court that it would not work that way and that Congress must set the rules for how these prisoners are to be tried, and he is working to do so.

Rule of law.

I guess that puts you on... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I guess that puts you on the same side as the President here. He operated from a valid assumption, was told by the Supreme Court that it would not work that way and that Congress must set the rules for how these prisoners are to be tried, and he is working to do so.

Rule of law.

Rule of law doesn't mean Congress gets to ignore the laws we already have. They would have to rescind our ratification of the Geneva Conventions, as well as the War Crimes Act in order to try people in the way the President has attempted. Maybe the President and the Congress should try to remember the context in which the Geneva Conventions were formulated. Even the Nazis were permitted lawyers to defend themselves in court.

I have little confidence that our current Congress is interested in our laws or the Constitution anyway. If they did, they would have amended FISA to allow the NSA to wiretap US citizens without a warrant. Of course they chose instead to just let the President do it, because they don't want a future Democratic President to have the same powers. And in fact many who support the President's expansion of powers now were against much more limited expansion (they still needed warrants) of FISA when Clinton was in office, after two terrorist attacks on our soil. Rule of law my ass.

Let's look at what a few who now support the seemingly limitless powers of the Executive said back then, shall we?

In response to recent events, a series of proposals were offered to solve the problem--some with merit, and some that could cause more problems than they might solve by cutting deeply--and unnecessarily--into the constitutional freedoms of American citizens. I include in that category certain proposals for expanded wiretapping authority for Federal law enforcement. This is a dangerous proposition--and one that would be ceding victory to terrorists, whose goal is to disrupt our society, create anxiety and constrain our freedoms. That's the way terrorism attacks a free open society. Let me be clear, this bill does not--I repeat, does not--expand wiretapping authority. In fact, it goes the other direction, strengthening penalties for misuse of Government's existing authority. That's good news for all Americans - Porter Goss

and,

This amendment defines domestic terrorism in an unwise and extremely broad manner. The amendment defines domestic terrorism, in part, as `any activities that involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life and which appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence the policy of Government by intimidation or coercion.'

That is a potentially vague and very loose standard. There are legitimate acts of protest that could be caught up in this definition, because they, in some way, pose a danger or are viewed as `intimidating.'

No one, of course, would contend that activities that truly threaten the public safety or an individual should go uninvestigated or unpunished. However, the standard for initiating a wiretap without a court order should certainly be higher than this amendment proposes.

Mr. President, a wiretap order is deliberately somewhat difficult to obtain. It is more difficult because it is more difficult to get the Justice Department to approve it than it is to get a judge or magistrate to approve it. Because wiretaps are so intrusive and conducted in secret by the Government in circumstances under which the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy, the courts and Congress have required that the Government meet a heightened burden of necessity before using a wiretap to ensure that civil liberties are secure.

The law also, of course, recognizes exigent circumstances, because in a true emergency, when lives are at risk, we would not want law enforcement to wait for court-approved wiretaps any more than we expect a police officer to obtain a search warrant before chasing an armed and fleeing suspect into a house. Our present wiretap statute recognizes this with its emergency provision and expanding the exception should give us pause. We must ensure that in our response to recent terrorist acts, we do not destroy the freedom that we cherish. I fear that the amendment does take us a step down that road, and for these reasons, I oppose the amendment. - Orrin Hatch

Oh how times change. But it wasn't 9/11 that "changed everything". It was the election of a Republican President.

So basically, mantis, you'r... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

So basically, mantis, you're only for the rule of law when it agrees with your position and to hell with it otherwise. Exactly what you falsely accuse the Administration of doing.

No,no John. I asked for exa... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

No,no John. I asked for examples of the type of outrageous, yet predictable, excuses the Dems would try to use when they go to bat for the terrorists; Mantis is just providing a good example. I'm sure he doesn't beleive the Dem spin.

Mantis is just providing... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis is just providing a good example. I'm sure he doesn't beleive the Dem spin.

What Dem spin? The Geneva Conventions are the law of the land, like it or not. And the quotes regarding the hypocrisy of the Republicans regarding wiretapping I got from my libertarian friends, who are the only ones who have been consistent on this issue. The Dems assuredly have not been, as they now oppose some of the anti-terrorism expansions they endorsed when Clinton was in office.

And John, try again. That was very, very weak.

What with Clinton being a p... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

What with Clinton being a proven pathological liar with a proven history of using the full force of the government against his personal enemies, I don't blame the Republicans at all for not trusting him with that power. No sane, non-socialist, person could possibly think that he wouldn't abuse it. (To be fair, socialists, like mantis, also knew he would abuse it, but they don't care about such things as the rule of law should never stand in the way of advancing secular-socialism!)

Now President Bush has proven to be a decent honest man who cares deeply about the law--there is not one single shred of real evidence to contradict that fact-- so it's o.k. to trust him with the power without changing the law and risking that a future democrat President will use the power to further anti-American causes.




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