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Live Blogging President Bush's Speech

Tony Snow said President Bush would announce significant news today, so I am live blogging his speech on the War on Terror.

****

After President Bush speaks of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 he says the terrorists have not succeeded in attacking us because of the hard work of a lot of American people and because we have changed our policies. Our country has the tools necessary to fight the terrorists.

He says that the captured terrorists have given us a lot of important intelligence on terrorists and their locations. Because of what the detainees have told us, we have been able to kill many terrorists.

He says we have the right under the laws of war and an obligation to our citizens to keep these terrorists from reentering the terrorist efforts.

Important detainees are held in secret and questioned by experts to get the information needed. Some are sent to Gitmo. We have a rigorous process to make sure those who belong at Gitmo stay at Gitmo. Here's a quote from Bush "They are in our custody so they can not murder people." President Bush said that our troops guarding Gitmo get threatened regularly.

He talks about the importance of the secret locations where detainees were held so that they could provide intelligence. It was necessary to keep these locations a secret so as to not put our country, our allies and other countries at risk.

He outlines some examples of how this system has worked to save Americans' lives:

Abu Zubaydah was captured in 2001. He was a senior terrorist leader and trusted associate of OBL. He disclosed information that allowed us to capture Khalid Sheik Muhammad. He also gave information on operatives here in the US. They were captured as well. After a while, Zubaydah stopped talking. It became clear that he was trained on how to resist questioning. Other methods were then used. They were designed to be save, tough, and lawful.

Ramzi Binalshibh was also captured because of information Zubaydah gave us because of these other methods.

This program to get information from detainees is the reason why the terrorists have not succeeded committing another terrorist attack on America.

Those who were conducting the most sensitive questioning had to have an additional 200 hours of special training in order to be involved. President Bush then said that it is important that the United States does not torture. He does not authorize it and will not authorize it. He reiterated his support for the anti-torture law sponsored by John McCain.

The rules for trying enemies in combat must be different than from trying common criminals. He then mentions the Hamdan case. He said that the Supreme Court said military commissions are acceptable as long as they are authorized by Congress. Today President Bush is sending legislation for the creation of military tribunals to try terrorists for war crimes.

Khalid Sheik Muhammad, Ramzi Binalshibh, Abu Zubaydah, and 11 others have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay so they can be tried for killing almost 3,000 Americans "and face justice."

Those involved in the attack on the USS Cole and the embassies in Tanzania will also be prosecuted.

These men are being held at a high security facility and the Red Cross will have access to them. The terrorists will have access to attorneys and will be presumed innocent. They will have the same experience and food as the other detainees in Gitmo.

President Bush says that the reason Guantanamo can't be closed is because the detainees home countries won't take them back. He hopes that someday it can be closed, but it's still needed right now.

About 315 detainees have been returned to their home countries and about 455 or so are still in our custody. And get this: they get the same medical treatment as our guards at Gitmo.

Right now there aren't any terrorists in the CIA program but as other high value terrorists are captured we need to get information from the terrorists. We need the program. Bush says that he is talking about this program now because in order to try these terrorists, the program have to come out into the open. Second, the Supreme Court made the military commissions more difficult. The Hamdan decision also calls the CIA program into question.

President Bush says that our troops in war need not only thanks and appreciation from all Americans, but they need exact rules about what consitutes war crimes. President Bush is also sending legislation to Congress to create clearly defined rules so that they know exactly what is prohibited in handling terrorists. Also he wants Congress to make sure that detained terrorists can't use the Geneva Conventions to bring law suits against our troops in US courts.

Congress is in session for the next few weeks and President Bush wants these two pieces of legislation to be the first priority.

President Bush also will consult with Congress to make sure the CIA program stays within the law. We are fighting for our freedom and our way of life.

****

Overall, this was a great speech. The president was very forceful. It's too bad he was forced to disclose the existence the CIA program, but the Supreme Court forced the President to do so We need the CIA program because it's been instrumental in preventing another attack here. Many people have lamented the fact that too many Americans have forgotten how horrible 9/11 was, that too many Americans have gone back to a 9/10 world. It's because of the CIA program that we've had that luxury.

LGF commented on the speech and says this:

Prediction: the left will go nuts. But it's an easy prediction, because they always go nuts.

No kidding.

Ace hit the nail of President Bush's intentions on the head:

Wants Congress To Repudiate Supreme Court Decision On Granting Geneva Protections For Terrorists: Congress must list the "specific, recognizable offenses" that will invoke a War Crimes prosecution against interrogators.


Nice. Make Congress specifically say what is illegal -- and, by their omission, what is legal.

Congress dare not make belly-slapping illegal.

Put up or shut up.

Yep. No more screaming from the Dems in Congress about Americans torturing detainees. These folks get to set the rules. They will have America's national security in their hands. President Bush wants this legislation done before the Congressional term is over. It's a great opportunity to let the American people see where the Democrats sit on the handling of the most dangerous, evil terrorists this world has ever known. And right before the midterm elections. Brilliant.

Mario Loyola at The Corner also sees the brilliance in Bush's speech:

The President just pulled one of the best maneuvers of his entire presidency. By transferring most major Al Qaeda terrorists to Guantanamo, and simultaneously sending Congress a bill to rescue the Military Commissions from the Supreme Court's ruling Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the President spectacularly ambushed the Democrats on terrain they fondly thought their own. Now Democrats who oppose (and who have vociferously opposed) the Military Commissions will in effect be opposing the prosecution of the terrorists who planned and launched the attacks of September 11 for war crimes.


And if that were not enough, the President also frontally attacked the Hamdan ruling's potentially chilling effect on CIA extraordinary interrogation techniques, by arguing that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is too vague, and asking Congress to define clearly the criminal law limiting the scope of permissible interrogation.

Taken as a whole, the President's maneuver today turned the political tables completely around. He stole the terms of debate from the Democrats, and rewrote them, all in a single speech. It will be delightful to watch in coming days and hours as bewildered Democrats try to understand what just hit them, and then sort through the rubble of their anti-Bush national security strategy to see what, if anything, remains.

Lorie adds: I caught most of the speech in the car. (I have yet to figure out a way to blog while driving.) This is huge and a brilliant move. Classic Bush -- let the Democrats work themselves into a frenzy attacking a man and a policy they think are on the ropes, then *thwack* -- make everything they have said over the past week sound ridiculous in light of the new information and proposal. Will Democrats never learn?

Update: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has a summary of the High Value Detainee Program here. Read the biographies of the high value detainees here.

Others live blogging the speech:

Michelle Malkin
Allah at Hot Air
Protein Wisdom


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Comments (54)

Kinda makes one wonder what... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Kinda makes one wonder what he's got in store for October.

A speech so brilliant it's ... (Below threshold)
Regret:

A speech so brilliant it's almost Rovian in nature.

The Democrats are not going... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The Democrats are not going to like this one bit. The President has just pushed them against a wall and told them 'put up or shut up'.

It's going to be very interesting. Why do I see Karl Rove's hand in this? Congress has 4 weeks to act before hitting the campaign trail. SCOTUS has already set the framework for legislation by their recent decision, so it's a no-brainer as to what the law has to say.

One of the torturous new te... (Below threshold)

One of the torturous new techniques OK'd by the army? "interrogators may use the good-cop/bad-cop tact with prisoners" Meanwhile I am led to believe that sawing the head off of living prisoners is still out-of-bounds...at least for our side.

Sorry off topic.Can anyone... (Below threshold)
David:
Why is a random right-wing ... (Below threshold)
The Future:

Why is a random right-wing blog suddenly a news source?
This must surely be a joke Google "news"

Just a quick question here:... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Just a quick question here:

So, was Bush for the prisons before he was against them?

Well folks,I guess... (Below threshold)
Jerry:

Well folks,

I guess one could call this a great speech...IF one is gullible enough and lacks the intelligence to see through the empty rhetoric and absolutely dangerous politicizing. When is America going to wake up and realize it has and is being duped? To believe this administration and continue putting up with this charade is going to tear both the country and its relationship with the global community to shreds. No....it's not a left/right wing; republican/democrat thing, it's criminality on a very large scale!

"Make Congress specifically... (Below threshold)
Ben:

"Make Congress specifically say what is illegal -- and, by their omission, what is legal."

Ok, so by this logic as long as I have a sick and twisted enough imagination to come up with something not on the premade list of banned practices, it's ok to do it?

It would be far safer to white list practices (these are ok to use) than to black list practices (these are not ok to use). Or better yet, use both.

This was a joke, right?... (Below threshold)
Lee:

This was a joke, right?

Lorie adds: [snip] ... This is huge and a brilliant move. Classic Bush -- let the Democrats work themselves into a frenzy attacking a man and a policy they think are on the ropes, then *thwack* -- make everything they have said over the past week sound ridiculous in light of the new information and proposal. Will Democrats never learn?

That you would get this wrong too comes as no suprise. You are as out-of-touch with Americans as President Bush, his adminstration, and the Republican Party leadership.

Americans want justice; they want terrorists to be caught - they also want the laws of our country to be followed. For you to think that the President taking action to stay within the law is somehow a big "thwack" to people who have been insisting that he should do precisely that -- only shows has sadly out of touch you (and most Republicans) are with American values and the American people.

The text of the speech is n... (Below threshold)

The text of the speech is now up at whitehouse.gov. FYI

Nice. Make Congress spec... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Nice. Make Congress specifically say what is illegal -- and, by their omission, what is legal.

Why bother? Bush has frequently said he is not bound by Congress (see FISA) when defending the country. To disregard existing law and then call for new laws that you like is hypocritical at best.

Apparently Bush was against complying with Congress's laws before being for it.

This site has become the... (Below threshold)
Luke:

This site has become the greatest "TROLL" magnet in existance.

I love the smell of troll blatherings in the afternoon.

heh. you liberals, lee, hug... (Below threshold)
jab:

heh. you liberals, lee, hugh, jerry are already squirmimg. i love it. please keep commenting, your hilarious.

Making Dems finally take a ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Making Dems finally take a stand on national security? Why I'd also go bats**t crazy if I didn't have a plan, either.

Definitely a "rope-a-dope" move by Bush and Rove. Again.

Are you using "troll" as a ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Are you using "troll" as a noun or a verb? I suppose you could be using it as both.....a troll trolling so to speak(an alliteration?). That's not nice if you use it as a noun.

"Captain's Quarters and Rig... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Captain's Quarters and Right Wing Nuthouse are pondering the possibility that the CIA European detention center story may have been a sting designed to identify moles." -Kim

"President Bush on Wednesday acknowledged previously secret CIA prisons around the world."

lol

Kim, you are the best Wizbang writer. Ever.

Bush did what was required ... (Below threshold)
ClearwaterConservative:

Bush did what was required of him by law - close down the secret CIA detention camps. This was not an act of brilliance, he simply got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

There were no new ideas in this speech. Only retreads of past ideas that haven't worked very well.

This site has become the... (Below threshold)
Brian:

This site has become the greatest "TROLL" magnet in existance.

Not to mention a magnet for vapid comments that effuse unearned smugness while at the same time contribute absolutely nothing to the topic at hand.

BrianIs not labeli... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Brian

Is not labeling someone a troll a vapid comment in and of itself?

Don't be so uptight, loosen your tie and giggle a little.

I don't think he is from Cl... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

I don't think he is from Clearwater, either...

Funny, but I've always been... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Funny, but I've always been a fan "secret CIA detention camps", especially for such high-value detainees like KSM. These types won't give up information in exchange for milk and cookies and the Koran...

I sometimes wonder why thos... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I sometimes wonder why those like Lee and others on this site seem to want to extend our constitutional rights to islamo-fascist terrorists who wish to force their beliefs upon us or kill us. You object when we listen in to their phone calls, granting them 4th amendment rights that Americans died to protect. You wish to protect them from keeping track of their finances and now you wish to grant them due process rights. You are stupid and your leaders are inept. Democrats are incapable of leading this country. Watch the ABC movie on 9/11.

Typical leftist - not one o... (Below threshold)
Vero:

Typical leftist - not one original thought in their minds.

Fill In the Blank, Democrat style.

Bush was for the __________ before he was against the ___________.


Maybe I missed it...when is... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Maybe I missed it...when is bin Laden being transferred to Gitmo?..seriously..after five years and we don't have the man who mocked..bragged about 9/11? It is about number one. I know folks who post here, like me follow sports..we know who ends up being ranked number one..
If your favorite team or individual finishes 2nd, third etc.. How great are your bragging rights?

We do not have the "boots" on the ground to get bin Laden because of Iraq...does anyone here really that Saddam was more important than bin Laden? Anyway..keep cheering...

Hypothetical question for L... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Hypothetical question for Lee & Co.: Let's say the likes of KSM, Binalshibh and Zubaydah are brought to trail, found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death. Would you support the immediate, military execution of these men a la Nuremberg?

Let's say the likes of K... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Let's say the likes of KSM, Binalshibh and Zubaydah are brought to trail, found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death. Would you support the immediate, military execution of these men a la Nuremberg?

Oh hell yeah.

Hypothtical question for Pe... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Hypothtical question for Peter..if we had not invaded Iraq and had 135,000 troops in Afghanstan...would we have bin Laden? (yes I misspell his name on purpose as a sign of disrespect)

Judge Andrew Napolitano of ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Judge Andrew Napolitano of FOX News was saying that the tribunals will be "open". That the media will have access to them.


That's got to be the Liberal Nightmare...

Btw Peter I realize that yo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Btw Peter I realize that your question is probably meant to be a trap, for if a conviction was the result of confessions obtained under torture or other illegal interrogation, you think one who believes such things are illegal should object to their execution in order to remain consistent. This is in fact true, but I believe that conviction would more likely be base on a wealth of evidence rather than a coerced confession. I will say I would not approve of the execution of detainees where the only evidence against them is coerced confession. I just don't believe that would be the case with the three men you mentioned.

If you didn't mean it as a trap and were just curious, nevermind.

Stop answering a question w... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Stop answering a question with a question, Drew. Step up to the plate like mantis did (thank you by the way, mantis).

(In answer to your question: No, it wouldn't matter. Yes, it would be nice to satiate our need for vengence and justice to capture/kill bin Laden just like we did with KSM, Binalshibh, Zubaydah and Zarqawi, but capturing/killing bin Laden does not end the threat of Islamofascism.)

mantis:Not so much... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

mantis:

Not so much "trap" as bring to the surface and expose. I believe some people would be consistent; that is, maintain their anti-death penalty stance or simply to remain philosophically consistent, no matter what vile piece of humanity stood before them guilty as charged.

I agree that any conviction would be based on a wealth of evidence. I would also sincerely doubt that any detainee executions would occur where the only evidence was a coerced confession. Coerced confessions aren't allowed in civil courts, I can't imagine why a military court would be any different.

I sometimes wonder why t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I sometimes wonder why those like Lee and others on this site seem to want to extend our constitutional rights to islamo-fascist terrorists.... You object when we listen in to their phone calls.... You wish to protect them from keeping track of their finances and now you wish to grant them due process rights.

I sometimes wonder why those like Zelsdorf and others cannot retain this word in their vocabulary: "unlawful". When someone objects to "unlawful" phone tapping, you say they object to phone tapping. When someone objects to "unlawful" tracking of finances, you say they object to tracking of finances. When someone objects to "unlawful" interrogation, you say they object to interrogation. When someone objects to "unlawful" trials, you say they object to trials. When someone objects to "unlawful" imprisonment, you say they object to imprisonment.

If laws have no meaning, why have them?

Of course, Clinton attempted to get Congress to make it lawful to do these things, but Republicans said no.

The democrats talking heads... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The democrats talking heads are already going beserk. Some are screaming they would never want to see an American service member treated like the terrorists. Bad news for the retarded members of the democrats in congress, if any american service member was ever treated that way he would be one happy person. The U.S. and the U.K. are the only two nations in the world that even know the Geneva Convention rules exist. Ask some of the former POW's how they were treated by the enemy. (My brother was a prisoner in Korea and he's still a physical and mental wreck) It won't be a pretty story unless you find another brain washed terrorists supporter like McCain. He would lie his head off in support of any enemy of the U.S. Too bad the communist in North Vietnam didn't kill him instead of indoctornating him in communism. He is the one person that can run on the republican ticket and I not only won't vote for him but will vote for whatever dog the democrats pick.

Would you support the im... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Would you support the immediate, military execution of these men a la Nuremberg?

After a trial that was carried out according to our laws and treaties? Most Dems would volunteer to pull the trigger themselves.

Too bad the communist in... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Too bad the communist in North Vietnam didn't kill him

So you favor a US Senator being treated worse than you claim we treat the terrorists. Nice.

Speaking of Nuremberg, I th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Speaking of Nuremberg, I think this statement from the head prosecutor's closing address at those trials is more than relevant:

Of one thing we may be sure. The future will never have to ask, with misgiving, what could the Nazis have said in their favor. History will know that whatever could be said, they were allowed to say. They have been given the kind of a Trial which they, in the days of their pomp and power, never gave to any man.

We should hold these terrorists accountable, in a court and in public for all to see. And when they have had a chance to speak in their defense, and if/when they are found guilty, we execute them as is just and right.

This will not only show that we are the civilized ones, the ones who value law, order, and fairness, but will will provide a public example for the world to recognize. Here are the terrorists, here is what they say in their defense, and here is how we deal with them, in a civilized way, but with harsh punishment for the guilty.

I note that the non-stop pl... (Below threshold)
Spaceman:

I note that the non-stop plight of prisoners at Quantanemo media coverage stories took a nosedive as soon as it was Congress (not Bush) holding the keys.

I really feel sorry for all... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

I really feel sorry for all trolls on this site,like a drunk when they wake up in the morning feeling the affects of there escapades.Rove you magnifisant bastard you have their heads exploding again.Look how many showed up to try and change the thread away from the President cleverly laid trap.Buhahahaha lmao.

That, surely, was a coincid... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

That, surely, was a coincidence jainphx. :)

Bush got forced the Dems hand again. Nothing on God's earth angers the left more than actually saying "Fine. What do you propose?"
-=Mike

and if/when they are fou... (Below threshold)
Luke:

and if/when they are found guilty, we execute them as is just and right.

Mantis do you really believe the United States would put anyone to death if convicted? World opinion would rule the day and the US would cower.

Take my word on it. The liberal elite would get a dreadful case of the vapors and continuously ask, "How could you"? ......and the MSM would be their willing accomplices. Believe it.

Two words, Luke: Timothy Mc... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Two words, Luke: Timothy McVeigh.

Brilliant, indeed. Like ju... (Below threshold)

Brilliant, indeed. Like ju-jitsu, he turns the opponents' weight against them.

Take the leftists' reaction here. If you listen closely, you can hear the flying flecks of spittle hitting their screens.

Not only does Bush, with a single stroke, get out from under the burden of the SCOTUS ruling AND from congressional turf-fighting, he practically forces Congress to negate the effects of the Court by granting him specific powers.

At the same time, Democrats are experiencing incontinence. Do they oppose him, and keep the moonbat left and ACLU on their side while risking public retribution at the polls, or do they authorize Bush to conduct these tribunals, alienating their base?

It's Rovian, all right. "Okay, we can't control events and are operating in gray areas - let's hand off to the Congress. If they refuse to act, the President is blameless. If they act, then criticism must accrue to Congress at least equally."

As an added benefit, every Democratic candidate out there running as antiwar or a war critic or whining about NSA surveillance, etc., is back on his heels right now. Whether it is enough or not remains to be seen.

But I can't help but think of the psychotic chess genius, Bobby Fischer, now living in exile in Iceland. When asked as a young man what he enjoyed most about chess, he explained, "It is that moment when the opponent understands what you've done and knows he is lost. His ego is crushed - you can almost see it happen. I love to watch them squirm."

Know whatcha mean there, Bobby!

:-D

I am watching the replay of... (Below threshold)
kirktoe:

I am watching the replay of the speech on C-Span. I don't think I've ever seen Bush look angrier and I can't blame him. A couple of random thoughts on the speech:

1 - I wonder if most Americans knew that the prisoners at Club Gitmo have the same health care as our US soldiers? While I understand the need not to descend to the level of the enemy, this fact angers me.

2 - It's obvious that we've gotten the info we need from the terrorists in the secret CIA prisons and that is the ONLY reason Bush is revealing this now.

3 - Bush has just handed the GOP a gift issue for this fall's elections. Will they be smart enough to take it and press fora law on this. It would expose the hyprocrisy of the left on so many levels.

Senator John McNoBrain did ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Senator John McNoBrain did one of the most damaging things to this country that could possibly have been done, with that stupid no torture bill. First, no one has ever bothered to define torture, and secondly there is no definition of the causes of torture. The best we could do is to define torture as the inflicting of pain for the sole purpose of inflicting pain, and then define the inflicting of pain for the purpose of soliciting information as coerced interogation. Then you could outlaw torture, and set limits on coerced interogation.

Why is it that politicians never bother to think befor they act?

P.S.Senator McNoBrai... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

P.S.
Senator McNoBrain can count on me doing everything I can to prevent his ever receiving the Republican nomination for president.

Two words Mantis......Di... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Two words Mantis......Disliked Redneck.

That's what the MSM thought of McVeigh and felt no pity for him. Absolutely every MSM outlet called McVeigh a terrorist, which he was.

Many in the MSM not only call the terrorists insurgents, but actually believe they had a good reason for attacking us.

And then again the MSM will say and do anything to defeat Bush, never realizing he is NOT running in '08.

Ok, Luke, I understand you ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ok, Luke, I understand you don't like the evil "MSM". Do you actually believe that the press would collectively try, much less succeed in, stopping the execution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11? Get a grip.

Nothing on God's earth a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Nothing on God's earth angers the left more than actually saying "Fine. What do you propose?"

Yes, and nothing pleases the left and the American public more than Bush finally doing what has been demanded of him, which is exactly what happened here. The response to "what do you propose?" long ago was "close your secret prisons". And Bush finally did it. It boggles the mind how one can spin that acquiescence into some kind of outmaneuvering on Bush's part.

The response to "what do... (Below threshold)
Luke:

The response to "what do you propose?" long ago was "close your secret prisons". And Bush finally did it.

OK, now we are safe Brian? No more secret prisons, no more terrorist attacks? Damn, I feel better already.

Do you actually mean to say the entire Democrat plan for fighting the WOT was, "close the secret prisons"? No wonder you folks are laughed at by the majority of Americans.

OK, now we are safe Bria... (Below threshold)
Brian:

OK, now we are safe Brian? No more secret prisons, no more terrorist attacks? Damn, I feel better already.

Glad to hear it. It seems that responding to your own invented statements, unrelated to anything posted here, makes you feel good.

Do you actually mean to say the entire Democrat plan for fighting the WOT was, "close the secret prisons"?

Good one! Another invented statement to respond to! You must be feeling extra special now!

No wonder you folks are laughed at by the majority of Americans.

Ummm... "we" are the majority of Americans. Go check a poll. Oh, I forgot... polls are inaccurate and should be ignored, but miniseries are inaccurate and should be shown in every school in the country. Got it.

No, Brian, I don't get it. ... (Below threshold)
Luke:

No, Brian, I don't get it. I'm not sharp enough to get it, you idiot. I only listen to what I'm told by the neocons and don't put any original thought into it at all. That way, I don't get headaches.

Finally, a truthful stateme... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Finally, a truthful statement from someone on the right.

The irony is that Bush didn... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

The irony is that Bush didn't actually promise to shut 'em down.
-=Mike




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