Sunday, September 24, 2006


In this case, WWDD stands for "What Will Democrats Do"

Finally the Administration has reached a compromise with Senate leaders over the treatment of detainees. During the negotiations, the Senate was represented by Lindsay Graham, John McCain and John Warner.

The deal, according to National Review Online's Byron York, will have Congress define in law what constitutes "grave breaches" of the Geneva Convention. This means that the interrogation of captured terrorists will continue. This was a key point for the Bush administration and a victory for them in the deal. President Bush was emphatic that the interrogation of terrorists not be put at risk. According to the president, information gleaned from captured terrorists has saved lives and he wasn't willing to risk that. The defining of grave breaches will also serve to protect those members of the intelligence community and the military involved in interrogation since it will provide a legal standard - a line they may not cross without being threatened with criminal prosecution.

It also leaves to the administration to set penalties for "non-grave breaches". These will be defined by the administration in a series of Executive Orders which will then become part of the Federal Register, and therefore public information.

The deal also defines how the administration may use "secret evidence" (i.e. classified information). It also limits the access that suspects and their lawyers will have to this information. In other words, the deal acts as a safeguard for our men and women in uniform and for the sources of intelligence and the methods used to collect said intelligence.

During this time, Democrats were content to sit on the sidelines and let the Republican trio do the heavy lifting. Now that a deal has been announced, the Democrats will be under great pressure to try and sabotage it. The New York Times, the ACLU and the left wing blogosphere have all already been highly critical of the deal. That is to be expected.

However, six weeks before the mid-term elections, that would be a huge mistake. Being seen as being solicitous to the likes of Ramzi Bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed at the expense of our military and the security of the country is not going to play well in Peoria.

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