Thursday, October 06, 2005

Victory!

McCain's amendment (co-sponsored by Graham, Hagel, Smith, and Collins) SA 1977 to the Defense Appropriations Act passed 90-9 yesterday. This is amazing, and tremendously great news. The Amendment clearly sets in law a prohibition against any form of prisoner abuse that steps outside the standard, approved military interrogation procedures. The bill was supported by Colin Powell, and my favorite Senator, ol' John Warner, jumped on the wagon early to give it extra weight. This is important because it truly is an instance of the U.S. stating that it will conduct itself as a nation that believes in the rule of law, even in warzones, even abroad. Here's the rollcall vote, and the only people who voted against it are the doublethink wingnut jokers who say that there is no prisoner abuse problem, and there never was a prisoner abuse problem, and that there is no debt problem because George W. Bush can turn lead into gold. I'm thinking of my personal favorite right wing, denial lunatic, Senator Sessions. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, Sessions.

The White House is threatening a veto of the entire Defense appropriations bill if the measure is stripped out, which Evil Glenn thinks is a mistake (again, this shows the importance of the Miers nomination to them in making sure they have the power to do this kind of thing). Evil Glenn points out that this is clearly just an instance of Congressional Oversight over Executive activities, that this war has been going on for years, so it's about time some sort of standard was set. The legislation may have trouble getting through Conference Committee, but let's face it: the cat is out of the bag. Whoever wants to stand against this is going to look bad. When almost all of the President's own party stepped forward and supported this (way to go George Allen for being on the right side of something for once!) They're going to look like they condone all sorts of unpleasant things done to people. It's a political trap for Bush and he's preparing to walk right into it. What makes me happy most of all is that the Republican Senators have found out they do in fact have spines and independent brains and don't have to obey all of W.'s commands. It's nice that we're finally getting some reasonable discussion of what is right and proper in the talking-points monopoly that Washingon has become.