Thursday, September 14, 2006

White House, GOP Senators Clash Over Terror Legislation

Republicans, challenging Bush? Must be time for an election or something. I hope they stand their ground on this issue - and Democrats must be encouraged to do so too.

The White House and three powerful GOP senators reached an impasse Wednesday over a Bush administration plan to allow tough CIA interrogations, underscoring election-season divisions among Republicans on the high profile issue of security.

In a direct challenge to President Bush, Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said his panel would meet Thursday to finalize an alternative to the White House plan to prosecute terror suspects and redefine acts that constitute war crimes. Warner, R-Va., said the administration proposal would lower the standard for the treatment of prisoners, potentially putting U.S. troops at risk should other countries retaliate.

"If this draft legislation were passed in its present form, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency has told me that he did not believe that the (interrogation) program could go forward," National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said.

The unusually public dispute between the White House and the senators comes as Republicans face a robust Democratic challenge this November for control in Congress. The GOP is trying to sell voters on its tough stance on national security, and Bush has said legislation allowing him to prosecute terrorists is a key component to winning the war.


FULL STORY

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