The Devil is in the Details

Key Congressional leaders this afternoon, Republicans all, announced a "deal" with the White House over the treatment of and trials for terror detainees and that can't be a bad thing. But the strength or the weakness of the agreement only can be evaluated after we see the actual language the politicians say they want to include in the legislation. This will be another one of those instances where the word-for-word language of the law will determine its fate upon judicial review. And I'm willing to bet it is another one of those instances where the politicians purposely gin up ambiguous language so that all stakeholders can claim that the language gives them what they want while, in the end, the federal courts have to sort it out amid much clamour.

We may have just seen a political breakthrough. But that doesn't guarantee legal success once the "new and improved" legislation makes it out of Congress and into the courts. I'll have more on this either later today or over the weekend.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 21, 2006; 5:26 PM ET
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I am skeptical. The McCain-Graham-Warner proposal, even before this compromise, limited habeas review of detention at Guantanamo and the other gulags. So, in other words, if someone is put before a commission and convicted, he may appeal--but someone who is left to rot, perhaps because there is no evidence he has done anything at all, is without recourse to judicial review.

No matter what these people produce, it will be a tragedy.

Posted by: Andrew | September 21, 2006 06:45 PM

Actually, the Devil's work is in the details -- they will continue torturing. What started out (perhaps) as a "stand" turned into a show.

Posted by: MC | September 22, 2006 06:19 PM

Well... of course a stand will turn into a show with John Mc Cain in there. He did this with baseball steroids, Hillary Clinton, and other war time matters. John Mc Cain is an example of someone who tries to be buddy-buddy with both sides, but it will not work.

He thinks that he has a core fan base that will get him into the white house in 2006, no matter which way the Senate goes. He thinks that he is all that. However,this new initiative will prove minor as well. Both sides see straight through John McCain, and the liberal side will always see the badgering and failure on such important matters like this one.

As for things that started out as a stand... in this republican majority-of-a-house, we will never get answers that lead to impeachment, until the liberal side establishes itself as the ruling party in Congress.

Real stands; like GuantanimoBay's first realization, 9/11 commission one, and the Conyers subcommittee, have falled flat for that reason--- there are weak democratic senators with multi millionaire republican senators (who do not want to strengthen minimum wage) breathing down their backs that are clearly making problems for our strives towards ending this frail, unnccessary, implaussible, and grotesque war in Iraq, and it's torture herin.

As for torture, I thought this was the United States of America? We do not sink to these levels. Chavez and Amidenijad get all of the ground to say these things about Bush when they see that this nation is war-footing on inhumane treatiments such as torture. Torture does little more permanent results than hurt and pain for those whom have been sighted as worthy of awfull interrogation.

Posted by: Oh, to have a Blog | September 22, 2006 08:03 PM

If a legislator votes for a bill he/she has not read, he/she should make a clear statement to that effect on grounds of transparency; failure to do so should be a basis for impeachment.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | September 25, 2006 03:31 PM

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