Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Filibuster Is Intolerable and a Wonderful Tool, Too

Bill Frist has threatened to filibuster the alternative detainee legislation sponsored by Sens. McCain, Warner, and Graham, unless the three Republicans agree to retain Bush's original language allowing the C.I.A. to torture "aggressively interrogate" detainees accused of terrorism and strip them of their habeus corpus rights:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist signaled yesterday that he and other White House allies will filibuster a bill dealing with the interrogation and prosecution of detainees if they cannot persuade a rival group of Republicans to rewrite key provisions opposed by President Bush.

Frist's chief of staff, Eric M. Ueland, called the dissidents' bill "dead."
For a bill to pass, Frist said, "it's got to preserve our intelligence programs," including the CIA's aggressive interrogation techniques, and it must "protect classified information from terrorists." He said that "the president's bill achieves those two goals" but that "the Warner-McCain-Graham bill falls short."

The disagreement centers on the Geneva Conventions, which say wartime detainees must be "treated humanely." Bush backs language saying the United States complies so long as CIA interrogators abide by a 2005 law barring "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" treatment of captives. Warner and his allies say they are concerned that Bush's approach would invite nations to interpret the Geneva Conventions in lax ways that could lead to abusive treatment of captured U.S. troops.

The Warner contingent also opposes Bush's bid to allow detainees to be convicted on secret evidence they are not allowed to see.

Yes, this is the same Bill Frist who was so outraged by the prospect of Democrats filibustering the Sam Alito nomination that he told them he would use a procedural maneuver called the "nuclear option" to strip them of their right to filibuster at all.

The Gun-Toting Liberal is shocked:

Yes, you read that right; THE "Bill Frist" ... the very same "Bill Frist" who claimed that filibusters were "intolerable" (yes, that's a direct quote from the Senate Majority Leader) when the President was trying to get SCOTUS Justice Alito confirmed. You might remember, it was Senator Frist himself who had claimed to have despise[d] the use of filibustering to the point that he even threatened to enact the "nuclear option" to prevent its usage by his political opponents ... remember that?

Now that the proverbial "shoe" is on the other foot, Senator Frist has had a change of heart. He now agrees that the filibuster is a "wonderful tool" to be used for the pu[r]poses of political gain when the best interests of his country are at stake. ...

Lots more acid commentary here.

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