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    Monday, January 02, 2006

    The McCain Amendment - Part III
    The President signed the Defense Appropriations bill on Friday. The bill included the McCain amendment, which seeks to prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees by all U.S. personnel, anywhere in the world.

    The White House then issued this statement regarding the McCain Amendment:
    The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitation on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.

    Here are two bloggers views about that statement:

    From the left at Balkinization: "Translation: I reserve the constitutional right to waterboard when it will assist in protecting the American people from terrorist attacks."

    From the right at the National Review Online: "the signing statement conveys the good news that the president is not taking the McCain amendment lying down."

    Is anyone else troubled by this statement from the White House? I understand the President wants to protect the country and he should have every tool available to do so, but the Global War on Terror is not an excuse to circumvent the Constitution (Congress in this case). What is the point in making laws if the President interprets his way around them? Executive powers have traditionally expanded during times of war, but this is a war that we will be fighting for a very long time - a war in which we may never declare total victory.

    Shared by Silke @ 5:32 PM

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