Agreement reached on Bush’s terror detainee torture bill

President Bush and Senate Republicans hammered out a deal on Thursday for interrogating and trying foreign terrorism suspects, and Bush hailed it for preserving his program for CIA questioning of detainees.

The Bush administration has argued the program of CIA questioning is vital for U.S. security after the September 11 attacks but critics have assailed it on human rights grounds, saying tough interrogations border on torture.

The Bush administration denies that prisoners are tortured.

"I’m pleased to say that this agreement preserves the most single — the most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks, and that is the CIA program to question the world’s most dangerous terrorists and to get their secrets," Bush said of the deal.

"The measure also creates military commissions that will bring these ruthless killers to justice," Bush said on a trip to Orlando, Florida, adding he hoped Congress would send him the legislation before it wraps up its business next week."

Bush was forced to make concessions after three leading Senate Republicans challenged his plan last week and offered a rival bill that drew more Senate support.

Sens. John Warner of Virginia, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had said Bush’s bill would undermine the Geneva Conventions’ protections for war prisoners, and allow abusive interrogations and unfair trials.

Congress is trying to pass legislation to establish trial procedures for foreign terrorism suspects picked up since the September 11 attacks. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Bush’s original program for such trials in June.

The United States has faced international criticism for the indefinite detention of prisoners at the U.S naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Rights groups and others have accused the United States of torture and abuse of detainees.

Senate Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said the deal still must be shown to senators and members of the House of Representatives.

The compromise then faces likely passage in both the House of Representatives and Senate next week before Congress breaks to campaign ahead of November elections.

McCain brushed off any talk about who prevailed in this showdown with the White House, saying, "We’re all winners because we’ve been able to come to an agreement through a process of negotiations and consensus."

He said "the agreement that we have entered into gives the president the tools that he needs to continue to fight the war on terror and bring these evil people to justice."

© Reuters 2006


  1. Judy DiGennaro

    I feel like I am living in 1938 Germany. I never thought (and I have thought many evil things about my government) that an American president would be fighting to preserve the power to torture prisoners.
    It is a sad day.

  2. Doubtom

    We should all be joyous when the CIA gets whatever program it desires. After all didn’t one of their programs do away with the president of Ecuador and another program so away with the president of Panama or was it Nicaragua? Hard to keep track of these “plane crashes” when they’re so plentiful. Yeah let’s cheer the CIA, the very best representative of all that is Amerika!

  3. judith

    May all the Democratic turn coats be listed for all to see just who has sold out the Americans. Their lack of character in refusing to stand up for our constitutional rights marks the darkest time in our history.

  4. judith

    May all the Democratic turn coats be listed for all to see just who has sold out the Americans. Their lack of character in refusing to stand up for our constitutional rights marks the darkest time in our history.

  5. JP

    Another “classified?” agreement, that once again the citizens don’t have any idea about what it might be.
    Go figure.

  6. David Rosenberg

    I guess the “Deal” also included “Keep it from the Public eye”
    It bothered me that not once did the subject of
    “Habeas Corpus” mentioned.
    While we talked of torcher, what can and cannot be done, a person in custody may never be seen or heard of until whenever. If this has not changed, any Deal will mean nothing. Out of sight anything can still be done.

  7. Jennifer

    Considering 9-11 was an inside job, by Alex Jones and millions of other Americans…………and the fact that the TWO invasions were for OIL & CONTROL of the Mid-East. Let’s look at the word “Insurgent” a person who takes part in forcible oppostion or armed resistance to an established government or authority; rebel. Isn’t that what our fore-fathers were called? REBELS against ENGLAND’s domination/control? July 4, 1774?
    Think about it all.
    Christians say they follow Jesus…well, heed his words then…”love thy enemy”…”blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inheirt the earth”. He didn’t say, “torture, rape, kill your enemy”, did he? Wisdomkeeper

  8. People that are leading us are not leading by good example. However, on the new FISA law, today in the House of Reps. every amendment by the Dems was voted down by the republican rubber stampers. What came out of the republican House was another Bush scam. The Dems need to win both Houses in Congress. And, because of those 750 plus signing statements we need to ask the new Congress to investigate.

  9. ABC Psych

    It appears the the detainees are not given right of habeas Corpus. What little George did give up his spokesman immediately stated they would ignore. In other words, the American people no longer even have habeas corpus if the president decides he wants them to rot in jail As usual in these “agreements”, we lose.