Powell said that Congress must not pass Bush's proposal to redefine U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions, a treaty that sets international standards for the treatment of prisoners of war.
This development accompanied Bush's visit to Capitol Hill, where he conferred behind closed doors with House Republicans. His would narrow the U.S. legal interpretation of the treaty in a bid to allow tougher interrogations and shield U.S. personnel from being prosecuted for war crimes.
"The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," said Powell, who served under Bush and is a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk."
As if no-body-armor Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld EVER gave a shit about our troops...
A Senate committee, in a bipartisan rebuff to President George W. Bush, approved military tribunal legislation that would give more legal protection to suspected terrorists than the administration wants.
Four of the 13 Republicans on the panel joined the 11 Democrats to pass their version of the measure, rejecting Bush's proposal to bar defendants from seeing classified evidence prosecutors may want to use in court. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed the Senate approach, warning that the Bush administration is risking the safety of U.S. troops and worldwide opinion by permitting harsh treatment of detainees.
The committee acted just hours after the president made an unusual visit to Capitol Hill to urge support for his proposals on domestic eavesdropping and military tribunals. Meeting with House Republicans, Bush said he reminded them that ``the most important job of government is to protect the homeland.''
Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee voted 52-8 to adopt a measure that closely resembles the president's military tribunal proposal. The administration is encountering more resistance in the Senate.
Today's Armed Services Committee vote would let suspected terrorists see evidence used against them and would bar statements obtained through torture or inhumane treatment. It also would authorize military judges to fashion declassified summaries of evidence and to dismiss charges if the prosecutors don't consent to the disclosures.
``We are not going to win the war by killing every terrorist with a bomb or a bullet,'' South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham told reporters before the committee met. ``You win the war by persuading those people in the Mideast to reject terrorism.''
Looks like Bush is going to have to depend on the conference committee to water this down or, if all else fails, to just over-ride it with a signing statement.