And I know that I'm posting too much this week and no one is gonna read all of this junk, but I'm not working this week, so I tend to overblog.
How about this?
The Senate passed a bill on wednesday which would help to regulate the detention of prisoners held by the U.S. military, including the length of their detention, interrogation, and their treatment. The bill passed by a 90 to 9 vote, with 46 Republicans joining 42 Democrats and 1 independent in an overwhelming majority. The bill passed despite threats from the White House that Bush would veto the $440 billion military spending bill if the amendment remained attached. Nonetheless, Republicans and Democrats joined together in staunchly supporting the bill. More than two dozen high ranking retired military officers joined in endorsing the bill, including Colin Powell. The White House maintained that the bill tied the hands of the executive branch and the military in times of war.
I'm really glad to see some Republicans stepping up and doing the right thing about this situation with "enemy combatants" who are being held without any meaningful civil rights by the U.S. military. When even Colin Powell is breaking ranks to say that we need to respect the rights of prisoners, you know that your policy needs to be seriously reexamined. Like it or not, the U.S. sets a leadership example around the world, and the practice of seizing prisoners without trials or tribunals or any kind of external oversight has got to be considered a bad precedent. If our soldiers were treated in a similar fashion by a foreign government, the U.S. would, of course, find the situation completely unacceptable. I've bitched about this topic many times before, but I'm glad to see the Republicans and Democrats finally finding some space to come together in the middle and make some headway on some of the issues that the White House refuses to address, let alone remedy.
It's also good news that the Senate sounds like it's tired of being pushed around by the Bush administration. Bush can veto this military spending bill, but he'll be cutting off his nose to spite his face (creating problems with military funding in order to protect their right to mistreat prisoners). Moderate Republicans are right to stand up to irrational, ill-conceived strategies from the White House when such strategies are not in the best interest of the country or their constituencies. I would hope that Democrat senators would act in the same manner if we got some guy into the White House who kept trying to shove idiotic policies down everyone else's throat. It's heartening to see our senators reaching some middle ground on something for a change.