W headed over to Capitol Hill today (presumably before flying in and screwing up traffic in Birmingham) to urge Congress to pass his reinterpretation of the Geneva Conventions. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA ) introduced an amendment that would restore detainees' right to challenge their detention, but it was defeated. And that's a good thing for W -- not, as he says, because there are so many bad people out there who want to hurt us, but because it seems almost every time a detention is challenged, it turns out the detainee is either completely innocent or only tangentially connected to terrorism.
Specter said the right to challenge one's detention was fundamental in American law, and that the Supreme Court would reject the plan if the right were stripped.
"This is wrong. It is unconstitutional. It is un-American," said Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee's top Democrat. "It is designed to ensure that the Bush-Cheney administration will never again be embarrassed by a United States Supreme Court decision reviewing its unlawful abuses of power."
Our very own Jeff Sessions (R-idiot) had to chime in and show his complete disregard for those who are a bit too brown or too not-American:
Republicans said lawsuit[s] from Guantanamo inmates were clogging the courts and detracted from the war on terrorism.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions said the bill should not "create a long-term battle with the courts over everybody that's being detained. It is a function of the military and the executive branch to conduct a war."
So instead of carefully investigating these prisoners, many of whom were handed over for a bounty with no proof they had done anything wrong, and quickly releasing those who can't be linked to terrorism, we'll just throw them in Guantanamo or some other prison and let them rot there forever. If they can't challenge their detention, then they'll just have to shut up and deal with it.
That's a great way to spread American values around the world.