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Bush May Veto Defense Bill To Deny McCain Amendment Banning “Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading” Treatment Of Military Prisoners

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In nearly five years in office, President Bush has not vetoed a single piece of legislation his Republican-led Congress has supported.

But the White House is threatening to veto the Senate’s $440.5 billion 2006 Defense spending bill because it includes an amendment that would mandate uniform standards for the treatment of military detainees. The provision, which passed 90-9, was authored by John McCain (R-AZ).

A Seattle Times editorial wrote that the amendment “to ban ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading’ treatment of prisoners by the military found a clarity of purpose and voice that eludes the Bush administration.”

The Boston Globe, in its editorial, wrote: “Instead of threatening to veto the measure, as his staff has done, President Bush should embrace it as evidence that the military will correct abuses and hold itself to a high standard.”

A veto by Bush would almost certainly be symbolic, because the Senate has the votes to override it.

And what a symbol it would be.

***

This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Keep the dream alive, David.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com david r. mark

    Is the story inaccurate, Dave? Of course not.

    Keep those blinders on, Dave. I prefer the reality-based universe.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The article’s not really long enough for significant errors. It’s just a bit of wishful thinking posing as an article.

    The basic problem here is that you want Bush to fail so badly that once again you reach for controversy where there is none. Given what Bush has not vetoed in the past the thought that he would veto this meaningless amendment is laughable.

    McCain’s amendment is 100% compatible with past statements the administration has made about what their official policies on torture are. It doesn’t restrict their practices in any way. It’s also 100% in keeping with existing military policies regarding torture. It does not address extraordinary rendition or the issue of civil rights for prisoners under US law.

    I have no idea why McClellan made his statement against the amendment, but I have to think it was some sort of mistake which will be clarified later, because there is nothing in this amendment to object to. The entire objection seems to be based on the fact that the amendment just reiterates already existing policy, which is correct and a sensible reason to veto it, but since it means the amendment is meaningless, there’s no reason to make an issue of it.

    Making a symbolic stand on the superiority of an existing policy over an identical policy voted on by the Senate doesn’t pass the test of logic. Neither does getting so excited about the possibility that Bush might veto this trivial amendment, or trying to puff up the significance of the amendment so that you can try to use it as a basis to claim Republicans in the Senate have turned against Bush. None of this makes sense, except as part of a pure partisan attack – but then we expected that.

    Dave

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php marc

    Exactly Dave and true to form, just another grandstand by McCain.

    The amendment might make sense, might if it were substantially different than policies already in force, or if the abuse that has occurred was wide spread and a matter of policy.

    Neither is true which renders this post to it’s rightful place in the shitcan.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t blame McCain for it. The Democrats were throwing out all sorts of extreme bills and amendments. His response was to basically emasculate them by offering this symbolic, but meaningless amendment. It’s pointless, but I think it might be politically astute.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com david r. mark

    This is ridiculous. The White House is on the record saying before the amendment passed that Bush would consider vetoing it. After the amendment passed, the White House repeated itself.

    This isn’t a “mistake” by McClellan. This is not wishful thinking by liberals, or a manufactured debate.

    The Senate Republicans took a stand against something that the White House said Bush would consider vetoing. Now it’s up to Bush to decide whether he wants to follow through, or whether he’ll back down to the majority of his party (including Frist, Graham, McCain, etc.)

    If Dave Nalle would stop being such an apologist for this administration, he’d recognize the reality of the situation. Just read the editorials to which I linked, if you want to see other writers discussing the same subject.

  • Scott Ross

    Let’s set aside for a moment how silly all of these guys can be…

    The whole thing is actually a masterstroke of politicking by McCain; he gets to be the unassailable do-gooder who knows better than anybody in Washington the horrors of torture and he puts Bush in the position of saying either “Yeah, you’re right, I shouldn’t of done that,” or “I’m pro-torture.”

    It’s important to remember how much McCain and Bush hate each other and how desperate the Right is starting to feel about the ’06 elections.

    Though I don’t know what they’re worried about, ‘cuz the Left’s a mess.

  • Winston Jen

    Considering how the Bush administration and many Republicans wanted to prolong Terri Schiavo’s ordeal, this move to approve of torture hardly surprises me.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Bush allowed his men on the ground in South Carolina to suggest McCain was a Manchurian candidate (while also claiming that the McCain’s adopted girl from Bangladesh was a love child with a black NYC prostitute).

    McCain, for the sake of his own presidential future, looked the other way and allowed himself to be used during the 2004 presidential race as a prop to be kissed on the forehead. McCain lost a lot of respect from the left side of the aisle by temporarily being a Bush apologist last year.

    Now, once again, we see that McCain and Bush don’t see eye to eye. (And this is just one of several issues). McCain may not be a liberal, but he is an independent voice in the Republican Party, and that’s why some liberals hold him in high regard.)

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Considering how the Bush administration and many Republicans wanted to prolong Terri Schiavo’s ordeal, this move to approve of torture hardly surprises me.<<

    If Terri Schiavo was indeed in a PVS, then prolonging her ‘ordeal’ was meaningless since there was no one home to experience the ordeal, so you can’t equate that with torture.

    As for McCain in the 2000 election, like a lot of us he accepted Bush as the lesser of two evils. Time has passed, but Bush remains a lesser evil for most of us, but for a few extremists who have nothing better to offer, opposing Bush has become a holy cause which they pursue without thinking about the alternatives and how much worse things could be.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    “opposing Bush has become a holy cause which they pursue without thinking about the alternatives and how much worse things could be.”

    — Dave Nalle, 10/10/05

    In other words, accept everything Bush says or does. Do not question our great leader, who is never wrong.

    If a Democrat were president starting in 2000, Dave Nalle argues, things would be much worse.

    Let me ask though, how are things all that good now?

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    “If Terri Schiavo was indeed in a PVS, then prolonging her ‘ordeal’ was meaningless since there was no one home to experience the ordeal, so you can’t equate that with torture.”

    Let’s look at the flaws in this sentence.

    “If Terri Schiavo was indeed in a PVS” —

    Schiavo’s doctors said that she was. The courts upheld those doctors’ opinions. The autopsy supported the doctors’ opinions. The only people who disagree with the doctors’ opinions are people who never examined Schiavo, and one doctor, Willima Hammesfahr, who was discredited by the court for failing to provide evidence to back his opinion.

    “then prolonging her ‘ordeal’ was meaningless since there was no one home to experience the ordeal”

    — So her husband, parents, siblings, friends, etc., didn’t suffer? The court case between Schiavo’s husband and the Schindlers lasted eight years, and the conclusion drawn in 2005 was the same as in 1997. Meanwhile, none of the outrageous claims made against Michael Schiavo have ever been substantiated in court — yet that didn’t stop people from accusing him of murder, torture, abuse, neglect, fraud, etc.

    True, the fervor from the right-wing, including Bush, to defend the Schindlers’ opinion, against science and against the courts, is not torture. It was an example of putting faith above facts, though, which is lousy leadership.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Ah David. You’re like a puppy that keeps leaping up on the couch no matter how many times you push it off.

    You seem to have totally missed the point of my Schiavo comment, which was that there was no ‘her’ to go through any ‘ordeal’.

    But by all means keep arguing with yourself.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Such an amendment is a good reminder to follow the policies that are currently being broken by military officials.

    How far it goes up . …?

    It’s not much good to say this “it doesn’t change the policies in place” when they are being willingly and willfully broken.

    And yes, McCain is both grandstanding and making a strong point that – for some reason (POW) – , seems important to him. Has anyone read many of his quotes on this?

    It may amount to nothing, but it is certainly not a “manufactured controversy.”

    My theory is that President Bush – strictly for political grandstanding purposes – will veto something right around pre-election 2006 or pre-election 2008. That way Republican Senators and or Representatives can make a show of exerting their “independence.”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I think Bush ought to veto something just to show that he’s capable of doing it. I doubt that this bill is what he’s going to veto considering how much it gives him for his war efforts and how little it costs him.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    And yet, Dave, the White House has been saying that it would veto the legislation.

    It’s a little fact that you seem to keep overlooking. You prefer to erroneously call it part of a liberal “holy cause.”

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    “prolonging her ordeal” — if you literally mean Terri’s ordeal, then yes. I took what you said as the ordeal regarding her.

    It still doesn’t explain why you said “If Terri Schiavo was indeed in a PVS,” when it’s been conclusively proven.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    No, your attempt to play it up is the holy cause. As for the White House, point me to some statements from McClellan or anyone else about vetoing the bill since it was passed. I haven’t seen any. Seems to me like they were just making a last ditch effort to get the amendment removed.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    And WHY would they want it removed?

    Big questions. Small minds. Bad combination.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Well, obviously they want it removed because it implies that Bush isn’t following his own stated policies, a debatable position, but something the administration would certainly rather not encourage.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave, you make it sound like I’m the only one who has pointed this news out.

    It was written about in newspapers across the country, too.

    You just don’t want to admit that the White House has been against the amendment. You’d prefer to call it a “mistake” by McClellan, or say the story is part of a liberal “holy cause.”

    90 Senators voted for the amendment, Dave. That’s an awful lot of Republicans.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave Nalle — “point me to some statements from McClellan or anyone else about vetoing the bill since it was passed”

    OK.

    From the Associated Press:

    Leading House Republicans signaled Friday that they will try to weaken a Senate effort to limit interrogation techniques that U.S. service members can use on terrorism suspects.

    Their remarks made clear that the language in the Senate-passed military spending bill faces uncertain prospects in bargaining between the Senate and House. The Senate approved the $445 billion bill 97-0 on Friday.

    “We’re not going to be delivering a bill to the president’s desk that is veto bait,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

    >>>

    If it comes up in today’s press briefing with McClellan, I’ll follow-up.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    No, David. I admit they’re against the amendment. I just can’t believe they’d continue to follow that course. It’s a loser. I agree that the press conference today will be very telling.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave, you just flip-flopped:

    NALLE (10/10/05): I have no idea why McClellan made his statement against the amendment, but I have to think it was some sort of mistake which will be clarified later.

    NALLE (10/10/05): No, David. I admit they’re against the amendment.

    Nice to see you agree with me, Dave. If only you could avoid your hyperbolic spin against me and just move to agreeing I’m telling the truth, the discourse would be so much friendlier. LOL

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Never said you weren’t telling the truth here, David. You’re just choosing which truth to tell and what you choose to represent as its significance.

    As for my two statements you quote, they’re not incompatible. I never said they didn’t come out against the amendment, just that doing so was a mistake which I hope they will rectify.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    “You’re just choosing which truth to tell”

    — How Orwellian. So it’s ok to write the “truth” if it supports Bush. But pointing out mistakes, flip-flops, etc., by Bush, or pointing to fights and splits within the Republican Party, is the wrong kind of “truth”?

    Again, Dave, how many Red Sox bloggers do you go to asking them to be more positive about the Yankees? How many blogs about Judaism do you go to proposing they write more about accepting Christ as their savior? How many Republican blogs do you go to suggesting they say more positive things about Democrats?

    “Which truth to tell” indeed.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Your questions are bizarre and irrelevant. You admit to selecting truth to serve the purposes of partisan attack blogging. That’s your choice, but it’s not one I have to respect. I prefer reporting which is driven by the truth, rather than reporting which is driven by an agenda and selects facts to fit that agenda.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    I’m reporting on a narrow band of stories, in keeping with the nature of my blog. Other bloggers have other narrow bands — like writing about the Yankees, or Catholicism, or losing weight, etc.

    So my questions are not “bizarre and irrelevant.” You think I’m doing something wrong by having a narrow focus, and yet you don’t attack other bloggers with narrow focuses on topics that don’t matter to you.

    It’s only because you are such a blind supporter of all things Bush that you feel the need to chastise me, my blog, etc., on a regular basis.

    Contrary to your spin, I’m not issuing propaganda. I’m not lying. I’m not distorting facts. I’m not taking quotes out of context. I’m not taking broad, unsubstantiated swipes at the president, or the Republican Party. I’m not making factually inaccurate statements to knock Bush or other Republican leaders.

    I’m just pointing out that, for as many stories as I post, there are lots of examples of:

    — Bush and other Republican leaders flip-flopping on topics (confronting the spin, which you prefer, that Bush stays the course.)

    — Bush Administration propaganda (as pointed out by the GAO, FCC, etc.)

    — Bush and other Republican leaders saying one thing and doing something else (confronting the spin, which you prefer, that Republicans are fiscal conservatives, have taken the appropriate steps to make us “safer,” have followed through on their gameplan to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, etc.)

    — Bush and Republican leaders use alternative facts to support their ideologies (such as with Terri Schiavo)

    — Mainstream media frequently uses Republican spin (confronting the idea, which you prefer, that there is widespread “liberal media bias.”)

    That’s what my blog is about. Not lying. Not distorting. Not propagandizing. Just simply confronting conservative spin, on a daily basis.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I’m reporting on a narrow band of stories, in keeping with the nature of my blog.< <

    Narrow band and narrow mind.

    >>So my questions are not “bizarre and irrelevant.” You think I’m doing something wrong by having a narrow focus, and yet you don’t attack other bloggers with narrow focuses on topics that don’t matter to you.< <

    I don't write about topics I don't have any interest in, true. But my interests are a lot broader than just attacking Bush 24/7, so I write on many, many other topics.

    >>It’s only because you are such a blind supporter of all things Bush that you feel the need to chastise me, my blog, etc., on a regular basis. < <

    Now that's pretty pathetic. You have no real idea how I feel about Bush. I'm not offended by you because you're anti-Bush, I'm offended because you're spinning and propagandizing relentlessly with no concern for truth or balance or anything but bashing Bush. I'd be just as vehement if your target were someone else who was relatively undeserving, but it's not.

    >>Contrary to your spin, I’m not issuing propaganda. I’m not lying. I’m not distorting facts. I’m not taking quotes out of context. I’m not taking broad, unsubstantiated swipes at the president, or the Republican Party. I’m not making factually inaccurate statements to knock Bush or other Republican leaders. < <

    Except when you're writing, of course.

    >>That’s what my blog is about. Not lying. Not distorting. Not propagandizing. Just simply confronting conservative spin, on a daily basis. <<

    Because Bush is evil and only conservatives produce spin, and the fact that you do EXACTLY the same thing is somehow ok.

    Give me a break.

    Dave

  • MCH

    Stop the bullying, control-freak tactics, Nalle, this isn’t one of your classes. No wonder you failed as a teacher.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave, you once again fail to back up any of your criticisms of me with facts, like examples.

    And earlier you said I told the truth. Now you’re saying I don’t. Make up your mind on how you want to attack me.

    And if you actually read my blog, or even my posts here, you’d see I’m not “just attacking Bush 24/7.” You’ll see that I write about politicians, media types, etc.

    Others I have written about here and on my blog, just in the past three months:

    1) Tina Brown
    2) Trent Lott
    3) Scott MccLellan
    4) Michael Brown
    5) Michael Chertoff
    6) Condoleeza Rice
    7) Maureen Dowd
    8) Chris Matthews
    9) Brian Williams
    10)Tom DeLay
    11)James Taranto
    12) Wonkette
    13) Bill Frist
    14) Rick Santorum
    15) Dennis Hastert
    16) Lisa Daniels (MSNBC)
    17) David Brooks
    18) Karl Rove
    19) Tim Russert
    20) Joe Scarborough
    21) Various public relations firms
    22) Various GAO reports
    23) Various Democratic Senators, such as Joseph Lieberman, Frank Lautenberg, John Kerry, etc.
    24) Various Republican Senators, such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, Mel Martinez, etc.
    25) Mitt Romney

  • WTF

    “In other words, accept everything Bush says or does. Do not question our great leader, who is never wrong”

    Are you serious? When have Americans ever NOT questioned leadership? Always, and Bush is no exception.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com david r. mark

    WTF, I was referring to Dave Nalle’s consistent one-track belief in all things Bush. I wasn’t referring to the rest of us.

  • Winston Jen

    Dave Nalle:

    “If Terri Schiavo was indeed in a PVS, then prolonging her ‘ordeal’ was meaningless since there was no one home to experience the ordeal, so you can’t equate that with torture.”

    Even so, it was painful to her family, and it was very disrespectful of Terri’s wishes, which the courts upheld.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Right you are, Winston, but it wasn’t HER ordeal as was suggested.

    Oh and sorry, David. You don’t just attack Bush, you attack anyone who supports him, sympathizes with him or holds similar opinions to him. You’re so broad minded it dazzles me!

    And you keep saying that I am a Bush supporter, just because that’s how you think you can discredit anyone who doesn’t like your tactics. It’s pretty transparent.

    Dave

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    My name’s not Dave, but if I may enter this late in the game:

    I think it’s more curious that this is Bush’s first veto, not so much as the content of this bill, but that all other legislation passed under him scot-free.

    I would be curious to read (e.g., I’m too lazy but maybe someone is eager and willing to write about) why Bush signed all other legislation, and the reason for that, and compare him to other presidential vetoes.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I think I can hazard at least a guess. Bush sort of assumes that with a friendly legislative branch the bills he’s getting to sign are legit, or have at least been negotiated out in advance so that when he gets them they’re acceptable. He may be right. When we have a president and a legislature from the same party it does make a certain amount of sense that there should be no vetos. On the other hand, there have been some things that really needed vetoing, but they turned out to be thing Bush supported – like the bloated budget and the Schiavo idiocy.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave, I call you a Bush supporter because you have supported Bush on countless issues — even on issues when you ultimately admit I’m right — and chastised me for pointing out inconsistencies in Bush arguments, Bush propaganda (as pointed out by the GAO and the FCC) and what I see as Bush hypocrisy.

    As for this factually inaccurate sweeping statement: “you attack anyone who supports him, sympathizes with him or holds similar opinions to him” — this just shows that you don’t read my blog, and don’t let my writing get in the way of your pre-conceived notion of what I write about.

    Yes, I write opinion pieces about the Bush Administration, but I am hardly one-dimensional.

    From the list above:

    1) I criticized Tina Brown just a few days ago (also available here) for being soft on the mainstream media.

    2) I criticized the NY Times for making a sweeping generalization about red states.

    3) I criticized Maureen Dowd for misquoting John Kerry (and basing a column on it)

    4) I criticized David Brooks for misrepresenting a John Kerry interview (which he later apologized for).

    5) I criticized Tim Russert for failing to apologize for the same mistake as Brooks.

    6) I criticized Wonkette for repeating a canard about Al Gore.

    7) I criticized Randi Rhodes for making fun of the Bush twins.

    8) I criticized Lisa Daniels for morbidly spinning the Katrina disaster as a possibility of a p.r. coup for Bush.

    9) I criticized James Taranto for stereotyping all Democrats as if they had a monolithic viewpoint.

    10)I criticized Joe Scarborough for promoting people related to the Terri Schiavo court case who had been discredited for failure to back-up their points with actual evidence.

    None of the above have anything to do with criticizing Bush. But hey, you keep your blinders on, keep making statements based solely on your opinions, rather than the facts at hand. You have learned well from Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If I’m a Bush supporter then you’re a Bush hater, because I’ve been just as critical of the Bush administration as you’ve been even-handed in covering it. Actually, I’ve been far less supportive of Bush than you’ve been fanatically hostile towards him. The fact that you hate other people as well doesn’t remove Bush from the top of your totem pole of hate.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    I don’t hate any of the people I’ve mentioned, no matter how many times you say so.

    Dave, here’s a clue: You can call me names as much as you want. It’s not going to change me.

    It’s just a shame that you have to construct arguments based solely on unfair personal criticisms, unfounded claims, fact-challenged assessments. Maybe you aren’t a Republican. Maybe you should be in the know-nothing party.

    I mean, I try to base my arguments on actual facts. You may want to try that, rather than making sweeping statements that can be easily refuted.

  • MCH

    MCH impersonates Dave Nalle:

    “You hate Bush…blah, blah, blah ad nauseam…I know everything and you’re a moron…yada, yada, yada ad nauseam…If you read my stuff, you’d realize I’m the greatest writer on the planet…blah, blah, blah ad nauseam…If I had served in the military, I would’ve been the captain of a ship…blah, blah, blah ad nauseam…I’m the fairest, most intelligent contributor to Blog Critics…yadda, yadda, yadda ad nauseam…You hate all Republicans…blah, blah, blah ad nauseam…”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    David, you can spin it all you want and try to turn it on me in an attack comment, but the facts are plain for anyone to see just by reading your postings here on BC. There’s nothing ambiguous about your position and the motivation behind it. I agree that I’m not going to change you into a reasonable and even-handed commentor, but failing that I can at least expose your bias for what it is.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    but the facts are plain for anyone to see just by reading your postings here on BC. >>

    Except for you, apparently.

    You only respond to my posts regarding Bush. You didn’t respond, for example, to my post on Tina Brown.

    Keep those blinders on, Dave. They make it so easy to predict your one-dimensional responses.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    MCH — LOL!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    David, I didn’t even see your post on Tina Brown. I’ll go look for it. You haven’t responded to any of the BBQ reviews. Should I feel slighted?

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Ok, I read the Tina Brown post. You’re upset that not enough people in the media are attacking Bush. Why am I not surprised. It’s just more of the same.

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Dave, you do kinda blindly attack everything David Mark writes. If it bothers you so much, just don’t read it.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    You’re upset that not enough people in the media are attacking Bush. Why am I not surprised.

    >>

    That’s a really fair interpretation of the piece, Dave. LOL. You certainly read my piece without any pre-conceived notions.

    I agree with Scott (and I’ve suggested to you before). Why bother reading my posts?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I actually do skip most of his stuff. It’s very clear where he’s coming from and I try to avoid responding because it just encourages him. But every once in a while I’ve got to say something.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave, I’m only “encouraged” when you reduce the dialogue to personal attacks, or when you misrepresent what I do.

  • http://PresidentBushVsMcCain B. J. Cate

    Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading” Treatment Of Military Prisoners:
    I support our President George Bush he is always working to protect America. No Terroist attact in five years. I think that is a good track record.
    Thank you.
    B. J. Cate