Q: Is there any connection here between a guy who worked in the White House editing out conclusions about global warming going to work for a corporation that opposed [the Kyoto protocol]?
MR. McCLELLAN: That’s a pretty absurd question that you just raised.
At yesterday’s press briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used selective memory to retell the story of how combatant status review tribunals in Gitmo came about and just how “appropriate” such hearings are.
Rumsfeld’s claim: After deciding that the enemy combatants were not covered by the Geneva Conventions, the administration “established procedures that would provide appropriate legal process” to enemy combatants. These included combatant status review tribunals.
The full story: Actually, after September 11th President Bush tried to hold combatants indefinitely, without giving them access to court systems where they could challenge their detention. In Rasul v Bush, the Supreme Court rebuffed the administration: “both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals seized as potential terrorists can challenge their treatment in U.S. courts.” The ruling forced the administration to create “procedures that would provide appropriate legal process” to enemy combatants. But, instead of using already established and internationally recognized legal procedures for detained persons — the Article 5 hearings of the Geneva Convention — the administration stubbornly created combatant status review tribunals.
Rumsfeld’s claim: The procedures, which include the combatant status review tribunals, “go beyond what is required even under the Geneva Conventions.”
The full story: The tribunals are an illegal and unconstitutional alternative to the process which the Supreme Court determined detainees are entitled. Earlier this year, federal Judge Joyce Hens Green echoed the Supreme Court ruling by declaring that “the Bush administration must allow [Guantanamo] prisoners…to contest their detention in U.S. courts.” Green was forced to return to the issue because the special tribunals established by the Pentagon as an alternative were “illegal” and unconstitutional. Far from going “beyond what is required even under the Geneva Conventions,” the hearings had denied detainees the “most basic fundamental rights.”
In this morning’s USA Today, Sen. James Inhofe (R., OK) complained:
“Despite the lack of a scientific consensus to warrant such measures, climate change alarmists — in the heat of the summer for the scariest effect — are promoting mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions.”
In fact, President Bush was one of those “alarmists.” He promised mandatory caps on CO2 emissions during his first campaign. In the Bush Environmental Plan — dated 9/29/00 — the president vowed:
“[If elected], Governor Bush will work to…establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide.”
Now that we know Terri Schiavo was blind, it’s worth noting that Sen. Frist wasn’t the only member of Congress with a medical degree to claim she was responding to visual stimuli. Here’s Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL):
“That woman is not in a vegetative state,” he said this week, challenging media reports that claimed she was. “She responds to verbal stimuli, she attempts to vocalize, she tracks with her eyes, she emotes, she attempts to kiss her father.”
“As a doctor,” Weldon said, “I would never pull her tube out.”
Freshly-released autopsy results reveal that Terri Schiavo was blind:
Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin concluded that…her brain was about half of normal size when she died. …
Thogmartin says her brain was “profoundly atrophied” — and that the damage was “irreversable.” He also says, “The vision centers of her brain were dead” — meaning she was blind.
Which makes Dr. Frist’s expert “diagnosis” all the more outrageous:
Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a renowned heart surgeon before becoming Senate majority leader, went to the floor late Thursday night for the second time in 12 hours to argue that Florida doctors had erred in saying Terri Schiavo is in a “persistent vegetative state.”
“I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office,” he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. “She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli.”
Powerline is having a great laugh at Brian Komar, who now works at American Progress.
Apparently the Legal Times has a story describing how Komar, when he worked at Leadership Conference for Civil Rights, purchased web domains with names that indicate support for a prospective Supreme Court nominee (e.g., supportluttig.com, for Mike Luttig) with the intention of creating a site that opposes the nominee. (How this is news, we’re really not sure.)
For this, Powerline snarkily dubbed Komar a “strategic genius,” claimed his strategy showed how “the left has lost its ability to discern causal relationships,” and then tied all that to why the left thinks “we can obtain life-saving information from terrorists without using coercion.” Huh?
Look, the Powerline gang needn’t be so upset — Komar merely picked up some tools of the trade from another “strategic genius” whose name they might recognize:
[In 2000,] Karl Rove, Bush’s current White House political director and then a key campaign strategist, proceeded to register a raft of domain names – both straightforward and potentially negative…
Among the many names registered by Rove: bushsucks.com, bushbites.com and bushblows.com. Rove then took the unconventional step of linking those derogatory addresses to Bush’s official campaign web site at www.georgewbush.com. [Roll Call, 6/17/02]