Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) alleged that the U.S. military’s top uniformed lawyers were pressured by the administration for more than five hours to “sign a prepared statement” supporting the President’s proposal for military tribunals. Today on CBS’s Face The Nation, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced that he plans to hold a hearing investigating the incident. The JAG lawyers would be called as witnesses. Watch it:
SCHIEFFER: One final question to Senator Specter. Senator Specter, do you see a way out here?
SPECTER: I definitely do. It is our job in the Congress, in the Senate to solve these problems. And if we sit down and work on it, the research we found yesterday which hadn’t been discussed before, where you have the Geneva Convention of 1990 on torture incorporating just the provisions that Senator McCain is concerned about, and when you have the judge advocate generals in this, I think we perhaps ought to have another hearing. We had a letter which was constructed with the Department of Defense last week, which has been subject to challenge as to whether the JAG officers were pressured.
The Judiciary Committee has the primary responsibility on war crimes and on the Geneva Convention. And I think that we can really find out where those JAG officers stand if we have a question-and-answer session. So that our people are going to be at work this afternoon with Senator McCain’s staff and tomorrow morning with Senator Warner and Senator Graham’s staff.
And our job is to find an answer. And I think we can give the CIA the tools it needs to protect Americans and to question terrorists and to comply with the Geneva Convention. That’s our job, and we can do it.