5th Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Objects to Bush’s Plan To Authorize Torture

Last Thursday, Gen. Colin Powell, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) objecting to the President’s plan to redefine Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Powell said Bush’s plan would “put our troops at risk.”

He was joined by three other former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs — Gen. John Vessey, Gen. John Shalikashvili and Admiral William Crowe. Moments ago, McCain’s office announced that a fifth former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Hugh Shelton, has publically declared his objections. Shelton said Bush’s plan “would signal that the U.S. ‘is attempting to water down’ its obligations and would be an ‘egregious mistake.’” Watch CNN’s report:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/fifthgen.320.240.flv]


One of the three leading Republicans who’s block being the President’s bill, Senator John McCain, told reporters in his words, the two sides were “making progress” and that “good faith efforts” were being made by both sides. But in an effort to keep up the pressure on the White House, Senator McCain’s office released yet another letter of support from a former military official, this one from the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hugh Shelton, saying, “General Shelton is the fifth former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who has expressed concern regarding a proposed change in Common Article 3, joining former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, General John Vessey, General John Shalikashvili, and Admiral William Crowe. Former Secretary of State George Schultz voiced his concern yesterday as well.”