Bush's Bid to Unsnarl Law on Terrorism ; President Bush Faces an Array of Challenges on Issues from Warrantless Wiretaps to Military Tribunals

By Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

Bush's Bid to Unsnarl Law on Terrorism ; President Bush Faces an Array of Challenges on Issues from Warrantless Wiretaps to Military Tribunals


Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In the five years since the 9/11 attacks, President Bush has made good on promises to protect the nation from terrorism. But this success has come at a price.

In dramatic announcements this week, the president acknowledged making difficult choices that he says saved American lives. At the same time, Bush's aggressive use of commander in chief powers is exposing the White House to an unprecedented array of legal challenges. Among them:

* His system for military tribunals at Guantanamo, Cuba, was struck down as unfair and illegal by the US Supreme Court in June.

* His unilateral decision to allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct warrantless surveillance operations on American soil was declared illegal and unconstitutional by a federal judge in August.

* His authorization of coercive interrogation tactics overseas could subject American soldiers and Central Intelligence Agency officials to war-crimes charges.

Now, the White House is asking Congress to clean up some of the legal fallout from the war on terror. With nine weeks left until midterm elections, political analysts say Bush will probably get at least some help from lawmakers.

The administration is asking Congress to enact a new statutory scheme to conduct war-crimes trials at Guantanamo. The White House wants lawmakers to create a retroactive exemption to shield US officials from legal liability for use of harsh, coercive interrogation tactics. And the administration is backing efforts in Congress to endorse the NSA's secret surveillance program.

Although his administration has been knocked on its heels in court, Mr. Bush is on the offensive, taking his case directly to the people in a series of speeches this week.

In comments on Thursday, he defended the NSA surveillance program, saying it was necessary because of major changes in communications technology since 1978 when the wiretapping law was passed.

"The terrorists who want to harm America can now buy disposable cellphones and open anonymous e-mail addresses. Our laws need to change to take these changes into account," Bush said. "If an Al Qaeda commander or associate is calling in the United States, we need to know why they are calling, and Congress needs to pass legislation supporting this program."

In a speech Wednesday, Bush acknowledged publicly for the first time that the US had held nearly 100 Al Qaeda suspects in secret CIA prisons overseas and subjected them to aggressive interrogation tactics.

He said "alternative" interrogation procedures were used by the CIA to force reluctant Al Qaeda leaders to talk.

"This program has been and remains one of the most vital tools in our war against the terrorists," Bush said. "Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that Al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland."

The Washington Post has reported that the CIA used tactics such as water- boarding, sleep deprivation, and loud music for prolonged periods.

Administration officials declined to discuss specific techniques. But Bush insisted that the US does not use torture.

In his Wednesday speech, the president revealed that no Al Qaeda suspects are currently being held in secret CIA prisons. But he said it remains an option for future detainees. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bush's Bid to Unsnarl Law on Terrorism ; President Bush Faces an Array of Challenges on Issues from Warrantless Wiretaps to Military Tribunals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.