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Kill Bill?

Friday, Sept. 22, 2006 12:36 PM

Conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly told Barbara Walters in an interview for ABC's 20/20 that the FBI warned him and other FOX News personalities that they were on an al-Qaeda death list.

Which is news to both the FBI, FOX News management, and O'Reilly's colleagues.

Face it, Bill ��you're not that goddamned important.

Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf, told CBS in an interview for 60 Minutes that the United States threatened to bomb him and his country, 'back to the stone age.'

The comment was allegedly made by then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Pakistan's intelligence director, to underscore the necessity of Pakistan joining the fight against al-Qaeda.

Musharraf also claims that Armitage requested that Pakistan suppress any domestic expression of support for the 9/11 attacks on America.

Musharraf is slightly more important than Bill O'Reilly, but one has to wonder at the timing, with Armitage claiming he was the source behind the Valerie Plame leak and Musharraf signing a number of treaties favorable to Taliban remnants.

Compromise is not what anyone should expect on the issue of whether or not we are torturing terrorist suspects.

But that's what the media is reporting, and what the White House is selling their new position as.

Do we really need a reminder that this is the president who agreed to John McCain's Detainee Treatment Act, then issued a signing statement to negate it? That this is the president who willfully broke Federal law in authorizing the NSA to conduct warrantless wiretaps?

And why, if McCain's language is sufficient, was there the call for 'clarity' in the first place? Clarity is still the catch-phrase, with White House counselor Dan Bartlett and NSA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden both invoking the term.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley spun it as, "The goal was whether we could find language mutually agreed between the Senate and the White House that would achieve those objectives."

The deal is to modify the War Crimes Act, a domestic law, specifying acts which constitute grave breaches of Common Article 3. Therefore, if those acts include waterboarding, but not beating a suspect with a rubber hose, the latter is both legal and construed as to not be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

It does not make clear that the United States does not condone or conduct torture. Furthermore, it could very well absolve Mr. Bush of any legal culpability pertaining to past interrogations.

The Senate needs to exercise oversight, not play word games.

It should also be noted that the agreement was the result of a second vote which was called after two Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee excused themselves to attend a previously scheduled event.

Do the math.

And it should be noted that Indonesia has executed three Christian militants (does that make them Christofascists, or just extremists?) for allegedly inciting attacks against Muslims during religion-based riots in 2000.

Rights groups have questioned the fairness of the trials, which apparently included secret evidence.

Thank God, this is America, and that would never happen here, right?

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