In their editorial pages this morning, two of the nation's most prominent daily papers wasted no time in decrying the White House-GOP "compromise" on a bill authorizing treatment of terror suspects the rest of the world considers inhumane.
In editorials entitled "A Bad Bargain
" (NYT) and "The Abuse Can Continue
" (WaPo), the two papers minced no words declaring not only their opposition to the bill but its effect on the war on terror, global opinion, and history's judgement of the president.Washington Post
: "In effect, the agreement means that U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress's tacit assent. If they do, America's standing in the world will continue to suffer, as will the fight against terrorism. . . .
"Mr. Bush will go down in history for his embrace of tortue and bear responsibility for the enormous damage he has caused."New York Times
: "[The bill] allows the president to declare any foreigner, anywhere, an 'illegal enemy combatant' using a dangerously broad definition, and detain him without any trial. It not only fails to deal with the fact that many of the Guantanamo detainees are not terrorists and will never be charged, but it also chokes off any judicial review.
"The Democrats have largely stood silent and allowed the trio of Republicans to do the lifting. It's time for them to either try to fix this bill or delay it until after the election. The American people expect their leaders to clean up this mess without endangering U.S. troops, eviscerating American standards of justice, or further harming the nation's severely damaged reputation."