The White House and GOP members of Congress say they've reached some level of compromise to break the deadlock over detainee treatment legislation. The deal, however, does not appear to solve a key disagreement over the use of classified information in terror prosecutions.
White House adviser Steven Hadley called the deal struck between the White House and three conservative GOP senators a "framework of agreement," while Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) called
it a âconceptual agreement.â Nothing has been signed, however, and no specifics have been confirmed.
With the caveat that "details of the agreement were sketchy," AP reported
One official said that under the agreement, the administration agreed to drop language that would have stated an existing ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment was enough to meet Geneva Convention obligations. Convention standards are much broader and include a prohibition on "outrages" against "personal dignity."
In turn, this official said, negotiators agreed to clarify what acts constitute a war crime. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he had not been authorized to discuss the details.
The agreement did not extend to a related issue -- whether suspects and their lawyers would be permitted to see any classified evidence in the cases against them.
It seems the agreement resolves just one of two points of conflict, however. There's no indication the administration has dropped its insistence it can prohibit terror suspects from seeing classified evidence used against them. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), one of three senators negotiating with the administration, has called that issue "the killer."
the senator Sept. 9: "I don't feel good about telling someone - no matter who they are - `We're going to execute you next week, but I'm sorry, we can't tell you why.'"Update
: NYT/IHT now reports
the agreement covers "which interrogation techniques can be used against terror suspects" as well as "trial procedures for those in military custody." Frist is quoted saying, âClassified information will not be shared with the terrorists.â