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Backroom Deals in the Corridors of Power. Torturers Now Shielded from Prosecution

Reported by Marie Therese - September 22, 2006 -

On FOX & Friends First hosts Steve Doocy, Alisyn Camerota and Brian Kilmeade reported that the Bush administration and four recalcitrant Republican Senators - John McCain, John Warner, Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham - have reached an agreement on the wording of a Senate bill that seeks to "clarify" the Geneva Convention's Article 3. After an all-day confab yesterday at the White House, a compromise was worked out that whitewashes what has been done to other human beings in our name and protects government-paid torturers from prosecution. Torquemada - the Spanish "hammer" against heresy - is cackling in the bowels of hell!

ALISYN CAMEROTA: "Yeah, it's very interesting, 'cause after weeks and weeks of public debate and disagreement about how to interrogate these detainees, these terror suspects, now, apparently, yesterday, there was just this all day long session, this backroom, behind-the-scenes deal - a lot of it in Vice President Cheney's office - and when they emerged they had a deal. But, it was very interesting, because the White House had to concede two major points. One they were not going to reinterpret or 'clarify' - as the President wanted - Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and the other is the evidence must be presented to these terror suspects."

BRIAN KILMEADE: "And maybe they gotta put away into the shed the waterboard. It looks like that, anyway, but they are going to be able to continue to tough - uh - very directly question - these CIA - CIA high level detainees and they feel as though they've been given - the CIA - the tools back to continue their - uh - I guess their interrogations that have stopped since December [2005] because they don't want to be prosecuted. And it looks as though those interrogators will be. will be ironclad. They'll be in a vault. They can't be prosecuted through the court system. Here's the President yesterday."

VIDEO CLIP: GEORGE W. BUSH: "The agreement clears the way to do what the American people expect us to do - to capture terrorists, to detain terrorists, to question terrorists and then to try them." END CLIP.

STEVE DOOCY: " Hey, you know what? The President of the United States is delighted and so are folks in the White House because this, essentially, fulfills a GOP political imperative and that is that the Republican party be unified going into the midterm elections. Also, this gives the President of the United States some ammo in his - actually another arrow in his quiver - in the war on terror."

KILMEADE: "He's on a roll. 44% approval rating and a lot of people are crediting [former FOX News host] Tony Snow for that and, on top of that, Alisyn, some are saying - uh - some are saying that now it's time for the Democrats to speak out. We don't even know what the Democrats - how the Democrats feel about this because many think Senator Warner, Senator McCain, Senator Graham and Senator Collins were doing their work."

COMMENT: According to The Polling Report, Bush's approval ratings haven't "bounced" since his dizzying blitz of "Fear Is Our Friend" speeches in the wake of the 5th anniversary of 9-11. One recent poll - not mentioned by FOX News - has the President's approval rating at 37%.

CAMEROTA: "Yeah, well, let's see ..."

DOOCY: "They can't like it. They absolutely can't like it because they liked the fact that the Republicans were all in disarray, seemingly, but at the last minute - actually not at the last minute, in the last day - they all came together."

CAMEROTA: "Well, let's see if it can really happen, if lawmakers can actually put this together and get it to President Bush's desk in the next five days 'cause they only have five working days before they go out on a break, so the President says he's expecting to be able to get this bill, so we'll see if it really can be fast-tracked."

OK. I get it, now.

The strategy is to force the Democrats to take a stand against this compromise deal right before a critical mid-term election.

Any Democrat who tries to block or delay its passage will be labeled a "terror enabler".

Any Democrat who supports it stands to lose the vote of a portion of their left-leaning base.

And, of course, quick passage before the election is essential in order to protect a lot of powerful butts should the Democrats take over the House of Representatives.

Can't have that nasty old John Conyers poking into the hidden recesses the Department of Defense and the CIA. How would it look if he dragged high-level government officials in front of the House Judiciary Committee to answer probing questions about who authorized the torture and why?

If this bill is passed and signed into law before the close of this session, none of the offending parties will face criminal proceedings.

They might, however, find themselves on the receiving end of a whole lot of civil lawsuits.