Just a quick note about Sherrod Brown.
If you didn't see “Meet the Press” this morning, let's just say that
Mike DeWine is a pretty sorry example of senatorial thinking. Or maybe I should
say DeWine is a perfect example of why we're in this mess, especially in Iraq.
A couple of times when DeWine turned to Brown and said “you're unbelievable”
I thought I was watching a teenage girl having a spat with her boyfriend.
Half-way through the MTP debate I joined a conference call where Sherrod Brown appeared briefly before he had
to catch a plane. The participants had many things on their minds, but most of us I would guess were most interested in one thing: Why did Sherrod Brown vote pro torture?
The answer is simple.
The cover: The Bush Torture Act would allow combatants to move through the system and
finally be tried.
The bottom line: Sherrod Brown trusted John McCain
to know best. After all, McCain had been tortured within an inch of his life
so why would McCain sell out our military or our country for politics?
Then again, why would any person give more power to George W. Bush?
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), which the President will soon
sign into law, was a response to the June decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
Hamdan made three basic claims: (1) The President's military commissions proposal
violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and was not authorized
by the September 18, 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force or the
Detainee Treatment Act of 2005; (2) Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions
— including its absolute prohibition on all “cruel treatment and torture”
of detainees — applies to the conflict with Al Qaeda, and is binding on the
President and his subordinates; and (3) Congress had not suspended judicial
review at least with respect to some cases pending at the time of the Detainee
In response, the Bush Administration sought and obtained a bill that (1)
gave explicit authorization for a new form of military commissions not based
on the UCMJ; (2) limited the practical enforceability (but not the legal status)
of the Geneva Conventions; and (3) attempted to obliterate all judicial review
of what happens to alien detainees except for reviews of the verdicts of military
commission trials (and very limited review of a few final detention decisions.).
This meant that some detainees who are never brought to trial would have no
practical method of challenging their detention or their possible mistreatment
even if it was in violation of federal law, the Constitution, or the Geneva
Conventions, while others would have only a very truncated and delayed opportunity
for review of detention decisions. … …
Once Brown joined the call, when asked the question of why he voted
for the MCA bill by Ellen Ratner of World Net Daily, Sherrod Brown did not back
down or apologize for his vote. We can debate it, he said, but I voted the way
I voted and I believe in my vote.
Let's just call it politics in a tight race where hedging your bets on terror might be the difference in landing in the Senate or not.
But Sherrod Brown is no Paul Hackett.
He may be strong, but he's also very, very wrong.
But Sherrod Brown still beats the hell out of Mike DeWine. That's going to have to be the Democratic bottom line this time.