October 1, 2006  


For crafting a thoughtful alternative bill to the White House plan for new legislation on how to treat and prosecute terror suspects.

The Supreme Court established in June that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, a baseline standard for the treatment of prisoners of war, applies to members of al-Qaida. Yet the administration is trying to push through a bill that would redefine Common Article 3 and downgrade the Convention’s standards for humane treatment.

The court’s interpretation and the Senate draft bill have the support of almost 30 retired admirals and generals and former Defense Department officials, including former Central Command commander retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar and former CIA director retired Adm. Stansfield Turner, who signed a letter urging Congress to reject the administration bill.

Chief among their concerns is that the administration bill would put captured American military personnel at risk of being tortured if any agency of the U.S. government is excused from compliance.

There is also the wider issue of America’s moral standing in the world if it plays loose with international standards. The Warner trio should be lauded for following their consciences and offering a better alternative.