DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (Senate - October 05, 2005)
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Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, No. 1, I would like to recognize that Senator Stevens, who has so honorably served our country, is genuinely concerned about the extent of this amendment. For those of you who are listening, Senator Stevens was a World War II pilot. He has gone in harm's way in defending his country. We have in the Chamber his counterpart on the Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye, a Medal of Honor winner, and the Senator occupying the chair is a former POW. The food chain is going down when I am speaking. But what I want to try to discuss today is from a lawyer's point of view and really from a citizen's point of view.
I have had the honor for the last 20-some years to be a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the Air Force, a prosecutor, a defense counsel, and I am now a Reserve military judge. That experience has been a wonderful experience. I have received more out of it than given. Wearing the uniform in any capacity is quite an honor, and to be a military lawyer has been one of the highlights of my life. I have never been shot at. I had some clients who probably wanted to kill me. But other than that, I do understand this debate pretty well. To me, it is not much of a debate. We have as a nation adopted the position that Senator McCain described when it comes to how you handle people in your care and custody.
One thing I would respond to Senator Stevens is that the Army Field Manual has sort of been the bible for interrogation for decades. If you are worried, and I think it is a fair question, is there anything in the Army Field Manual that would unfairly restrict the ability of the United States to gain good information and defend ourselves from a bunch of rogue thug murderers, the answer is no. You don't have to trust me there. Go to Gitmo and ask the question of the people who are doing the interrogation of these terrorists: Is there anything in the Army Field Manual as written or being drafted that would impede your ability to gather good information? And the answer they told me was no.
So what is the value of having it? The value of having standardization when it comes to interrogation, detention, and prosecution is of immeasurable benefit to the force because, as Senator McCain indicated, a lot of the people implementing these policies when it comes to interrogation, detention, and prosecution are in harm's way themselves. One of the things we have learned in this whole war on terror is that this Nation needs to have effective interrogation techniques, effective detention policies, and effective prosecution tools to hold the terrorists responsible because you have two audiences.
No. 1, you have the terrorist community. I want every terrorist to know, if you are not killed on the battlefield and you are captured, things are going to happen to you. You are going to be interrogated aggressively, but we are going to treat you humanely, not because we worry about your sensitivities but because we don't want to become who we are interrogating. So we are going to keep that in place.
The President has said whether the Geneva Convention applies or not we are going to treat everybody in our charge humanely, not because of them but because of us. And the debate here is what happens when somebody in your charge is not covered by the Geneva Conventions. It is easy when someone is a legal combatant. We know what the rules are. We have the Geneva Conventions. We have been a signatory for 60 years. The Army Field Manual covers that situation. The war on terror is different. Vietnam was different. We had people who were lawful, whom we were able to interrogate, detain, and prosecute without changing who we were.
The Army Field Manual as a one-stop shop to guide the way we handle lawful combatants and enemy combatants is absolutely necessary if for no other reason than to protect our own troops. That is why we are doing this. That is one of the main reasons--to make sure that your own troops don't get in trouble because they are confused.
I have been a military lawyer for 20 years. We have confused people about as much as you can possibly confuse them. And this all started with the Bybee memo. I think we need to know the history of where we have been, to find where we are before we take corrective action.
Right after 9/11, this Nation was shocked and shaken. We tried to make sure we could secure our freedom and security and do a balancing act, and we have done a pretty good job of it. How can you be secure and still free? How can you fight the worst enemy and still not become the worst of yourself? I think you can.
The Bybee memo was an effort by people at the Justice Department to take international torture statutes that we had ratified and been party of and have the most bizarre interpretation basically where anything goes. It was an effort on the part of the Department of Justice lawyers to stretch the law to the point the law meant nothing. And early on in this process, those in uniform who happened to be military lawyers stood up and spoke.
I am going to read from General Sandkuhler, Brigadier General of the U.S. Marines, who was one of the judge advocates to review this change in policy, this very liberal interpretation of what torture might be. He said:
The common thread among our recommendation is concern for servicemembers. OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] does not represent the services; thus, understandably, concern for servicemembers is not reflected in their opinion. Notably, their opinion is silent on the UCMJ and foreign views of international law.
The general is telling the civilians that we live in a different world. This is a complex process, and if we interpret a torture statute in the way you are suggesting, we are going to get our own people in trouble.
We nonetheless recommend that the Working Group product accurately portray the services' concerns that the authorization of aggressive counter-resistant techniques by servicemembers will adversely impact the following:
a. Treatment of U.S. servicemembers by Captors and Compliance with International Law.
We have been the gold standard. We take this moral high ground to make sure if our people fall into enemy hands that we will have the moral force to say, You better treat them right. If you don't practice what you preach, nobody listens. Sometimes that does not happen, but you don't want to erode the principle because it puts people at risk.
Criminal and Civil Liability of DOD Military and Civilian Personnel in Domestic, Foreign, and International Forums.
All the reasons all the JAGs wanted to push back is that you are going too far if you interpret the statutes as being proposed by the Department of Justice. Some of the techniques violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Senator Stevens is concerned about joint operations. Here is the rule: If you are wearing America's uniform, you are going to be judged by American standards. You will never be prosecuted unless you do something inconsistent with our law. If you are part of an international group and wondering what to do with a prisoner in front of you, I suggest we let our troops know there are rules they must follow, and if they see anything they think is out of bounds, report it.
The best thing we can do for anybody operating in the war on terror is give them clarity about what to do in very stressful situations. There is the combat role. What do you do with somebody who is captured? You do what the President says: You treat them humanely, you interrogate them by standards we can live by that will not erode our moral authority.
Where have those standards been in the last 50 or 60 years? The Army Field Manual. You can change the Army Field Manual to adapt techniques to the war on terror. There is a classified section of the Army Field Manual. There is nothing about its adoption that limits the ability to aggressively interrogate people to get good intelligence. But if you want to torture people, the Army Field Manual says no and the President says no. It is now time for Congress to say no, and that is what this amendment is about.
Congress has been AWOL when it comes to the war on terror in terms of interrogation, detention, and prosecution, and we have done it in a way that weakens our Nation. We are the strongest when all three branches are on the same sheet of music. It is important, if we are going to win this war on terror, not to give the moral high ground to your enemy and to have laws that every branch of Government understands and the people implementing these laws are not confused and they will not get in trouble by following what we have said. Congress has been AWOL. It is now time for Congress to step up to the plate and offer assistance in the war on terror to the administration. That is exactly what we are doing.
I asked Judge Roberts, during the confirmation process, about this whole line of questioning. I said:
Do you believe that the Geneva Convention, as a body of law, that it has been good for America to be part of that convention?
ROBERTS: I do, yes.
ROBERTS: Well, my understanding in general is it's an effort to bring civilized standards to conduct of war--a generally uncivilized enterprise throughout history; an effort to bring some protection and regularity to prisoners of war in particular. And I think that's a very important international effort.
It is an important international effort, and al-Qaida should not be considered a lawful combatant under Geneva Conventions. But it is about us, as Senator McCain said. When we catch someone who is not under the Geneva Conventions, it is important that our people not only follow the dictates of the President--treat them humanely--but they know what to do. We are giving confusing policies in this new war on terror, this hybrid between a lawful combatant, enemy combatant, and regular combatant. We need to standardize our techniques.
How do we do that to make America the strongest? How can we effectively do that? We get the Congress involved, we get the administration involved, and we get the courts involved. Right now we have two court cases that are all over the board. Judges are telling us--Justice Scalia in one of the court cases is screaming out that Congress has been absent here. Congress needs to speak because the courts are not equipped to run Guantanamo Bay. The courts are not well equipped to interpret military policy, and they need guidance from Congress.
I asked Justice Roberts about that. One of his favorite Justices is Justice Jackson. Justice Jackson in the Youngstown steel case basically said that the executive branch is at its strongest when it has the expressed or implied consent of Congress.
When I met with Judge Roberts on this whole issue about detention, interrogation, and prosecution of enemy combatants, he said this is an area where the courts would welcome congressional involvement.
As a result of us being AWOL in Congress, there is a Supreme Court decision, 5 to 4, giving enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay habeas corpus rights. They are noncitizens, and they are able to go to Federal court because there is no clear direction from Congress about how to treat these people. Mr. President, 185 of them have lawyers, and they are absolutely overrunning the place. To me, it is absurd that an enemy combatant, noncitizen terrorist has habeas corpus rights, and the reason they do is because we are giving no guidance to the courts about how we want these people treated.
I believe it is now time to give guidance to the courts, to the country, to the international community, to those in uniform serving us, and to the terrorists about what we are going to do, and Senator McCain's amendment has got it. It is the authority that has been missing in this great effort to win the war on terror. It is now bringing standardization into an area which had been previously chaotic. Every military lawyer who has been looking at the policies proposed has come away confused.
Let me tell you unequivocally that the military legal community understands what Senator McCain is doing and wholeheartedly adopts his efforts, that not only would it be good for the Congress to speak with the same authority as the President, but it would help the courts, and it would be good for our troops if they had the protection of standardization.
If you want to help our troops who are trying to win this war on terror, give them the cover they need and the guidance they need. Do not throw them to the wolves. We have had people prosecuted because they have been given an impossible task. They have been given the task of interpreting laws that make no sense. And if you really do want to stand by the troops, give them guidance. Give them the guidance and the tools they can use to get good information, not bad information, and get information in a way that does not embarrass our Nation and put us at risk.
Abu Ghraib has been a giant step back, a huge step back, and one of the reasons we had Abu Ghraib is because nobody there knew what they were doing. They were not trained. They were overwhelmed. They did not have consistency when it came to interpreting the interrogation policies because the policies made no sense. Some people are in jail now. Most of them are in jail because of their own misconduct. Some people have had their careers ruined because they are trying to interpret policies nobody can understand.
That is a huge deviation from the way we conducted war for 50 to 60 years, and we paid the price. We are allowing courts to come in and do things they are not equipped to do because we have been AWOL as Congress. The best thing we can do to win this war is have policies that allow us to effectively interrogate, detain, and prosecute terrorists without ceding the high ground. And this amendment is a start.
I am going to introduce every JAG memo written about the original policies. Their concern is we are putting our own people at risk.
This is General Rives, my current boss:
Should any information concerning the exceptional techniques--
And they were exceptional-- become public, it is likely to be exaggerated/distorted in both the U.S. and international media. This could have a negative impact on international, and perhaps even domestic, support for the war on terrorism. It could likewise have a negative impact on public perception of the U.S. military in general.
This was written 6 February 2003. He was foretelling what was going to happen. These are not ACLU lawyers. This is a Marine Corps general and a two-star general in the Air Force who dedicated their lives to defending their country and holding us up to be the great Nation we are.
I urge my colleagues to please adopt this amendment overwhelmingly. It will do a great service to future Presidents. It will be a great turning point in the war on terror. It is needed. It is a simple amendment. It uses the Army Field Manual as the bible for interrogation for lawful combatants and enemy combatants. You can write it the way you need to. It does not lock us into a position that would be undermining our efforts to get good intelligence. It simply will be a document that covers how we behave in every known situation from Guantanamo Bay to the battlefield in Afghanistan. It will be something that will help our troops understand what they can and cannot do. It will make us stronger as a nation.
The second part of the amendment is the most important. It says that we as a nation will do what the President said: We will treat everybody in our charge humanely whether they deserve it or not because, as Senator McCain said, it is about us, it is not about them. And it is now time for Congress to speak. It will help us in court. When the courts understand that the Congress has come up with a plan in support of the administration to interrogate detainees, they will give great deference to that situation. When Congress is absent, they are going to be confused, and they are going to do some things they really do not want to do.
This is a very important moment in the war on terror. This brings us back into the light out of the darkness. It allows us to interrogate enemy combatants, unlawful combatants in a way to get good intelligence without undermining who we are as a people. It is necessary, it is legally necessary. It will strengthen our hand in court. It is very necessary to create certainty out of confusion for our troops.
One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that we have let the troops down when it comes to trying to give them guidance about what to do in very stressful situations. We are trying to give them the armor they need to protect themselves from a terrible enemy. We are trying to give them the intelligence they need to get ahead of the enemy. The best thing we can do is give them the guidance they need to make sure we can win this war on terror and never lose the moral high ground.
I urge every person to think long and hard about this amendment. To vote no on this amendment, in my opinion, dramatically weakens us as a nation. To vote yes reinforces our values, provides good guidance to make sure we get good intelligence, and protects our own people from being prosecuted.
I yield the floor.
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AMENDMENT NO. 2004
Mr. GRAHAM. Madam President, I call up my amendment which is at the desk.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
The legislative clerk read as follows:
The Senator from South Carolina [Mr. GRAHAM], for himself and Mr. McCain, proposes an amendment numbered 2004.
Mr. GRAHAM. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment is as follows:
(Purpose: To authorize the President to utilize the Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Administrative Review Board to determine the status of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)
At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. __.(a) Authority To Utilize Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Administrative Review Board To Determine Status of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.--The President is authorized to utilize the Combatant Status Review Tribunals and a noticed Administrative Review Board, and the procedures thereof as specified in subsection (b), currently in operation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in order to determine the status of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, including whether any such detainee is a lawful enemy combatant or an unlawful enemy combatant.
(1) IN GENERAL.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the procedures specified in this subsection are the procedures that were in effect in the Department of Defense for the conduct of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal and the Administrative Review Board on July 1, 2005.
(2) EXCEPTION.--The exceptions provided in this paragraph for the procedures specified in paragraph (1) are as follows:
(A) To the extent practicable, the Combatant Status Review Tribunal shall determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether statements derived from persons held in foreign custody were obtained without undue coercion.
(B) The Designated Civilian Official shall be an officer of the United States Government whose appointment to office was made by the President, by and with the advise and consent of the Senate.
(3) MODIFICATION OF PROCEDURES.--The President may modify the procedures and requirements set forth under paragraphs (1) and (2). Any modification of such procedures or requirements may not go into effect until 30 days after the date on which the President notifies the congressional defense committees of the modification.
(c) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) The term ``lawful enemy combatant'' means person engaging in war or other armed conflict against the United States or its allies on behalf of a state party to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, dated August 12, 1949, who meets the criteria of a prisoner of war under Article 4 of that Convention.
(2) The term ``unlawful enemy combatant'', with respect to noncitizens of the United States, means a person (other than a person described in paragraph (1)) engaging in war, other armed conflict, or hostile acts against the United States or its allies, regardless of location.
Mr. GRAHAM. Madam President, I thank Senator Stevens for allowing me to do this. I appreciate that we have a busy day.
I totally understand where he is coming from about the interrogation amendment. I come out on a different side. This amendment deals with the combat status review procedure at Guantanamo Bay. I think it is very necessary. I think it strengthens what the administration is trying to do when it comes to enemy combatants. I think it helps the administration in court and is good policy for the country.
No. 1, I totally agree with the President that a member of al-Qaida should not be given Geneva Conventions status. I say to my friend from Alaska that Senator McCain's amendment doesn't confer Geneva Conventions status on enemy combatants. It standardizes the interrogation techniques. The Army Field Manual has a section for lawful combatants, those covered under the Geneva Conventions, and it will have a provision for unlawful combatants. Al-Qaida should not be given Geneva Conventions status. The Geneva Conventions and the signatories to the convention set the rules for the conduct of war. An unlawful enemy combatant is someone who goes around the battlefield without a uniform, doesn't represent a nation--a terrorist, for lack of a better word. They do not deserve the protection of the Geneva Conventions because they are cheating. But they do, in my opinion, deserve what the President said--not so much because they deserve it but because it is about who we are.
The President said even enemy combatants--members of al-Qaida--will be treated humanely. When we capture somebody on the battlefield--throughout the world because the whole world is the battlefield in the war on terror--most of the people we are dealing with are not part of the uniformed force, not like the Iraqi Army.
The President said early on these people will be humanely treated but they will not be given Geneva Convention status. He is absolutely right. When we catch someone, say, in Afghanistan, who is a member of al-Qaida or some other terrorist network, certain people, once screened, go to Guantanamo Bay. The people at Guantanamo Bay have been participating in the allegations, or they have been participating in terrorist activities, supporting terrorist organizations as an unlawful enemy combatant. They are not uniformed soldiers.
We are reviewing everyone that comes to Guantanamo Bay to see if they deserve the status ``enemy combatant.'' The term ``enemy combatant'' came out of World War II when we had a Supreme Court case recognizing that term for German saboteurs who landed, I think, in Florida and were trying to do sabotage throughout the United States. These six or seven Germans were not in uniform. They were tried by a military commission.
We have a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that I totally support. And I think enemy combatant status was a result of that Supreme Court case. They were given that determination.
What we are trying to do is streamline interrogation techniques to deal with both lawful and unlawful combatants. That helps our troops, gives them guidance.
The second thing we are doing with my amendment is legitimizing, through congressional action, what the administration has done at Guantanamo Bay. The administration, in my opinion, has put together a very good, thorough process to look at each person that comes to Guantanamo Bay to determine whether or not they should be classified as enemy combatants because if they are classified as enemy combatants, they can be detained indefinitely and taken off the battlefield.
The due process rights afforded an enemy combatant have been up to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court, for the most part, has blessed the procedure. There have been some concerns expressed by the Court.
My amendment tries to, one, legitimize what the administration has created at Guantanamo Bay in terms of a review process to determine who is an enemy combatant and who is not. We made two small changes. We have learned in the past that sometimes people have been because of a single statement made, while in the hands of a foreign agency, a foreign country, that was given under duress. The amendment says that if a civilian is to determine enemy combatant status in a statement from a foreign interrogation, you have to prove that the statement was not unnecessarily coerced. Most Americans, I think, agree with that, and the people at Guantanamo Bay agree with that.
Second, the civilian who will determine from the appeal process whether or not the enemy combatant status, which is reviewed annually, should be held, would be appointed by the Senate as a Presidential appointment. Gordon England is doing it now, and he is a Presidential appointee. That continues the trend. I think it would be good to have the Senate involved.
What does this mean, very briefly? It means we can go to the world and say we have a procedure in place at Guantanamo Bay that will determine who an enemy combatant is and that these procedures are blessed by the courts, they are blessed by the Congress, and they are blessed by the administration. It would be good to be able to say, as a nation, that all three branches of Government--the executive branch, the judicial branch and the legislative branch--have all agreed on procedures to take enemy combatants off the battlefield and give those people who are suspected of being enemy combatants due process rights consistent with whom we are as a people and give enough flexibility to the military to make sure these people do not go back to the fight.
The truth is, several hundred have been captured and released. The process is working very well at Guantanamo Bay. I compliment the administration for setting up a combat status review process that has been changed a couple of times. It is eminently fair. This amendment blessed that process. It has two small changes. It would strengthen the process, and it would end this never-ending court debate about what to do.
The courts have been telling us, Congress, if you got involved, it would help us figure out what we should be doing. Justice Scalia, as Senator McCain indicated, screamed out, in a dissenting opinion granting habeas corpus rights to enemy combatants, that the courts are ill-equipped to run this war. Now, with this amendment, the Congress will bless what the administration has put in place, making small changes which will strengthen the administration's hands in the court. The courts will feel more comfortable ratifying this process, and we will be a united nation, a united front in all three branches of Government when it comes to dealing with enemy combatants.
It is very important that anyone who engages in unlawful enemy combatant activities against this Nation be taken off the battlefield and kept off the battlefield as long as necessary to make us safe. They deserve a certain amount of process because whom we are as a people and the process we are blessing gives them very adequate due process rights.
This amendment strengthens those rights. They deserve to be taken off the battlefield, and people engaging in unlawful enemy combatant activities should be taken off the battlefield as long as necessary to protect our country.
Second, they deserve to be prosecuted in some instances. There are three things we are trying to accomplish. We are trying to standardize interrogation techniques to protect our own troops and have a one-stop shopping for what the rules are. That is through Senator McCain's amendment. We are trying to keep the moral high ground, as expressed by the President, to say we are not torturing people, we are not going to treat people inhumanely because that weakens us. The bottom line, it is not the right way to get good information and weakens us. The more standardization the better.
When it comes time to keep people off the battlefield, with this amendment we are stronger as a nation because Congress will have blessed what the administration has done.
In that regard, I offer this amendment as a way to bring clarity to a situation that is very important in the war on terror. We need to keep enemy combatants, once they have been lawfully determined to be an enemy combatant, off the battlefield as long as it takes to secure this Nation. This amendment helps to do that.
I ask for the yeas and nays.
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My only question is--I know the Senator is an extremely good attorney--has the phrase ``unlawful enemy combatant'' been used in any other portion of our laws of the Geneva Conventions?
Mr. GRAHAM. Yes. It is in the Geneva Conventions. There is a section about unlawful enemy combatant, illegal enemy combatant.
The conventions are set up to confer status on signatories and to make sure that people who engage in unlawful activity are not covered. The people who wear civilian clothes that go in the population and engage in terrorist activity have never been covered under the convention. Under the convention, that is the definition they are giving.
The administration has used the term that has been legitimized by the courts for quite a while now in international law. In the review process at Guantanamo Bay,
they will take the person off the battlefield. They have to make a case whether they fit the definition of enemy combatant. Each year they can challenge the designation. What we are doing in this amendment is basically blessing that procedure, requiring two more things.
One, the idea that the Senate will confirm the person who will ultimately have the release authority or the appeal authority to enemy combatant status; and two, prohibit the use of a single statement to hold somebody as an enemy combatant who was in a foreign government's hands, unless we can show the statement was not a result of torture.
We have learned from our experience at Guantanamo Bay that would be a good change.
Mr. McCAIN. Will the Senator yield?
Mr. GRAHAM. Yes.
Mr. McCAIN. Does the Senator know how many detainees have been brought to trial in Guantanamo Bay?
Mr. GRAHAM. Of all the people we have detained--over 500--no one has been brought to trial yet. Two will be brought to trial in November.
One of the reasons that we cannot bring people to trial is because the Federal courts have issued a stay on prosecutions that has now been lifted. We are moving forward.
There is another Supreme Court case dealing with the due process rights of determining whether a person is an enemy combatant. The procedure is in place at Guantanamo Bay and has been generally blessed by the Court because they have been stayed on those proceedings, too.
Mr. McCAIN. If the Senator will yield, aren't there two different Court decisions now that are in direct contravention of each other as to the disposition of these cases?
Mr. GRAHAM. Yes there is.
Mr. McCAIN. Could the Senator describe those.
Mr. GRAHAM. There was a stay by Federal district judge, staying military commission trials. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals overrode the lower court. That has gone up to the Supreme Court right now. I am confident the Supreme Court will legitimize military commissions, maybe with some changes.
This amendment deals with detaining somebody who is not being prosecuted yet, who may be prosecuted, but keeping them off the battlefield because we have determined they are an unlawful enemy combatant. The review process to make that determination I feel very comfortable with. And there are some small changes in the amendment. The courts have told us this is an area where Congress needs to act. The courts have many cases, not just one, challenging the Guantanamo Bay procedures and determining unlawful enemy combatant. Justice Scalia said in the dissenting opinion, if this were an area where Congress spoke, the courts would welcome their involvement.
Mr. McCAIN. If the Senator will yield further for a question, I guess my fundamental question is, aren't things in one heck of a mess?
Mr. GRAHAM. The legal status of military commissions and the combat status review process are in legal limbo unnecessarily.
If you read these opinions, they are a hodgepodge of different dissenting and concurring opinions. The one common theme is the courts are suggesting to Congress we get involved.
When it comes to combat status review, I am totally convinced, after talking with now Chief Justice Roberts, this would be an area where the courts would welcome congressional involvement. He said to me in the hearings that the President or the executive branch is at its strongest when they have the implied or express support of the Congress.
So the purpose of this amendment, if I may say very briefly, is for Congress to legitimize what is going on at Guantanamo Bay about determining enemy combatant status, legitimizing that review process by making some changes. If we would do that, I am convinced the courts would welcome that involvement and a lot of this litigation would end overnight.
Mr. STEVENS. If the Senator will yield, has this matter been discussed in the Committee on Armed Services?
Mr. GRAHAM. I have discussed it with one of the cosponsors of the amendment, Senator Warner, yes. I have been to Guantanamo Bay with Senator Warner and others, where we have talked about this. Yes, sir, I am very sure that the chairman knows about this because he is a cosponsor of the amendment.
Mr. STEVENS. I say to the Senator, that is another question. We were prepared to accept the amendment because--I don't claim expertise in this area; it is not within our jurisdiction. It is legislation on an appropriations bill, but I don't intend to raise an objection to it.
Has this been discussed, on a bipartisan basis, in the committee?
Mr. GRAHAM. I was under the assumption the amendment was going to be accepted, as you were, and now I have been told there are some concerns from the minority on the committee. I have talked extensively about these series of amendments. They all work in conjunction with each other. Senator McCain's amendment standardized interrogation techniques and what we as a people want to live by--we do not want to torture people.
We are not going to torture people.
My amendment standardizes and makes small changes to the determination of who is an enemy combatant and who is not, because you keep people at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely under this procedure. It needs to be blessed by Congress. The third thing we do, later on, is deal with military commissions, actually how you try these people.
So I was under the understanding, I say to the Senator, that not only was Senator Warner a cosponsor of these two amendments, but that everybody was on board. The point here is to give the courts some guidance to bring about legal certainty where there is a legal mass, as Senator McCain indicated. So I don't know why anybody is objecting.