"Senate panel defies Bush on terror" (AP)
WASHINGTON - A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of the election season.
Republican Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.
In an embarrassment to the White House, Colin Powell — Bush's first secretary of state — announced his opposition to his old boss' plan, saying it would hurt the country. Powell's successor, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, jumped to the president's defense in a letter of her own.
All this played out after Bush started his day by journeying to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation — and by issuing a threat to the maverick Republicans.
"I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity," Bush said at the White House.
The president's measure would go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terror trials, using coerced testimony and protecting CIA and other U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that may violate the Geneva Conventions.
"The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," Powell, a retired general who is also a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his letter...
In other news, there may be something to this "climate change" thingie after all; Americans seem to be a tad overfocused on the sexual act they call "blowjob;" Britney Spears is looking a bit past her prime; and Soylent Green is probably not something you want for din-din even if it IS the next Iron Chef battle ingredient.