WASHINGTON - The Senate on Thursday endorsed
President Bush's plans to prosecute and interrogate terror suspects, all but sealing congressional approval for legislation that Republicans intend to use on the campaign trail to assert their toughness on terrorism.
The 65-34 vote means the bill could reach the president's desk by week's end. The House passed nearly identical legislation on Wednesday and was expected to approve the Senate bill on Friday, sending it on to the White House.
The bill would create military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects. It also would prohibit some of the worst abuses of detainees like mutilation and rape, but grant the president leeway to decide which other interrogation techniques are permissible.
It leaves the status quo essentially in place, while satisfying the Supreme Court and taking an issue ("illegal courts! torture!") away from the Democrats, just in time for the election. Good stuff.
Pity some "maverick" Republicans can't stop grandstanding as shamelessly as the worst of the Democrats, 24/7, in love with their own pomposity and buffoonery.