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Profile: Edward Kennedy

 
  

Positions that Edward Kennedy has held:

  • US Senator, Democrat


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, September 15, 2003

   “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” [Washington Post, 9/16/03]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Edward Kennedy actively participated in the following events:

 
  

October 2003      Treatment of US troops

       Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee claims that the Army has ordered as many “up-armored” vehicles as its contractors can produce, but says that they will not be ready until mid-2005. But Brian T. Hart, whose 20 year old son was killed in a soft-skinned Humvee (see October 2003), investigates the secretary's claim and learns that the armor manufacturers are not at full production. He takes this information to Senator Edward M. Kennedy who then helps him pressure the Army to speed up production and move the date that they will be available up to January. [Boston Globe, 3/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Edward Kennedy
          

June 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Critics in the Senate argue that the Bush administration created an atmosphere of legal permissiveness that led to the abusive treatment of detainees. Senator Edward Kennedy says he believes that the April 2003 Pentagon memo laid the foundations for abuse. “We know when we have these kinds of orders what happens,” he says, “we get the stress test, we get the use of dogs, we get the forced nakedness that we've all seen and we get the hooding.” [The Guardian, 6/9/2004] Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democrat member of the Senate subcommittee on foreign operations, says, the “cruel and degrading treatment” in Afghanistan “were part of a wider pattern stemming from a White House attitude that ‘anything goes’ in the war against terrorism, even if it crosses the line of illegality.” [The Guardian, 6/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Edward Kennedy, Bush administration, Patrick Leahy
          

January 6, 2005      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Alberto R. Gonzales tells the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings that there had been some discussion within the administration about trying to rewrite the Geneva Conventions. “We are fighting a new type of enemy and a new type of war,” he says. “Geneva was ratified in 1949 ... and I think it is appropriate to revisit whether or not Geneva should be revisited. Now I'm not suggesting that the principles of Geneva regarding basic treatment—basic decent treatment of human beings—should be revisited .... That should always be the basis on which we look at this. But I am aware there's been some very preliminary discussion as to whether or not—is this something that we ought to look at.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/7/2005] During the hearing, Gonzales is grilled on his involvement in the administration's decision to allow aggressive interrogations of terrorism detainees. Critics believe the interrogation policy developed by Gonzales and his colleagues created the conditions that allowed abuses, such as those at Abu Ghraib, to occur. Senator Edward Kennedy tells Gonzales: “It appears that legal positions that you have supported have been used by the administration, the military, and the CIA to justify torture and Geneva Convention violations by military and civilian personnel.” [Associated Press, 1/6/2006] Retired Adm. John Hutson, a former Navy judge advocate general (JAG) who testifies as a witness at the hearing, says, “I believe that the prisoners' abuses that we've seen ... found their genesis in the decision to get cute with the Geneva convention.” [Reuters, 1/7/2005] At certain points during the hearing, Gonzales demonstrates an apparent lack of understanding about US and international law. When he is asked if he thinks other world leaders can legitimately torture US citizens, he answers, “I don't know what laws other world leaders would be bound by.” On another occasion he is asked whether “US personnel [can] legally engage in torture under any circumstances,” to which he answers, “I don't believe so, but I'd want to get back to you on that.” He also asked whether he agrees with John Ashcroft's judgment that torture should not be used because it produces nothing of value. Gonzales responds: “I don't have a way of reaching a conclusion on that.” [Washington Post (Editorial), 1/7/2005]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, Alberto R. Gonzales, John D. Hutson, Edward Kennedy
          

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