2006.07.07: July 7, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Somalia: Politics: Congress: Iraq: Terrorism: Jurisprudence: Oshkosh Northwestern: Petri says Guantanamo Bay prisoners entitled to 'face accusers'

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Somalia: Special Report: Tom Petri: Tom Petri: Newest Stories: 2006.07.07: July 7, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Somalia: Politics: Congress: Iraq: Terrorism: Jurisprudence: Oshkosh Northwestern: Petri says Guantanamo Bay prisoners entitled to 'face accusers'

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-111-210.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 2:52 pm: Edit Post

Petri says Guantanamo Bay prisoners entitled to 'face accusers'

Petri says Guantanamo Bay prisoners entitled to 'face accusers'

Petri, who is launching another reelection bid, said the United States needs "a framework for processing people and giving them their day in court." Congressman Tom Petri of Wisconsin served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Somalia in the 1960's.

Petri says Guantanamo Bay prisoners entitled to 'face accusers'

Petri: Gitmo prisoners entitled to 'face accusers'

By Alex Hummel
of The Northwestern

U.S. Rep Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, said he isn't as troubled by controversial anti-terrorist phone and bank record tracking programs under the Bush administration as he is by the legal limbo of war-on-terror detainees at the United States' Guantanamo Bay prison.

During an interview Thursday at the Oshkosh Northwestern, Petri, who is launching another reelection bid, said the United States needs "a framework for processing people and giving them their day in court."

"I think the Supreme Court, when it finally worked its way up there, said the same thing," Petri said, referring to the recent court decision rejecting the Bush administration's call for special tribunals for prisoners taken in the war on terrorism.

"Yes, this is a different kind of threat, and these people are not technically, maybe, under the Geneva conventions and so on," Petri said. "That's an agreement between countries having to deal with uniformed serviceman. These people aren't wearing uniforms, but they are people and they are entitled to have some kind of opportunity to face their accusers and clear themselves."

The 66-year-old Congressman, first elected in 1979, is likely to face Beaver Dam business man and Democrat John Curry in the fall election. Petri filed nomination papers with the State Elections Board Wednesday. Curry, who has not yet filed, has until Tuesday to file papers if he is to appear on the ballot, according to elections board records.

Petri said he has yet to meet his challenger. Rhetoric is scant and advertising nil, but Petri enters the election cycle with another hearty war chest, having $970,409 on hand as of March 31, according to opensecrets.org, a searchable Internet databases of federal campaign finance records.

Opensecrets.org had no financing records from Curry.

"I think we raised relatively less than many of the other candidates in both parties in Wisconsin," Petri said.

In contrast to his outspokenness on Guantanamo detainees, Petri is less critical of national phone and banking data searches which have fired up a debate over whether government is improperly peering into private records, finances and communications.

Petri wouldn't go as far as giving the Bush Administration a grade on the programs' effectiveness or appropriateness.

"I think they are very aggressive," he said. "They're probably doing more than any administration has, certainly since World War II when Franklin Roosevelt was busy interring people and doing all kinds of things. That was quite aggressive, too. And probably Lincoln during the Civil War -- that was probably the most aggressive because it was the most-dire situation. I don't know how you would give any of them grades either. In some ways you're appalled about some of the things that, in retrospect and in calmer times, are perceived to be excesses."

Petri said he has thought about retirement from Congress. But he offered no target date or term limit.

"I think it's sort of a question of if you're effective," he said. " It's sort of a two-edged sword. There is some advantage in knowing something and having some experience, on the other hand, sometimes a fresh look reveals things. I think there are a number of projects I'm working on I can be effective in the area, in transportation and education particularly. I feel I shouldn't just abandon them in midstream."

Petri said he won't take the campaign for granted.

"I figure I'm going to apply for the job and try to make my case," he said. "I think I've been effective."

Alex Hummel: (920) 426-6669 or ahummel@thenorthwestern.com.

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Story Source: Oshkosh Northwestern

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Somalia; Politics; Congress; Iraq; Terrorism; Jurisprudence


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