Prague Twin

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Geneva Convention

I have written a couple of times on my opposition to Guantanamo Bay's existance. In Feburary, I called for it's closing but I left myself a caveat. Since this is a war (a word the president chose to use), prisoners from said war should be afforded some Geneva Convention rights. I reitterated my calls in May when it looked like the president was softening (here and here).

So I'm feeling pretty good about today's bombshell announcemnt by the Bush Administration.

---Washington Post reporting

The Bush administration, in an apparent policy reversal sparked by a recent Supreme Court ruling, said today it will extend the guarantees of humane treatment specified by the Geneva Conventions to detainees in the war-on-terror.

In a memo released by the Pentagon this morning, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, citing the Supreme Court's decision, ordered all Pentagon personnel to "adhere to these standards" and to "promptly review" all policies and practices "to ensure that they comply with the standards" of the Geneva Convention's Common Article 3.

If the policy is changed,Bush will have complied with the Hamdan decision, and this is a good move on his part. He will have avoided a constitutional crisis. It will now be up to Congress to authorize a tribunal. It doesn't have to be a U.S. civilian court: not hardly. But the kangaroo court that the administration had in mind where the review board is three guys picked by Donald Rumsfeld, well that just isn't going to fly.

What will change at Guantanamo Bay? I'm guessing that guys who have been getting a full work week of stress positions and psychological torture for the last 5 years are going to get a bit of a break. It will be easy to make the changes on an institutional level because many of the orders that soldiers have for applying these tactics have footnotes that read, "may not comply with Geneva Conventions." Just get rid of those and you are good to go!

All anyone wants is that people are not tortured in our name. We want the United States to have a higher standard than average because we find the average unacceptable. We want to believe everything they told us in High School is true.

It will be interesting to see what the plan will actually have in it. Will the Red Cross be let in? If not, then this is just a sham. So many thoughts on this right now. What is Rove thinking? It seems like the President is rolling over. What is the bigger plan? Is this just posturing? Will they continue to say they are "working on it?" They can't do that for ever.

If they thought the pressure was on before, now the heat will really get turned up. I imagine the Red Cross will redouble their efforts to gain access to the prisoners.


  • Sounds like throwing out a few grains of birdseed to Europe.
    They aren't so cocky about villifying the 'old' cutures anymore.
    Funny things happen when you start running out of friends.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 10:42 PM  

  • My guess: Congress will pass a law agreeing with the Supreme Court's decision. Then Bush will issue one of his famous "signing statements" while he's signing the law, and we'll be right back at square one.

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 10:41 AM  

  • Does this mean the RNC won't be using the Hamdan decision as part of their "Election '06" campaign theme? They said they were going to force through Congress laws that would put Dems on notice - either you're "strong" in the war on terror or your "for the terrorists" (i.e., want to provide them "special rights".) Now if they're admitting that detainees deserve to be treated under the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, doesn't that give Rove and the RNC one less '06 wedge issue?

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 11:31 AM  

  • I really think that Bush is rolling over in a bit of a show. Either,one,he is trying to soften going into the mid-term elections: putting on a happy face. Or, two, he is making a show about how the supremem court is tying his hands.

    Cartlege's comment about the bird seed is probably pretty accurate and relates to number one.

    Tom nails it by suggesting that little will actually change.

    Hamdan will get rolled out in '08 when the Republicans will scare people into thinking liberal justices are soft on terror: better vote republican unless you want bin laden on the court!!!

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:49 PM  

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