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January 19, 2005
Read During Lunch

Jennifer Van Bergen's discussion in this article:

[...] preliminary draft of a soon-to-be published scholarly legal article written by a former military officer who currently presides in a U.S. federal court concludes that the Abu Ghraib prison abuses were the reasonably foreseeable results of a decision by President Bush to ignore the mandates of the Geneva Conventions relating to prisoners of war.

Interesting paragraph:

The United States signed and ratified the Geneva Conventions in 1956. In 1996, Congress passed the War Crimes Act, criminalizing breaches of the Conventions. A "grave breach" of Geneva is a federal crime, punishable by imprisonment "for life or any term of years," and Geneva explicitly states that no nation "bound by the Convention can offer any valid pretext, legal or other, for not respecting the Convention in all its parts."

Let's get this straight. The Bush Administration claims they're waging "war" on "terrorists" but when they take "prisoners" in that "war" they're different kinds of prisoners, not Geneva Conventions prisoners, so...if they storm someone's house at night, arrest him, and haul him to prison, they have no responsibility to prove the guy ever did anything wrong or to refrain from torturing and humiliating him?

There's a name for that, you know.

And let's not forget that the CIA is reportedly exempt from the Geneva Conventions anyhow.

Or that civilian companies implicated in torture are being severely punished...with juicy new Pentagon contracts.

(While I was at Counterpunch, I glanced through Alexander Cockburn's short article, We Aren't Dealing With Rationality on the subject of the Bush Administration and Iraq.)

Recapping: The national media? Is an embarrassing, conservative mess.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:54 PM


Wow, that's an excellent point. I had been wondering about that as well... It's a war, but the prisoners in the war aren't prisoners of war. Odd, that. Also, one other thing that rather bothers me about the whole line of reasoning is the idea that because they aren't prisoners of war, we can do whatever the heck we want to with them.

Know this is a redundant comment to your post, but I still shake my head in shame whenever I am reminded of this point.

Posted by: Hal at January 19, 2005 04:00 PM