Comments: The Things To Read

As Google will tell you with stunning alacrity, it was Time Magazine (gag me with a spoon) that named Power Line blog of the year. See

Posted by Frederick at April 10, 2005 12:22 PM

Thanks for the info, Frederick. :)

To tell the truth, if I'd really thought about it, I'd have Googled it myself. I wasn't honestly that interested in the whole thing until about the fifth time I ran across a scornful reference to the "award" on a blog during my daily reading.

I am...underwhelmed by Time magazine's history of awards.

Posted by Anne at April 12, 2005 03:20 PM

It would be really nice if those folks writing these articles actually READ the document instead of skimming to cherry pick a line to support their predetermined position.

The article states

The guidelines also specify that humane treatment of all detainees can be limited by “military necessity,” a position that is both contrary to international and domestic law and opens the door to mistreatment and even torture of detainees.

The actual document (page I4, lines 1-18) states

the inhumane treatment of detainees is prohibited by international law and DOD policy. There is NO (my emphasis) military necessity exception to this humane treatment mandate. Accordingly, neither the stress of combat operations, the need for actionable information, nor the provocations by captured/detained personnel justify deviation form this obligation. Acts and/or omissions that constitute inhumane treatment must be immediately reported and investigated by appropriate authorities IAW DOD policy.

“Instead of correcting current violations of the Geneva Conventions, these guidelines would shred the conventions further,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The policies set out in this document could even require personnel to commit war crimes.”

No, what this document reflects is a gap in the previous set of Geneva convention treaties that apply to international armed conflict. Groups like AQ have "declared war" on the US and other nations, yet are not signatories of the GC nor claim any responsibilities or need to abide by it.

I have little doubt the folks at HRW believe the idea that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Yet, they seem pretty comfortable with the notion that because there are terrorist groups that don't explicitly target the US, the US shouldn't take action against terrorists if we happen to catch them. Glad state and local law enforcement doesn't operate that way.

If they think this new category is a problem, go pound on the door of Kofi Annan and the UN and demand another round of GC talks to deal with members of groups like Islamic Jihad or AQ. I'm sure they'll find lots of people supportive of the position implied by the article.

Or better yet..about going on Al-Jazerra or other media with the same passion and energies everytime one of the captives taken by AQ, Abu-Sayef, FARC, etc. is found tortured and mutilated? They seem content to take on the big nation states, but silent on terrorist groups. (A search on their website doesn't seem to show much after 2002).

I appreciate the roles that external watchdog organizations can play in keeping pressure on government agencies to live up to their legal and moral responsibilities. But selective (and often biased) targeting after a point becomes rather unproductive.

I won't hold my breath for PETA to target bikers wearing leather as opposed to mainly woman wearing fur though either.

Posted by Col Steve at April 14, 2005 10:16 AM