Monday, June 05, 2006

So if you don't tell the troops it's a war crime ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:36 PM Permalink

... who do you hold responsible for the war crimes they commit?
Army Manual to Skip Geneva Detainee Rule

The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
For more than a year, the Pentagon has been redrawing its policies on detainees, and intends to issue a new Army Field Manual on interrogation, which, along with accompanying directives, represents core instructions to U.S. soldiers worldwide.
The directive on interrogation, a senior defense official said, is being rewritten to create safeguards so that all detainees are treated humanely but can still be questioned effectively.
For decades, it had been the official policy of the U.S. military to follow the minimum standards for treating all detainees as laid out in the Geneva Convention. But, in 2002, Bush suspended portions of the Geneva Convention for captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Bush's order superseded military policy at the time, touching off a wide debate over U.S. obligations under the Geneva accord, a debate that intensified after reports of detainee abuses at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
The move to restore U.S. adherence to Article 3 was opposed by officials from Vice President Dick Cheney's office and by the Pentagon's intelligence arm, government sources said. David S. Addington, Cheney's chief of staff, and Stephen A. Cambone, Defense undersecretary for intelligence, said it would restrict the United States' ability to question detainees.
The military has long applied Article 3 to conflicts — including civil wars — using it as a minimum standard of conduct, even during peacekeeping operations. The old version of the U.S. directive on detainees says the military will "comply with the principles, spirit and intent" of the Geneva Convention.

But top Pentagon officials now believe common Article 3 creates an "unintentional sanctuary" that could allow Al Qaeda members to keep information from interrogators.
Gee, what a conundrum; if you don't torture them, they won't tell you what you want to hear. If you do torture them they'll tell you anything you want to hear.
Common Article 3 was originally written to cover civil wars, when one side of the conflict was not a state and therefore could not have signed the Geneva Convention.
But top administration officials contend that after the Sept. 11 attacks, old customs do not apply, especially to a fight against terrorists or insurgents who never play by the rules.[...]

Yes, everything changed after 9/11 ... we are no longer a nation of laws, we torture people, we hold them indefinitely without charges, we murder innocent civilians in a country that we attacked 'preemptively,' a country that had no connection to 9/11, no WMDs and no ability to attack us. We have our government tracking all our calls and email messages, we have chain link free speech zones and we have the military performing internal law enforcement.

Everything changed after 9/11.


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