Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some Things Are Just Too Dirty and Sticky for Teflon ... or ... The Formica Report

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:51 PM Permalink

Pentagon Resists Ban on "Degrading Treatment"

The Pentagon is pushing to omit from new detainee policies a central principle of the Geneva Conventions that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment". Critics say such a step that would mark a further shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
The Formica report reviewed only three allegations of abuse by special operations forces, but found that Iraqi detainees were held for up to seven days at a time with their eyes taped shut in tiny box-like cells so small that they had to sit with their knees to their chests while loud music blared, and detainees were fed only bread and water for up to a week.
Formica concluded that overall conditions "did not comport with the spirit of the principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions", but dismissed allegations that prisoners were physically abused or humiliated.
Neither report recommended punishment of any military personnel.
Late last year, the U.S. Congress passed an anti-torture amendment championed by Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who was held and tortured in a North Vietnamese prison for years. McCain, along South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham -- a former military judge -- pressed Congress to establish the Army Field Manual as the standard for treatment of all detainees.

The Bush administration initially opposed the amendment, but the measure passed and became law. However, in signing the law, Bush appended a statement saying, in effect, that he had the authority to override it under a variety of circumstances involving military necessity and national security.
Where does one start? Well, I'll start with the idealistic:
Why would our government resist a ban on behavior that violates the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
The pragmatic:
The Formica Report dealt with three cases that proved that we held people in inhumane conditions ... what about the cases they didn't 'deal with'? Which include death, torture and humiliation.
The outrage:
They freakin' found that these abuses occurred and yet they recommended no one be prosecuted!?
The loophole:
Congress passed the McCain's (R- hypocrite) amendment, which according to the article, says the Army Field Manual is the standard for treatment of all detainees. So Bush changes the manual.
The uber loophole:
When Bush signed the law he also signed a statement that he didn't have to abide by it. (more about 'signing statements' later.)
The end zone:
We have a cruel and unusual provision in our Constitution. That means every citizen of this country is bound by that clause. The misAdministration approved practices at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo that violate the US Constitution. And Bush swore to uphold the Constitution.


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