• Alright, so reading the WaPo article about the fear that American troops and officials could be charged for detainee abuse
leads me to one conclusion. We do, in fact, abuse detainees (or, at least, used to).
An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.
In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that the international Conventions apply to the treatment of detainees in the terrorism fight, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need for such "protections," according to someone who heard his remarks last week.
If we were talking about some random rogue troops abusing their detainees, this wouldn’t be an issue for the administration.
• Peter Beinart’s column
is the dumbest thing that I’ve read -- ever.
After years of struggling to define their own approach to post-Sept. 11 foreign policy, Democrats seem finally to have hit on one. It's called pandering. In those rare cases when George W. Bush shows genuine sensitivity to America's allies and propounds a broader, more enlightened view of the national interest, Democrats will make him pay. It's jingoism with a liberal face.
The latest example came this week when Democratic senators and House members demanded that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki either retract his criticisms of Israel or forfeit his chance to address Congress. Great idea. Maliki -- who runs a government propped up by U.S. troops -- is desperate to show Iraqis that he is not Washington's puppet. And the United States desperately needs him to succeed because, unless he gains political credibility at home, his government will have no hope of surviving on its own.
Yes, yes, I know about his book and I know that he creates these weird myths in order to prop up his thesis, but still, this doesn’t even make sense. The overall tone of the piece is that anytime Democrats take a hard stance on security, they are simply pandering to someone, somewhere. I don’t believe this for a second… really.
Also, I don’t believe that the Democrats’ demands of al-Maliki (102 nerd points for actually using jingoism
in a sentence) was an overall pandering to Jews. I believe it was pandering to most American citizens… which really isn’t pandering, but doing your job. This entire country feels aligned with Israel, 110 percent (except for us random smart people), so the demands make perfect sense from a political standpoint. Besides, Democrats have always
defended Israel much more than Republicans. This is nothing new.
• The WaPo got their hands on a draft being circulated
about prosecuting detainees.
Basically, it gives no safeguards to detainees (the very ones that our founding father knew we needed, in order to safeguard us from government abuse) and allows the people prosecuting them to do whatever they want, including not even allowing them to see any evidence that convicts them. So, yes, theoretically we could throw them all in jail for absolutely no reason… and no one would ever be the wiser.
Hopefully Congress isn’t dumb enough to go down this road, again.
Tags: Detainee Abuse•War On Terror•American Troops Charged•Israel•Iraq•War•Democrats