Saturday, September 16, 2006

On Flawed Logic

When Colin Powell questioned Bush 43's attempt to "re-interpret" Article 3 of the Geneva conventions, our "fearmongering" leader accused the vastly more experienced Powell, as well as Senators McCain, Warner and Hagel of "flawed logic". No, sir, "Flawed Logic" is expecting accurate information from people who've been tortured. Any information you're likely to get is useless. They'll say anything in order to stop the torment. We know the it's not "legal clarity" you're after, Mr. President. It's not because Geneva Conventions Article 3 is vaque. Perhaps you did not read it carefully. Following the phrase "Outrages upon personal dignity" that you sited, it specifies, "in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;" For example, being stripped naked, photographed hooded with women's underwear, and especially being told that the blood being smeared on you is menstrual blood, would be considered "humiliating and degrading treatment". That "vague" article also says"...Prohibited: ... violence to life and person... mutilation, cruel treatment and torture..." This is where scalpel cuts, forced hypothermia, prolonged solitary confinement, unmuzzled dogs and waterboarding fall. Taking hostages is also prohibited. I don't know if extraordinary rendition qualifies. Governments who've had people taken from their streets by the CIA have charged the US with kidnapping, but that may legally differ with "taking hostages". Article 3, section 1 concludes by saying enemy combatants (even terror suspects) must be afforded "...all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indespensable by civilized peoples." This would include access to counsel, speedy public trial, ability to see evidence presented, etc.

The truth is much more personal. It's not the "professionals" your protecting from charges of war crimes it's YOU and your co-conspirators, RUMSFELD, CHENEY, RICE, et al. You want congress and the courts to give you an international Get-out-of-jail-free card. Five years into the "War on Terror" you tell us time is running out? People have been held without charge in Gitmo for years, denied even the right to die, but as election day approaches and a congressional investigation appears imminent, NOW, time is running out. We'll, you're right about that, sir. Your last best hope to avoid accountability lies in those rubber-stamp Republicans whose days are numbered. You're desperately betting they'll declare that the torture you and your cronies ordered wasn't really torture; that the crimes you committed weren't crimes. I take that bet. I'll bet there are just enough politicians who are still Americans first, Republicans second. I have to believe that. I have to believe that the US Constitution, celebrating its 219th anniversay this Tuesday, will not be sacrificed and ultimately, WE THE PEOPLE will prevail.

P.S. Profuse gratitude to Keith Olbermann for find the words and courage to call Bush on his politicization of 9/11 beginniing in 2001.

Bush's Press Conference is available from the Newshour website There are other outrages in Bush's most belligerant press conference since the last election.

Keith Olbermann Well said, sir. Thanks from a grateful nation.

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