Friday, September 15, 2006

Tortured Logic

George W. Bush has surprised me on many occasions. Just when I think he can't surprise me anymore, he finds a new angle. This time, he's trying to re-interpret the Geneva Convention, so we can provide our intel contractors the legal cover they need to get the job done. I don't know, but if I were setting policy on this matter, I think I would defer to those who had actually served in combat. Seems like they'd have the best understanding of anyone on whether the GC needs clarification.

Interestingly, DailyKos suspects that McCain, Graham, and Powell are merely meant to make a good show of protesting against such a ludicrous review of GC, in order to preserve the amicable ambiguity enjoyed by today's american waterboarding team. "This status quo has allowed for all sorts of dubious interrogatory practices. This is done via a phony reworking of the definition of [torture], so that it relies on the U.S. Constitution, rather than the stronger language in international treaties."

In this context, Marty Lederman waves a blood-red flag with his claim that "the McCain Amendment is even vaguer and more indeterminate than [Geneva Convention] Common Article 3, it appears that there's really no other reason for the Administration to seek to fall back on McCain other than to circumvent the categorical prohibitions in CA3 section 1(a) on 'cruel treatment and torture'."

Seems like maybe the Bush team has learned about nuance. This possible fake-fight might be a republican "adapt-and-win" tactic evolving from the public failure of heir blunt frontal assault on GC led by Gonzales:
"As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war. The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians." Gonzales concluded in stark terms: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."
Even if Bush is merely trying to do the best for our security, and even if McCain et al are unwitting tools in this little drama, I still can't get past the fact that America is even taking the issue of TORTURE up in debate!