Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Armitage: I Don't Remember What I Said, But Novak Is Wrong | Main | I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good »

September 14, 2006

Comments

Patton

The point isn't whether the US follows the Geneva convention, the point is that what does the US do when the enemy doesn't follow the convention.

Al Queda hijacked civilian airliners and flew them into civilian skycrapers in an attempt to kill 40,000 civilians. This is the group MCCain and the left want us to respect by conveying upon them the civilized rules of warfare.

So any future potential enemy would conceivably have to do more then fly airliners into skycrapers to get MCCain and the left to treat them as being outside of the civilized rules of war.

Patrick R. Sullivan

James Lileks was on Hewitt after Lyndsey Graham, and he had about the same take on him as I did; 'WTF?'

lurker

They must be hoping that they would reconsider how they treat us after we treat them based on civilized rules of warfare.

Just like the Abu Ghraib prisoners screaming at the US soldiers as they hand over the keys to the Iraqi government.

Don't forget how the Gitmos treat the US Guards in spite of how they were treated and given better medical care than most of the Americans, given food, bed, and roof above them.

lurker

Patrick, either I wait for the transcripts or can you give us a summary of what Lindsay Graham said to Hewitt?

Terrye

Kevin:

The whole point that Bush is making when he says he wants no "ambiguity" here is that he wants the Congress to make it plain what the rules are so that we do not have people like Andrew Sullivan deciding what is and is not torture.

The Pentagon already has standards and the House was willing to go with Bush's plan but the Senate is another matter.

The people arguing this are concerned that we will fail to get the international help we need if we don't pass something like this. I was listening to these people and they really seem to be convinced that we will pay for decades to come if we do not act to place ourselves on some high moral ground here.

I don't think that anything the Senate comes up with will really change how people feel about America, they will either cooperate with the war on Terror or they won't. I doubt that passing some law like this will have the kind of effect on potential allies they claim it will.

I just think they should give Bush what he wants here, he is the president and he has to be responsible for protecting the country.

Rick Ballard

The way to flush the flimflammers is for Giuliani to take a stand. McGraham would then go into full triangulation and screw themselves right into the ground.

They will anyway, but Giuliani could speed the process up considerably.

BTW - "Elect me 'cause I can find the middle." is not an indication of principle. Except maybe to those old enough to remember Groucho Marx's line of "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

lurker

Terrye, it seems to me that Bush has a clearer understanding of who is a terrorist and who is not than the likes of McCain and Lindsay Graham.

As to whether they were concerned about the future, then it's up to all of us to vote for the right person to represent us as US presidents.

We are very lucky to have Bush in the office and many democrats miss the opportunity for being grateful for having the right person in the Oval Office.

These 4 senators need to capitulate on this bill and allow it to be passed. Looks like there's enough people to express their anger towards these 4 senators.

lurker

Patrick, Hugh Hewitt just posted a summary of his interview with Graham. Sure wished he could get McCain online with him.

Senator Graham: William Haynes Will Get Mt Vote to Get Out of Committee and Get to the Floor

Hugh Hewitt was NOT impressed.

Semanticleo

This pretty much sums up the damage the idiots who enable and support the mega-idiots of this
intransigent Administration have done to the WWWoT. Just in case anyone here hasn't noticed what is at stake in the battle for hearts and minds; ours and theirs.

"Powell: "The World Is Beginning To Doubt The Moral Basis Of Our Fight Against Terrorism"...

Associated Press | LAURIE KELLMAN |

Pofarmer

It seems to me that Graham et al. are just looking for a good sound bite to campaign on. Unfortunately, I think it makes us look like fluffy bunnies to our enemies, current and future. I doubt that Iran or Syria are tying themselves in knots worrying about how they will treat American POW's.

lurker

Geesch, Graham has issues with Haynes.

And why delay Peter Keisler just one more week????

PeterUK

"Does the donning of another country's uniforms qualify someone like Hizbollah under the Geneva Treaty?"

A good case would be the treatment of the Germans found wearing American uniforms during the "Battle of the Bulge" in the Ardennes.

Syl

The people arguing this are concerned that we will fail to get the international help we need if we don't pass something like this. I was listening to these people and they really seem to be convinced that we will pay for decades to come if we do not act to place ourselves on some high moral ground here.

This goes along with the fear they have that if we clarify the ambiguous wording we, in effect, have pulled out of the treaty.

You know what?

The international community does not want what it says it wants. America is their ONLY hope. They know they're boxed in a corner with their own PC think and none of them will back down.

"America, you must decide to take the moral highground!" ::wink::wink::nudge::nudge::

Then they can blame it on Bush and smugly be satisfied that the West will survive afterall and it's all Bush's fault.

::sigh of relief::

Connor

The uniformed military leaders do not want to abandon Geneva or to undermine it. The Senators closest to the military agree with them.

In a time of war, maybe we should consider supporting our officer corps. Or we could continue to listen to the civilians at the Pentagon, the experts at the think tanks, and the TV and radio commentators who talk toughs but are not actually tasked with waging the war, not responsible for dozens or hundreds or thousands of men and women on the ground.

This isn't a left-wing or Dem position - it is the direction that the uniformed military supports, for reasons having nothing to do with politics or the upcoming elections.

We criticize Dems for "not supporting our troops". The same argument applies here.

lurker

"You know, I'll vote my conscious, and let the body as a whole take him up. And if he gets fifty votes, fine."

Give me a break, Graham!

ali-cleown, Powell is absolutely wrong.

Syl

SemanticLeo

WTF has sleep depradation to do with the moral highground?!?!?

WTF has tribunals got to do with the moral highground?!?!?

Do you really believe sharia law holds a candle to us?

Terrye

Syl:

The international community does not even want to live up to its own responsibilities, not in NATO, not in the UN.

Terrye

Pofarmer:

I don't think so, I think they really believe what they are saying. I do not think this is just about a campaign.

Sue

I would like Powell to define what he means by this:

“Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk,” Mr. Powell said in his letter to Mr. McCain. Critics of the Bush administration approach have argued that, if the United States is seen to be mistreating captives, Americans who are taken prisoner could be subjected to cruelty.

Americans taken prisoner could be subjected to cruelty? As opposed to having their heads chopped off? Their genitals cut off? Their eyes gouged out? Their bodies burned and dragged? Just what further cruelty would be subjecting them to?

Sue

Sorry, I missed a tag...

I would like Powell to define what he means by this:

“Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk,” Mr. Powell said in his letter to Mr. McCain. Critics of the Bush administration approach have argued that, if the United States is seen to be mistreating captives, Americans who are taken prisoner could be subjected to cruelty.
Americans taken prisoner could be subjected to cruelty? As opposed to having their heads chopped off? Their genitals cut off? Their eyes gouged out? Their bodies burned and dragged? Just what further cruelty would be subjecting them to?
Mackenzie

Graham, McCain and Warner (and Collins who is said to suppot them) are not running for re-election this year. And their positions are likely unpopular with most of their Republican electorate. So it is difficult to see how they could be playing politics. Maybe we just don't recognize or appreciate when someone takes a principled stand, whether or not we personally agree with them.

Pofarmer

NATO can't keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan? Can't add 2500 more? What a joke. The UN?

lurker

Sue, and all this before Congress is...errr...forced to address the military tribunal issue by the SCOTUS ruling!!

Terrye

Syl:

I don't think any of those things are true, it should go without saying that the United States has the high moral ground.

But some people see the polls showing high levels of antiAmericanism and they see the flag burning demonstrations and they seem to believe that we can fix that. I just don't think it works like that.

Syl

Connor

it is the direction that the uniformed military supports

This is a political statement, it has little to do with reality. Graham and McCain do not represent the military. They are senators who represent themselves.

The use of vague terminology does not help your case.

maryrose

Rick:
Love the Groucho Marx reference. Hello I must be going...

lurker

mackenzie,

"Graham, McCain and Warner (and Collins who is said to suppot them) are not running for re-election this year. And their positions are likely unpopular with most of their Republican electorate. So it is difficult to see how they could be playing politics. Maybe we just don't recognize or appreciate when someone takes a principled stand, whether or not we personally agree with them."

Then they need to better represent the people, especially the conservatives.

A McCain vote against this bill just adds one more nail to his '08 campaign. He will not get my vote in '08.

Cecil Turner

The uniformed military leaders do not want to abandon Geneva or to undermine it. The Senators closest to the military agree with them.

Unless you have some data to back this one up, I'm not buying it. Denying POW rights to Al Qaeda types does not undermine Geneva, and the officers I know are uniformly for it.

And Graham's segment on HHewitt was risible. He touts the SCOTUS dependence on common article 3 as if Congress has no say in the matter. Weak.

Pofarmer

"Maybe we just don't recognize or appreciate when someone takes a principled stand, whether or not we personally agree with them."

Someone can have a principled stand and still be wrong.

Aren't all 3 of these guys Lawyers? 3 strikes in my book. Sorry guys.

clarice

Wasn't that great? Everyone is playing for yucks today. Soylent is up against first rate competition.

Sue

Once again, the courts have determined what should have been voted on in the senate. We are not signatories to the amended GC that gives GC rights to terrorists. If I were a republican senator at the moment, I would immediately submit a bill that did just that. And make the senators do their jobs. Instead of letting an unelected judge do it for them.

Our senate in action....or inaction.

Pofarmer

it is the direction that the uniformed military supports

Can anybody back this up? It seems to be the position the joint cheif's support, maybe.

What about the guys on the pointy end of the stick?

maryrose

clarice;
Great article-Now Bush and Company into the breach...

Syl

if the United States is seen to be mistreating captives

I get it. It's NOT that we don't have the moral ground it's just that some PERCEIVE that we don't. And everybody defines 'mistreatment' for themselves.

Gee. What's a nation to do?

Why don't we simply ASSERT we have the moral highground, as we clearly do.

Case closed.

They're not going to believe us NO MATTER WHAT WE DO. So screw them.


boris

Italiacto!

Syl

italiacto!

SmokeVanThorn

When will people recognize what a disaster Powell has been? From his insistence on emphasizing WMD to his coziness/colaboration with Armitage re: the Plame debacle, his actions range from the inept to the deceitful.

Terrye

Cecil:

This is not about giving them POW status. The Geneva Convention is not just about POWs. It would be easier if it were.

Rick Ballard

Pofarmer,

McCain is no attorney. He heard about the bar exam.

McGraham are not running this year - they're warming up for the "Big Show" in '08 and Warner is giving them a hand. That's why I said that Giuliani should step in and stop the triangulation.

Graham's performance on Hewitt's show illustrates the depth of his committment to principle - grab a micrometer and check it out.

PeterUK

" Just in case anyone here hasn't noticed what is at stake in the battle for hearts and minds; ours and theirs."

They fly planes into civilian buldings,they rape,torture,decapitate and murder anyone who they consider to be the enemy,What fucking hearts,what fucking minds?
The only stake is the one throught the hear of this insane death cult.

"Powell: "The World Is Beginning To Doubt The Moral Basis Of Our Fight Against Terrorism"...

No,the world is waiting for you to win!

Associated Press | LAURIE KELLMAN |

AP the al Faquers.

Sue

You can see the informers lining up, can't you? Knowing that their names are going to be given to the person they are informing on?

Terrye

Syl:

I don't know what if anything the US could do that would change the world perspective of us. I do think however, that these people think we can and what is more they feel that our isolation makes us less safe.

But they are whistling in the wind.

Pofarmer

Somehow, I'm not getting my tags closed, dangit.

Sorry

lurker

And lindsay says that Lindsey Graham will not be the reason we go home without a bill.

And he's certainly lacking committment to principle. He doesn't understand the SCOTUS ruling either.

Pofarmer

"they feel that our isolation makes us less safe."

What isolation? People keep trotting this shit out with no support whatsoever!

boris

As noted before, McPain has already advocated that when lives are on the line you break the rules and do whatever needs to be done and take your chances with a court marshal or jury.

That is the exact opposite of what the president is requesting. Furthermore it is dereliction of duty. In practice it would mean less effective methods will be used in the heat of the moment.

Relatively humane and effective methods should be agreed upon without sanctimonious posturing and partisan rancor.

Connor

It's a tough choice for conservatives on this issue - support the uniformed military, or support the White House. It would be easier if it wasn't election season.

clarice

I'm sick to death of wealthy , powerful posturers shoving the burden down the folks on the ground--cops, military..You leave this question open and some young guy will get his head blown off or a life sentence for making the wrong call in a perilous situation.

PeterUK

If I were a terrorist leader, your courts would be clogged with humiliated and degraded prisoners,instead of suicide bombers,you would get an unstopable horde of prisoners,all with ACLU's telephone number.There wouldn't be an unemployed shyster "from sea to shining sea".
"Win Without War".

boris

It's part of the "lets pretend we're nicer than we really are" mindset. Bah! That's an invitation for the irrational to misjudge the consequences of their actions. Who beleives Saddam and Bin Laden would have allowed 911 if they knew what they were in for.

lurker

Clarice, my mom told me in the last 30 years, the criminals in USA had far more rights than any typical US citizen.

In this case, the foreign terrorists are going to end up having far more rights than any typical US citizen, including our military.

flopping aces is very pissed.

lurker

Ah...

Powell is now McCain's advisor.

So McCain has both Powell and Armitage at his side....

boris

support the uniformed military, or support the White House

That's BS.

Cecil Turner

This is not about giving them POW status. The Geneva Convention is not just about POWs. It would be easier if it were.

POW status has specific implications on requirements for trials and courts, as does common article 3. A tribunal is generally not authorized for a POW. The argument is in fact about whether to give them POW status or an equivalent set of rights, when the applicable precedent (e.g., Quirin and Yamashita) suggests they don't rate it. In fact, in some cases, the bleeding hearts insist on additional safeguards (e.g., a "status tribunal" to determine if they may be held).

In any event, Congress has Constitutional authority to enact tribunals as they wish, even if they completely disregard Geneva. The Hamdan focus on common article 3 is largely due to the failure of Congress to enact pertinent legislation.

It's a tough choice for conservatives on this issue - support the uniformed military, or support the White House.

You keep claiming the uniformed military doesn't support the White House, but refuse to support the contention. Still not buying any.

lurker

flopping aces's advice to Frist?

Allow the bill to go to the floor in spite of the committee votes and see what happens.

Will there be enough votes on the floor to get it passed?

Semanticleo

"I'm sick to death of wealthy , powerful posturers shoving the burden down the folks on the ground--cops, military..You leave this question open and some young guy will get his head blown off or a life sentence for making the wrong call in a perilous situation."

Damn straight!

lurker

Wow, either ali-cleown's light bulb finally came on or just making fun of us.

Sue

Frist first needs to put a bill on the floor and make every damn senator vote on it that either makes us a signatory to the amended GC or doesn't. Terrorists are not afforded GC rights. Except for those afforded them by the SC which had no business entering us into a treaty to begin with.

boris

Clown probably thinks it works in reverse.

Her reading comprehension skipped over "You leave this question open ..."

Pofarmer

I still don't know what the "Military's" position on this is. Anybody have any statements?

davis

Graham is a wuss. McCain is an older wuss. Warner is a really old wuss. And Collins is a softie of questionable conservative credentials. Too bad they are safe for at least 2 more years.

Sue

I want to know how my senator votes on rights for terrorists.

boris

SC which had no business entering us into a treaty

I'll cut SCOTUS some slack if they were invoking congress to take on it's constitutional responsibility rather than shunt it onto the executive by default through inaction.

Rick Ballard

Lurker,

I think Lew Clark got her with some Preparation-H on the other thread - we could hope that as shrinkage progresses the benficial effects of the lobotomy may appear. We've dealt with the negative aspects long enough.

PeterUK

"Wow, either ali-cleown's light bulb finally came on",
Nah,that was the refrigerator door opening.

TexasToast

This thread brings to mind ...


BEDEVERE: Bring her forward.
They bring her forward - a beautiful YOUNG GIRL dressed up as a witch.

BEDEVERE: Ah ... but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
ALL: Ah. Yes, of course ... um ... err ...
BEDEVERE: Does wood sink in water?
ALL: No, no, It floats. Throw her in the pond. Tie weights on her. To the pond.
BEDEVERE: Wait. Wait ... tell me, what also floats on water?
ALL: Bread? No, no, no. Apples .... gravy ... very small rocks ...
ARTHUR: A duck.
They all turn and look at ARTHUR. BEDEVERE looks up very impressed.
BEDEVERE: Exactly. So... logically ...
FIRST VILLAGER (beginning to pick up the thread): If she ... weighs the same as a duck ... she's made of wood.
BEDEVERE: And therefore?
ALL: A witch! ... A duck! A duck! Fetch a duck.
FOURTH VILLAGER: Here is a duck, Sir Bedevere.
BEDEVERE: We shall use my largest scales.
He leads them a few yards to a very strange contraption indeed, made of wood and rope and leather. They put the GIRL in one pan and the duck in another. Each pan is supported by a wooden stave. BEDEVERE checks each pan then ... ARTHUR looks on with interest.
BEDEVERE: Remove the supports.
Two PEASANTS knock them away with sledge hammers. The GIRL and the duck swing slightly but balance perfectly.
ALL: A witch! A witch!
WITCH: It's a fair cop.
ALL: Burn her! Burn her! Let's make her into a ladder.
The VILLAGERS drag the girl away leaving ARTHUR and BEDEVERE regarding each other admiringly.

"

Jane

Jumping ahead with a question:

The whole point that Bush is making when he says he wants no "ambiguity" here is that he wants the Congress to make it plain what the rules are so that we do not have people like Andrew Sullivan deciding what is and is not torture.

Couldn't ambiguity help him? If there is no clear definition of torture, and no one reveals what the interrogation process includes, it's hard to step over the line.

After all, a certain segment of the population calls everything torture, and they always will, because they hate this country. I don't care about them.

The majority of the country wants us to do what we need to do to get the information we need to win. They won't really care if we waterboard Kahlil Sheik Mohammed.

(And why don't we put all of them on a steady diet of sodium pentathol?)

So ambiguity could work, except it keeps the question open. Is there a reason that is a bad thing. How does keeping the question open dovetail with the latest IMO unconstituional Supreme Court ruling?

And can't this ambiguity be also a political win for the administration, since it might force the democrats to actually take a stand?

Sue

I'll cut SCOTUS some slack if they were invoking congress to take on it's constitutional responsibility rather than shunt it onto the executive by default through inaction.

Okay. We'll play let's all go round the mulberry tree, since the Senate is now saying they have to abide by the SCOTUS ruling giving Article III protections to terrorists. At least those senators that we are discussing. I'll cut the others some slack until I know how they vote.

PeterUK

Couldn't think of anything to say eh Texas Taqiya?

Sue

According to the http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/>Captain Patrick Haynes who blogs at http://www.anklebitingpundits.com/content/?p=745#comments>Ankle Biting Pundits works for John McCain. If you wanted John McCain to know how you felt, that might be the place to go. ::grin::

boris

it keeps the question open. Is there a reason that is a bad thing

Military courts seem unlikely to result in nullification. There's a saying, if you're guilty civilian court is better, if you're innocent military is better.

Spell it out for the military. Ambiguity for the CIA might not be as bad. Still, existing humane and proven effective methods should be explicitly distinguished from torture.

Rick Ballard

Jane,

Ambiguity has a potentially negative effect on the fellows out at the pointy end. If McGraham wish to support "Have you hugged your terrorist today?", that's their perogative, they're free to join the other side as they wish under whatever pretense they care to put forward.

My bet is that we'll see a crawl back fairly quickly but I would hope to see the issue resolved one way or another soon. I'd trade saving the life of a lance corporal today for the political future of these clowns in half a heart beat and their continued prevarication and foot dragging is sufficient reason to consider them unfit for the office they currently hold, not to mention the higher office which they are cravenly seeking. They're just weathervanes and those are a dime a dozen in the Senate.

lurker

"since the Senate is now saying they have to abide by the SCOTUS ruling giving Article III protections to terrorists. At least those senators that we are discussing. I'll cut the others some slack until I know how they vote."

I think that's the wrong thing for Senate to do. If they don't agree with this conclusion, then they don't have to make sure that the bill fits the SCOTUS ruling.

I posted at Ankle Biting Pundits that I will not vote for McCain. Rightroots should not be endorsing him nor Graham.

PeterUK

From the Dock of the Old Bailey,an alleged terrorist says "The US is the greatest enemy of Islam
Born in Britain of Pakistani extraction,he has NO connection with the Middle East whatsoever,yet he says he was happy about 9/11.
As they say "Hearts and Minds".

Connor

Military officers overwhelmingly support operating under the Geneva Conventions. Anyone who does not understand this would benefit from a discussion with an active or retired officer, particularly one who has served in a combat zone. It wouldn't hurt to listen to their thoughts, about this and other issues.

TexasToast

PUK

Oh, I have plenty to say - we seem to be valuing volk over principle.

The number one job is to protect the homeland?


but I think I'll wait ......

Rick Ballard

Connor,

Why don't you trot off and find a quote from a serving officer that says the terrorists in question are undeniably covered by the Geneva Convention. A citation to section and paragraph would be greatly appreciated.

Otherwise people might think that you're just a very lame troll.

boris

Military officers overwhelmingly support operating under the Geneva Conventions

Pretty sure that's true if the question applies to both sides.

Pretty sure that's BS if GC for terrorists means less intel and more US casulties.

Pofarmer

"Born in Britain of Pakistani extraction,he has NO connection with the Middle East whatsoever,yet he says he was happy about 9/11."

Gee, I wonder, what is the common thread with all these guys?

Pofarmer

Pretty sure that's BS if GC for terrorists means less intel and more US casulties.

Or if it means rules of engagement where ya don't ya know, hurt the enemy or anything.

SmokeVanThorn

Wow, a witch reference and a German word with Nazi overtones! TT must be right!!

CNJ

Bush does not want ambiguity because he wants to protect the CIA and military. A liberal judge may liberally apply the definition of torture to include Red hot chili pepper.

boris

Oh, I have plenty to say

Why come here if you won't speak your mind.

PeterUK

Texas Taqiya,
Valuing people,volk is people if you didn't know, above principle is a western virtue,otherwise the result is the mass murders for one perverted principle or other which stained the twentieth century.
You might try learning about the West,a facinating place,haven't stoned and adulteress in ages,cranes are for construction work,football stadiums are for football,we even discourage children from blowing themselves up,all very people orientated.

Jane

Ambiguity has a potentially negative effect on the fellows out at the pointy end.

Rick,

I'm not sure I know what that means, but it's late and I'm tired. And I'm surely not defending Graham or McCain, but rather trying to look at the "nuance" more positively.

Assuming Scotus doesn't require a defintion of Article 3 (?) isn't it better for us not to define it? Then can't we just go along as we please, in secret, and do what is required?

Is it possible that Mc Cain and Graham are actually giving us something that we can use to our advantage?

PeterUK

Smoke,
Yes and a wrongly used German word,the Mufti of Jerusalem would not have made that mistake.

Connor

Rick - no serving officer (other than a JAG) is going to make a public statement that contradicts their Commander in Chief. Why not talk to an officer that you know personally. I can understand your position, but I also understand that it is odds with what our officers feel is best for their service.

PeterUK

Connor,
I know you are addressing Rick,but that is the lamest copout since John Kerry cought in his zip and claimed enemy fire.
I'm afraid I shall have to sound the Dueglo,the rest we be along in a minute,don't worry it will be quite painful.

Rick Ballard

Jane,

We have servicemen who put themselves at risk every day by apprehending scum who are more easily killed than captured based upon the potential value of information that the scum might have. If McGraham get their 'hug a terrorist crap' passed then the fellows in the field need to know it immediately in order to stop taking unnecessary risks.

Connor,

Right. Like milblogs don't exist and officers live in such fear that they won't open their mouths.

Connor

Peter ... Maybe by the time this subject come up again, you too will have had the opportunity to discuss the topic with an active or retired US military officer.

lurker

Senate Dems Proud For Destroying Our Defenses Against Terrorist Attack

OT:

Kiss Webb Good-bye

lurker

Connor, several posters are retired military.

Perhaps, we can ask Robert Kaplan? Why? Because he spends time with military in various countries around the world.

Martin

Does General Colin Powell, former chairman of the joint chiefs of every branch of the military, carry any weight with "the military is pro-Bush" crowd?

Because he's 180 degrees to Bush on this issue.

Never mind, I know your canned sniveling responses already...

JM Hanes

Connor:

..."no serving officer (other than a JAG) is going to make a public statement that contradicts their Commander in Chief. Why not talk to an officer that you know personally. I can understand your position, but I also understand that it is odds with what our officers feel is best for their service."

Perhaps you don't realize that a number of the folks disagreeing with you on this are, or have been, officers themselves. Interestingly, in light of your comment above, I believe the Judge Advocates actually support the President on this. I'm not sure you're really clear on what's at issue here, which is not a rejection of Geneva. You'll notice that those opposing the clarifications are talking about the "appearance" of rejection.

It's also extremely important for the C.I.A -- who are doing the most significant interrogations -- to know precisely what their own "rules of engagement" are. I don't see how anyone could endorse charging an interrogator with war crimes for "offending the dignity" of a high value target in the course of questioning. As things stand, that's precisely what could happen, and there are plenty of folks all over the world who'd be only too happy to bring such actions. The C.I.A. interrogators are up there working the high wire on our behalf without a net.

If one thing's clear, it's that getting accurate intel is more critically important than ever. The number of soldiers who die, or are horribly maimed, for lack of it, in a war which is also prolonged as a result, must be weighed against the knee jerk assumption that our perceived commitment to Geneva might have some postulated effect on the actions of our adversaries in some future outbreak of hostilities between nation states.

I'm not convinced the putative moral high ground here is, in reality, a life saving position. I don't think anyone who refuses to distinguish the permissible from the prohibited on paper can lay claim to the highground in the first place.

JM Hanes

Note to self:

“We think that this is a sincere effort, based on principle, by Senators Warner, McCain and Graham, to come up with the best legislation they can,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Put that in your campaign ad and smoke it.

Note to New York Times:

Democrats have allowed Republicans to fight among themselves over the issues, and appear willing to allow the issues to come to a vote rather than risk charges of political obstructionism in an election season.
If Dem leadership, per Pelosi, hadn't forbidden their side of the aisle to cooperate with Republicans on virtually anything, they might actually have managed to get out in front of this one. How can it be obstruction if you're working with like minded Republicans?

BritAm

Does General Colin Powell, former chairman of the joint chiefs of every branch of the military, carry any weight with "the military is pro-Bush" crowd?

Are you refering to General Colin "Don't tell the President that my deputy has been telling every reporter in town who 00Plame is, because it might embaress the State Department" Powell?

I don't see him (or Armitage) ever holding any position that requires Senate confirmation again.

Jane

I'm not convinced the putative moral high ground here is, in reality, a life saving position. I don't think anyone who refuses to distinguish the permissible from the prohibited on paper can lay claim to the highground in the first place.

JM,

Mr. Right, who is European, argues that the Geneva conventions are the thing with which the world judges us. He analogizes their importance to the Mohammed cartoons for the Islamists.

Now I'm at the point where I couldn't care less how the world thinks of us, but he seems to believe that some time in the future that will become very important. He agrees with you that the McCain position is not the moral highground, but rather argues that there is a propaganda highground here that is very important.

His complaint with the President is that he is not machiavellian enough, and on that score I agree with him.

I have a hard time looking past the soldiers, and our guys in the field. I feel like our #1 job is their protection and well-being.

But assuming he has a point, is there not a way we can use McCain's position to our advantage?

Pa

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/a_deadly_kindness_opedcolumnists_richard_miniter.htm

Terrye

Jane:

I was just repeating what I heard Bush say.

P

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/a_deadly_kindness_opedcolumnists_richard_miniter.htm

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame