Friday, September 15, 2006

Some "revolt"

Since his shameless admission that the US has been holding suspected terrorists in a secret gulag and subjecting them to an "alternative set of [interrogation] procedures" (which everyone else would call torture), Bush has been trying to get Congress to push through legislation legitimising this treatment and establishing a set of one-sided kangaroo courts to hold show-trials for suspects. Now, the media is reporting that Republican Senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee have revolted to push through their own bill "establishing clear protection for the rights of detained terrorist suspects."

Some revolt. While the Graham / Warner bill indeed rejects Bush's attempts to redefine the protections of the Geneva Conventions' Common Article 3 out of existence, bars the use of evidence extracted by torture or coercion, and ensures that suspects have access to the evidence used against them, even if classified, it also eliminates the right of detainees to take action against the US for anything (including torture), amends the War Crimes Act so that only "grave breaches" of Common Article 3 are war crimes, and (most disturbingly) writes US torturers a big fat "get out of jail free" card. If this is protecting the "moral basis" of the "war on terror", then I'd love to see what counts as undermining it...


"it also ... amends the War Crimes Act so that only "grave breaches" of Common Article 3 are war crimes..."

Only "grave breaches" of common article are required by the Geneva Conventions to be war crimes. Only grave or serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions are punishable as war crimes in NZ, for example.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 9/15/2006 04:10:00 PM