...for nothing left to lose:
New policies on prisoners being drawn up by the Pentagon will reportedly omit a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment."
Citing unidentified but knowledgeable military officials, the Los Angeles Times said the step would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift by the US government away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
Rights? Rights are for wimps. Real men don't give people rights!
The decision could end a lengthy debate within the Defense Department but will not become final until the Pentagon makes the new guidelines public, the report said. The State Department fiercely opposes the military's decision to exclude Geneva Convention protections and has been pushing for the Pentagon and White House to reconsider, the paper pointed out. The Pentagon has been redrawing its policies on detainees for more than a year. It intends to issue a new Army Field Manual on interrogation which, along with accompanying directives, represents core instructions to US troops around the world, The Times said. The directive on interrogation, a senior defense official said, is being rewritten to create safeguards so that all detainees are treated humanely but can still be questioned effectively, according to the report.
"Effectively." As in, we'll do whatever the hell we want if we think it makes the war machine "more effective". The assumption is that with enough viciousness and technical gizmos, the righteous armies of the U.S. can conquer any foe. This Mission Impossible version of warfare makes for great Hollywood fare. In the real world, support of populations in crucial. Being more "effective" is a problem for fascist governments, not for democracies.
Critics and supporters of President George W. Bush have debated whether it is possible to prove a direct link between administration declarations that it will not be bound by the Geneva Convention, and events such as the abuses at Abu Ghraib or the killings of Iraqi civilians last year in Haditha, The Times said. Omitting the Geneva provisions may make it harder for the administration to portray such incidents as aberrations, the paper noted, saying it would also undercut contentions that US forces follow the strictest, most broadly accepted standards when fighting wars.
Well, of course there's a link. And all of the tough talk and wartime rhetoric in the world won't compensate for this president's total lack of leadership ability.