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Guardian: Pentagon's interrogation manual dodges Geneva ban

The Pentagon is drafting a new rulebook for military interrogators which omits the Geneva convention ban on "humiliating and degrading treatment", it was reported yesterday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the army field manual on interrogation has not been finalised, and state department lawyers are fighting to have the convention protections restored.

Pentagon officials said yesterday that a final version should be published in the next few weeks.

A spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Ballesteros, said: "The document you refer to remains in coordination and it would be premature to comment on it prior to its release. The department of defence remains committed to the humane treatment of all its detainees."

by Fran on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 12:16:13 AM EST
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This is so sad. Simply depressing.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 03:56:15 AM EST
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They'll put it back, in this form:

"You will not humiliate or degrade prisoners - in front of witnesses"

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 03:57:50 AM EST
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Just wait for the UN human rights committee to get its hands on a copy of this...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 04:23:59 AM EST
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As Digby wrote:-

" They think that "being tough" and "sending the right message" will make the enemy put its tail between its legs and run for the hills. .........

Romans and conservatives are very big on "sending messages." They like to make examples of people; it's one of their favorite authoritarian tactics. And executing children sends a hell of a message, no doubt about it. No gloves anywhere to be seen in that operation. The "humiliating and degrading" treatment at Abu Ghraib, the torture at Bagram and Gitmo and god knows where else, the kidnapping and renditions, and yes, the massacre of civilians including children, is not a matter of incompetence or misunderstanding or the fog of war. It's the plan.

The vaunted neo-conservative intellectuals have a simplistic, shoolyard view of the world based on what appears to be a very simplistic, schoolyard psychology that very much appealed to the boy-man that had been installed in the white house when bin Laden struck on 9/11. What serendipity! It is this puerile psychological misfire that united them with the feverish one handed typists of the 101st keyboarders --- all threats, no matter how small or insignificant at the time, must be met with crude brute force lest someone taunt you about your small cojones. The real threat is the appearance of weakness.

.......................Yet they also need to maintain a sort of religious fiction about themselves as being purveyors of democracy and freedom --- concepts that don't ordinarily lend themselves to barbaric message sending.

And that is how we found ourselves invading and occupying (and killing and torturing) to prove we are good and they are evil. And it's why with every failure, every misstep, every hypocrisy and war crime, this braindead macho policy makes America far more vulnerable today than we were on 9/11. This mistaken belief that bin Laden attacked us because he thought we were weak --- has made us weak. Virtually the entire American political establishment got punked by Osama bin Laden's trash talking and they still don't get it. With every impotent "message" of toughness we send, the more we play into his hands.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 06:35:15 AM EST
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