Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sinking to our enemies' level

Here's one of those articles that makes one go "hmmmm", interesting point.

Sinking to our enemies' level

By Michael Kessler; Jan 18, 2005; SALON.COM

He's talking about the way the U.S. has been treating the enemy combatants we captured during the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. And, for that matter, the discussion applies to the torture applied to prisoners in (at least) the Abu Ghraib prison. These acts are reprehensible to most Americans, and to Christian values, so why is our government going about doing these things?

Well, in part it was because of justifications written by Alberto Gonzales, then a lawyer working in the middle levels of government, and now having been apointed to be the Attorney General to replace Ashcroft. Among the justifications Gonzales wrote, is an opinion that the Geneva Conventions are outdated and have quaint provisions in todays age.

This is what seems abhorrent, that our government is calling quaint a well regarded piece of international legislation. And, in the process of calling it quaint, has decided to attach U.S. actions to torture. Hence the title of the article, we are sinking to the levels of our enemies.

One of the points that makes me go hmmm.... is to discuss the definitions in the Geneva Convention. First, the conventions applies to soldiers who are assumed to be part of the standing army of a nation-state. Well, last I checked, Al Qaeda was not a nation-state, and it was not the standing army of Afghanistan. The Taliban, on the other hand, was the standing army of Afghanistan, and one could reason that the geurilla fighters in Iraq are in some way a not-so-standing army defending Iraq against invaders.

But, not only do the Geneva Conventions apply to standing armies, but they only apply to the standing armies of countries that agreed to the Convention.

This last makes a certain amount of sense, yes? In order for an agreement to apply to me, I need to agree to it. If I haven't agreed to a particular contract then the contract doesn't apply to me. This in a way gives an incentive for countries to agree to the Convention, since the Convention provides protection to the soldiers who are fighting wars. On the other hand, perhaps the Convention puts on some limitations or other cost some countries don't want to agree to, so they don't sign on with the Convention. It's likely that Afghanistan's government before the U.S. invasion (the Taliban) had not agreed to the Convention.

Hence, by a strict reading of the letter of the law, the rules against torture do not apply to fighters captured in Afghanistan. Either they were Al Qaeda, not covered because they're a private army, or they're Taliban, and not covered because the Taliban likely didn't agree to the contract. And, in Iraq, it's technically correct to say the fighters resisting the U.S. occupation are not the national army of Iraq.

The next point that makes one go hmmmmm.... is to notice how the Bush Administration is sticking with the letter, rather than the spirit, of the law. Obviously the Geneva Convention has a purpose to protect human dignity, and that's the spirit of that particular law.

It makes me wonder, what are they trying to hide by being so particular about the letter of the law?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

US Invasion of Iraq officially FRAUD

Of course we knew the current war in Iraq had no rationality to it, but now we have it verified. The U.S. has officially given up on searching for the "Weapons of Mass Destruction", which were the justification given for undertaking this war.

Bush administration comments on WMDs

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Wednesday, January 12, 2005: Contrasts the official statements by administration figures before, and after, the invasion. Quite enlightening it is indeed.

U.S. Wraps Up Search for Banned Weapons in Iraq

Wed Jan 12, 2005 07:09 PM ET; RREUTERS.COM By Will Dunham: Details the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) and has this to say:

Charles Duelfer, the CIA special adviser who led the ISG's weapons search, has returned home and is expected next month to issue a final addendum to his September report concluding that prewar Iraq had no WMD stockpiles, officials said.

U.S.: Saddam intended to make WMDs

Washington, DC, Jan. 12 (UPI) WASHINGTONTIMES.COM : Says that while we're shutting down the search, we did confirm that the Iraqi government intended to make or aquire weapons of mass destruction, and had a desire and intent to maintain a capability to do so. Now, hum, it seems to me that the duty of every government is to defend its borders against invaders, yes? No matter how despicable Hussein may have been as a government leader, his duty was to find a way to aquire the weapons with which to defend his country. Hence, in todays age, that means weapons of mass destruction. Hence, he would have been failing at his job if he hadn't been having the intent and desire to aquire or make weapons of mass destruction.

Fallout from WMD search failure

By Nick Childs BBC Pentagon correspondent; Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 21:53 GMT :
This BBC report goes over some of the political "heat", such as it is. Actually I don't know what "heat" is happening, since the administration seems to have successfully kept their fraud from being known by the majority of Americans.

of the
Special Advisor to the DCI
Iraq’s WMD

30 September 2004: This report relays the findings of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.
(note: this is the interim report the news articles are referring to)