Thursday, September 14, 2006

The 3rd Geneva Convention

“WASHINGTON (AP) - A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of the election season. Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

In an embarrassment to the White House, Colin Powell, Bush's first secretary of state, announced his opposition to his old boss' plan, saying it would hurt the country. Powell's successor, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, jumped to the president's defense in a letter of her own. All this played out after Bush started his day by journeying to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation and by issuing a threat to the maverick Republicans. "I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity," Bush said at the White House. The president's measure would go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terror trials, using coerced testimony and protecting the CIA and other U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that may violate the Geneva Conventions.”

This is clearly the problem for the Bushites… that pesky Third Geneva Convention! Oh, by the way, it was adopted in 1925 by 128 nations including the USA. It has a couple dozen articles within it, but the crux of the matter appears to be Article 17: "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

How can I find the words to express what it feels like knowing that people the world over are watching GWBush do whatever he possibly can to persuade the US House and Senate to flaunt global values like the Geneva Conventions? It’s rather astonishing to consider all the Despicable Despots of the last century who, nevertheless, did indeed abide by these Conventions. Not to mention that many of these Bushites were the same people who tried to impeach Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky! It all brings me to the edge of vomiting.