Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Huff’n ‘n Puff’n ‘bout ‘nuff’n

The Internet is awash will all sorts of scupper-trout about the Geneva-GTMO-GWB square dance. This is just one example of the of the grasping from the Left (Dan Froomkin).
Today's dramatic announcement from the White House that U.S. detainees are covered by the Geneva Convention is the first of what may be several major policy reversals forced by the recent Supreme Court decision curbing President Bush's assertion of nearly unlimited
executive power in a time of war. Anne Plummer Flaherty writes for the Associated Press: "The Bush administration said Tuesday that all detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in U.S. military custody everywhere are entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions.
..and, I am very sad to say, from the Right (Mark Levin).
Short of Bush's impeachment, the immediate "redeployment" of our troops to the continental United States, and the executive's voluntary surrender of presidential powers to activist judges and left-wing lawyers, the Times and its ilk won't rest. But, of course, they support our troops, are strong on national security, believe in separation of powers, and are patriotic. Just ask them.
Of course, the Times' editorial board consists of a former ACLU member, a former Clinton administration official, and other leading lights. Need I say more? You bet. In future posts. This is the same media corporation that undermined the war in Vietnam and pushed the Holocaust to the back pages. It has a pathetic record, yet lectures the rest of us about right and wrong. The Times doesn't seek to merely report the news or comment on it, it seeks to influence our nation's future. As such, it requires careful monitoring by we, the people.

UPDATE: On other sites, the contributors to which I respect greatly, an effort is made to downplay what the administration did yesterday in tying the humane treatment of detainees to the Gemeva Convetions and then insisting that the Supreme Court compelled this result in its Hamdan decision. This is inaccurate. Yes, the administration announced early on that it would treat detainees humanely, but it specifically rejected the view that such treatment was necessitated by the Geneva Conventions. But yesterday it announced that it would comply with the Geneva Conventions requirement to treat the enemy humanely, as supposedly ordered by the Court. While it may be logical to extent the Hamdan reach to detainee treatment generally, the decision dealt with military commissions and there is no such legal requirement — at least not yet. And the administration did not have to go as far as it did, giving up a principled argument that matters
greatly. For years it has fought the good fight against the enemy's lawyers and activist judges, and it should continue to do so every step
of the way.
Sorry Mark, but you are still the Great One - and I am very uncomfortable being on the other side of this issue with you. I could be wrong, but....

All shameless self promotion aside; the island of sanity in this mess can be found at MilBLogs with my occasional sparing partner, ArmyLawyer.
Financial Times
The Pentagon has decided in a major policy shift that all detainees held in US military custody around the world are entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions, according to two people familiar with the move.

The FT has learned that Gordon England, deputy defence secretary, sent a memo to senior defence officials and military officers last Friday, telling them that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions - which prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners and requires certain basic legal rights at trial - would apply to all detainees held in US military custody.
This memo likely will change nothing as it was already the policy to treat detainees consistent with CA3. What was prohibited before is still prohibited. What was allowed before is still allowed. (At least insofar as treatment goes--the legal process is left to Congress to determine).
Here is what is important to me: clear and direct guidance from the CINC that gives everyone else a “Ref. A” to go to and keep themselves in line with his planning and guidance. That is it. Give everyone in the Chain-of-Command a strong understanding that they are in compliance with law and the Constitution. If you have to say it five times in five different ways, fine. Trying to use this as an issue to attack the Executive Branch is just silly. The ball is in the Legislative Branch. I will follow George Washington’s lead on this. Patience.

No comments: