liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Violating Humane Treatment Some More

Why? Anybody who's ever played the role of conman manipulator, like me, understands that you can't change people's ideas about right and wrong overnight.

First you have to get them used to the idea that there are changing standards for right and wrong, relative to "security" circumstances or other "dynamic" circumstances.

In spite of the outcry against it, like we practice now when Guantanamo and other prisons violate Geneva Conventions, the perpetrators continue--openly--in their violations. They continue to insist that circumstances require it. Some people are convinced and go along with it, others get tired of hearing, thinking and arguing about it, and still others just want to do what they think everybody else wants them to do.

In this way, the Bush Administration is going to bring the US, and possibly, the world, around to where inhumane treatment of detainees is acceptable, or at least tolerated.
But top Bush administration officials argue that after the Sept. 11 attacks, old customs do not apply, especially to a fight against terrorists or insurgents who never play by the rules.

"The overall thinking," said the participant familiar with the defense debate, "is that they need the flexibility to apply cruel techniques if military necessity requires it."

So, the Sun's article, U.S. To Drop Geneva Rule, Officials Say, is being run deliberately by Bush Administration officials. It's part of the propaganda campaign of insisting--in the public discourse media--on the necessity for human rights violations of detainees.

They're getting the idea "out there."

Eventually, whatever people say in protest, the Administration will be able to move beyond the announcement/explanation phase and enter into the established practice phase.

Julian Barnes writes that the codification of legal inhumane prisoner treatment
culminates a lengthy debate within the Defense Department but will not become final until the Pentagon makes new guidelines public, a step that has been delayed.

Another tactic the Administration is employing through the Sun article is to strengthen the misconception that the only real, meaningful obstacle to implementing inhumane treatment standards is in the objection by the rest of the world. So they shift it away from being a human rights issue to becoming a diplomatic issue.
... the State Department opposes the military's decision to exclude Geneva Conventions protections and has been pushing for the Pentagon and White House to reconsider, the defense officials acknowledged.

... "The rest of the world is completely convinced that we are busy torturing people," said Oona A. Hathaway, an expert in international law at Yale Law School and a former law clerk to then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. "Whether that is true or not, the fact we keep refusing to provide these protections in our formal directives puts a lot of fuel on the fire. It makes people think we are violating these provisions left and right."

This is how the Pentagon is getting us to promote their immoral policies. We unwittingly normalize their discourse and viewpoint by publicising it without equal publicity of the efforts to curb inhumane treatment.


Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

Then there's this:
American soldiers make do with C-rations. Dinner on an America West flight from New York to Las Vegas consists of one small bag of peanuts. Meanwhile, one recent menu for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo consisted of orange-glazed chicken, fresh fruit crepe, steamed peas and mushrooms, and rice pilaf. Sounds like the sort of thing you'd get at Windows on the World – if it still existed.

3:04 PM


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