But Soft! What Light on Yonder Window Breaks?

A mirage that looks like an agreement on torture. It looks like the United States is not going to abuse anyone anymore. But as you approach the vision gets wavy and flickers.

So agreement was reached on the Hill regarding interrogations. Both sides agreed to follow the Geneva Conventions and to give immunity to any acts interrogators might have committed.

Are they really thinking of the upshot of that immunity? No one will feel constrained now in describing what they did or what they saw. The political upshot of new information about detainee abuse would not bode well for the Administration. Remember, there's two years for this stuff to get out to the public.

But then thinking ahead never seemed to be this Administration's strength. Posing is.

Econo-Girl lives on the edge today by blogging before her morning coffee.


The Lazy Iguana said...

It will not make any difference. You know how "immunity" works these days. You say something that the power does not like - and bad things happen to you. You get fired. Things are made to be so bad for you that you quit. And so on.

And to top it all off - Bush and his henchmen have never said that they did not follow "international standards". What makes this new is that this is the first time they have actually said they would follow them - without adding a disclaimer such as "offer only good on the third Wednesday of the month if that day is an odd number" or something.

And I believe it! Of course there will be no more torture. The President NEVER lies. Not even once.

Dog and pony show. That is all any of this is.

Steven said...

I don't believe the new bill is constitutional, and so I maintain some hope that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Specifically, the bill appears violates article I, section 9 (on limits to lawmaking authority), in that there is a clause which specifically forbids the suspension of the right of habeas corpus. Congress cannot make a law which does this outside the condition of being invaded or suffering an insurrection.

It also violates the sixth amendment, which ensures that whenever the US tries a person for a crime, the defendant is guaranteed a speedy and public trial by a jury. The Constitution makes no exceptions for foreign citizens or soldiers, nor for the condition of war, nor the risk that the defendant is part of an organized group of criminals who may use the information presented at trial for unlawful ends.

Anonymous said...

good thing you were fired

Thailand Gal said...

The thing that truly amazes me is that these very same "henchmen" are willing to tell the rest of the world what to do but heaven forbid they should be told to follow international law!

Why, oh why, doesn't the world recognize that the US can do whatever it bloody well pleases, while the rest of the world follows its orders?

Gee, what's up with that?


sploof said...

Hey Econo-Girl -

I'm doing some research for an advocacy project on the Military Commissions Act, and I'm trying to dig up specific details on the waterboarding procedure. Do you know any good places to look for this information, or anyone I should talk to?


Rommel43 said...

Excerpt from first leaflet 1942: The White Rose Society. Germany's incipient anti-fascist movement.

"Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be "governed" without opposition by an
irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure - reach the light of day?

If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order in history; if they surrender man's highest principle, that which raises him above all other God's creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass - then, yes, they deserve their downfall..."

Econo-Girl said...

I don't have any details about waterboarding that can't be found in public sources. There are quite a few of them. Look at Slate.com's interactive overview of the procedure.

"Waterboarding" has meant different things at different times.