Get Out of Geneva Free Card - Rolling Stone
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Get Out of Geneva Free Card

Reading through Bush’s detention bill it seems to do two things with regards to the Geneva Conventions. A) Commit the U.S. to following Article 3 — except for those parts we don’t like. And B) Removing any judicial accountability for not following even the other parts, so fuck you.

Page 79 says the administration…

…shall fully satisfy United States obligations with respect to the standards for detention and treatment established by section 1 of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, with the exception of the obligations imposed by subsections 1(b) and 1(d) of such Article.

Basically we’d be exempting ourselves from two things: 1(d) isn’t surprising, as it deals with regularly constituted tribunals. It basically gives the administration the go ahead to try and execute people with Bush’s ad hoc military courts.

The exemption from the requirement of 1(b) is more curious. Let’s go to the Geneva Convention Article 3:

1(b) Taking of hostages

Again, I’m no lawyer, but WTF? Is this limited to a reading in which enemy combattants themselves would be the “hostages”? Or are we now saying we’d stoop to kidnapping Osama’s grandma to gain some leverage over our terrorist foe? Seems dangerously broad to me. Any lawyers out there want to weigh in?


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