Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Afghanistan Revelations

It's going to be hard to keep making the case that the systematic abuse of prisoners in Iraq is the action of a few bad apples, if an investigation reveals similar prisoner abuses in Afghanistan.

What is the conservative press saying we should do? Check out this story from

"The war's domestic opponents are too obviously eager to expand the misdeeds of a few into a general repudiation of the war and all involved in it. For example, we are now reading that Geneva Convention status should be accorded to illegal combatants such as those at Guantanamo."

The implication, of course, is that anyone we designate an "illegal combatant" has no rights at all. After all, U.S. personnel (rightly) are not subject to the jurisdiction of any foreign or international court. Since the designation of enemy combatant will invariably filter down through the command structure, and since there is no jurisdiction for any court anywhere to review the designation, the designation can effectively be used to shield U.S. personnel from any accountability. Obviously, the politicians who run the military are subject to political accountability, but is that really enough for an adminstration that has still managed, three years later, not to reveal who Mr. Cheney consulted with when formulating an energy plan? I think not.


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