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We keep hearing about "humane reforms" in the MSM, but news like this tells us that we have many miles to go in the quest to carry out our pledge of "justice for all."
The reported "State Dept. Opposition" may be a hopeful note, and may also confirm that Rumsfeld really is the main man, at the center of the torturers' spider web

The Pentagon's move to omit a ban on prisoner humiliation from the basic guide to soldier conduct faces strong State Dept. opposition.

By Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writer
June 5, 2006
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times today

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.

The decision could culminate 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. However, the State Department fiercely opposes the military's decision to exclude Geneva Convention protections and has been pushing for the Pentagon and White House to reconsider, the Defense Department officials acknowledged.

For more than a year, the Pentagon has been redrawing its policies on detainees, and intends to issue a new Army Field Manual on interrogation, which, along with accompanying directives, represents core instructions to U.S. soldiers worldwide.

The process has been beset by debate and controversy, and the decision to omit Geneva protections from a principal directive comes at a time of growing worldwide criticism of U.S. detention practices and the conduct of American forces in Iraq.

The directive on interrogation, a senior defense official said, is being rewritten to create safeguards so that all detainees are treated humanely but can still be questioned effectively.

President Bush's critics and supporters have debated whether it is possible to prove a direct link between administration declarations that it will not be bound by Geneva and events such as the abuses at Abu Ghraib or the killings of Iraqi civilians last year in Haditha, allegedly by Marines.

But the exclusion of the Geneva provisions may make it more difficult for the administration to portray such incidents as aberrations. And it undercuts contentions that U.S. forces follow the strictest, most broadly accepted standards when fighting wars.

"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. "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."

Rest of long article

Originally posted to Existentialist on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 08:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Opening Up the Discussion of a Vital Issue for US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After I posted this, I noted that there was an earlier diary that cited an abridged and edited version of part of the LAT article. I went to the course, and it is indeed abridged.

    I guess my main contribution is giving URL citation access to the whole article--which is really quite long.

    Now there's a diary a bit later than mine, on the same topic. I think that's good. This subject needs a great deal more open discussion than it has been getting so far.

    •  Hope This Matter Gets More Attention Soon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I notice also that there's only been 1 comment apiece on each of the three diaries around this topic--maybe like mine, comments from the diary maker. If so, that may be a sign that this story is about to go down the national forgettery, along with so many others.

      But I found this news, actually, as a lead article in one of the major European news journals, and tracked back to the LAT source from there. So it's attracting a lot of attention in the rest of the world, if not back here in the Heartland.

  •  this is important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Can you believe the BS?

    "The directive on interrogation, a senior defense official said, is being rewritten to create safeguards so that all detainees are treated humanely but can still be questioned effectively."

    Right--the part about treating them humanely is being taken out to ensure that they're treated humanely. WTF?

  •  Bit will it address GAY MARRIAGE <\snark> (0+ / 0-)
  •  diaried already (0+ / 0-)

    Follow your Geneva Convention tag, you add them to your diary for a reason.

    Not to mention you probably are delving into copyright infringement by reposting that much of the LA Times article.  I suggest you delete this and comment in the other thread if you have anything to add besides the text of the article.

    •  Sorry If This News Troubles You (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sorry if this news troubled you. The LA Times story has been cited in three diaries this morning, plus in a thread posting.

      This news article also been widely cited overseas. The LA Times article is worth reading, and that's why I put a hunk of it in the diary, with a lead to the full article, which is very long. There's an abridged version in the SF News, which is perhaps where you saw it. But most people won't see even part of it, and that's too bad.

      All three diaries, and the thread posting, have been virtually ignored, so you need not really worry. There are so many other important issues to consider instead....

      You seem to be more concerned over formalistic matters than you seem to be about the actual news itself, and that's somehat disappointing.

      •  your post was nothing new (0+ / 0-)

        Why don't you take a look at the FAQ section of this site, which talks about similar diaries and being asked to delete yours.  

        When should diaries be deleted? If there are two (or more) near-identical diaries on the same subject, people will request that all but one be deleted. This often happens when a news story breaks, and several diaries are posted consisting of a link to the story and a few quotes from the AP wire. Please consider deletion if your diary isn't the first diary to break the news.

        I don't regulate what gets on the rec' list, but I do know that posting 10 diaries with little or no difference from the others does not thrust it into the spotlight anymore.  People will recommend what they want to read about, I am sorry they did not like your diary.

  •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

    More people need to know and CARE about what is going on within the inner-workings of the military. We must not let them monitor and brush past serious vilations.

    Very interesting reading ! Some of us have posted on this topic as well.

    by cyberotter on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 09:20:25 AM PDT

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