Saturday, May 20, 2006

Riot in Cell Block 4


My goodness, how inconvenient!

Just as the UN finds that Cuba's Gitmo is a vacationer's paradise of water boarding & anti-anxiety meds, the uppity inmates, even those on their best behavior, & so allowed to live in relative comfort, start to try to commit suicide & attack the guards!

What excuses will Rummy pull out of his capacious ass now?

The BBC, as usual, does the best job of reporting on the way-fucked-up mess, thoughtfully including both the UN's report & questions-&-answers on the quaint & archaic Geneva Conventions. (<>

The BBC seems to think that Americans have forgotten all about these things, & "The Beeb" wouldn't be far wrong about that.

According to the New York Times, U.S. military officials complained that the inmates just did it to make them look bad (what's wrong with indefinite detention without charges, after all?) and the United States blamed the liberal media--er, the UN Committee for having rushed to judgment & having its report already written, the moral equivalent of fixing the facts around a pre-determined policy.

Uh, sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Demon Princess wishes they'd make a greater effort to come up with fresher, more entertaining exuses. They're boring me.

"Military officials said the prisoners' actions were apparently aimed at raising political pressure on the Bush administration over its detention policy. Pressure was also ratcheted up by the report issued in Geneva by the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

"After a lengthy review of United States policies, the committee dismissed several basic legal arguments the Bush administration had offered to justify such practices as the incommunicado detention of prisoners overseas and the secret transfer, or 'rendition,' of suspects for interrogation by other governments.

"The panel, which monitors compliance with the Convention Against Torture, the main international treaty that bans such conduct, also concluded that the Central Intelligence Agency's widely reported practice of holding detainees in secret prisons abroad constitutes a clear violation of the convention.

"The United States 'should investigate and disclose the existence of any such facilities and the authority under which they have been established,' the committee said in its 11-page preliminary report. It also called on the Bush administration to 'publicly condemn any policy of secret detention.'

"The recommendations of the committee are not legally binding. But they are likely to be more influential than previous international reviews, in part because the Bush administration clearly took the process seriously, sending a delegation of more than two dozen officials to Geneva earlier this month to present its legal case.

"On Friday, some of those administration officials responded to the report by defending the United States' treatment of suspected terrorists, and criticizing the committee's evaluation as flawed and superficial.

"'I think the committee was guided more by popular concerns than by a strict reading of the convention itself,' said the State Department's legal adviser, John B. Bellinger III, who led the delegation.

"'It obviously causes us to question whether our extensive presentation was worth it,' Mr. Bellinger said.

Apparently the UN Committee does not yet recognize that all laws, even international ones, are subject now to revision by U.S. Presidential fiat.

How dare they question us?! Even after we deigned to take their silly Committee & complaints seriously?


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