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Geneva Gitmo Perspective

Ok, while some of us are having our "WTF" moment in regards to yesterday's announcment of the US intention to confer GC protections to Gitmo Detainees, it's time for a little perspective.

First, this isn't the big frigging deal that people think it is. Whether or not the Supremes overstepped their authority or not (I too believe they did) - it's totally irrevelant at this point. They ruled. Bush could either tell them to sit on a stick, or create a "fix" until Congress can be made to make an adjustment. THIS is where I called it an act of genius as it will cause lines to be drawn in congress just before the midterms.

Affording GC protections isn't going to immediately release anyone from custody and indeed the SC ruled that they could be held indefinitely. Secondly, there is a lot of confusion between the GC and "miranda rights", they are not the same and in fact there is no connection between the two.

Additionally this does NOT deter interrogations or even some interrogation techiques which even under the GC are lawful. The US has actually always followed the GC since the outset of Gitmo, notwithstanding the baseless assertions of torture. The fact is that "there are ways to get people to talk" withint the confines of Article Three.

Andy McCarthy at NRO gives this perspective:

"There is much less than meets the eye to the Pentagon’s announcement today that enemy combatants at Gitmo will be accorded Geneva Convention protections. It is not an announcement (as it is being misconstrued in some places) that al Qaeda detainees are now considered honorable prisoners of war. What DoD is saying is that they get Common Article 3 protection, which is minimal: they are entitled to be treated humanely, which was already U.S. policy, and – consistent with what the Supreme Court has ruled – they may not be subjected to military commissions as currently designed. No one really thought the administration was going to decline to comply with the Court’s ruling, so how this marks a “Big Shift,” as the New York Times’ headline proclaims, is beyond me."

Again, just like forcing the Democrats to "put up or shut up" on withdrawing from Iraq, the "how do you really feel about terrorists" question will not be front and center in the Congress. Republicans are clear that terrorists do not fit the mold of prisoners of war, but are "thugs". Democrats? Well, it depends on what Sunday news show they happen to be on at the time they are asked.

The Bush administration didn't "give in" to anyone, they simply decided to hit the criticism head on.


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