Here we go again. The best response, and I mean the *BEST* response, to those of us who are upset about the military’s tentative move to revise Army guidelines for interrogation is the following:
First of all, if you read only the first half of the LAT piece and Henke and John Cole and Andrew Sullivan, you would never know that (1) the changes at issue only apply to unlawful combatants, not to our treatment of proper POWs and (2) it is a stretch, at best, to say that the Geneva Conventions even apply to unlawful international combatants.
It is everyone’s favorite song and dance- the unlawful combatant two-step! Really- we are adhering to the Geneva Convention- just these unlawful combatants, who, by the way, are whoever we say they are and everyone when it fits our needs, who don’t apply!
Where did this postmodernism come from? Torture? Why waterboarding isn’t torture! It’s just ‘psychologically painful,’ but it doesn’t leave any LASTING MARKS!
Leaving people chained in stress positions to the floor for 24+ hours in their own urine in feces in freezing rooms? That’s not torture, you pussies! That is a valid interrogation technique, and besides- THEY ARE UNLAWFUL COMBATANTS and don’t you know THEY WANT TO KILL US? Why are you afraid of a little loud music and some air conditioning? Quit coddling the PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL US!
It’s almost like we haven’t been down this road before- certain quarters have learned NOTHING from the excesses of Abu Ghraib, which was brought on by this loosening of norms, muddying of the waters regarding the rights and status of detainees, all combined with the attitude that we have to get tough because THEY WANT TO KILL US.
So the next time you hear a report that soldiers may have accidentally killed another Afghan taxi driver, you can rest assured it was probably just an honest mistake- our guys probably thought he was an unlwawful combatant.
And for those of you who want the reasoning for this in a non-snarky format, check out this comment from McQ:
Do we follow the Geneva Conventions because we believe in human rights, or do we follow the Geneva Conventions because they allow us the legal cover to differently classify human beings as we so choose and only apply those rights to those we decide fit one group and not the other?
I mean, how hard is it to find a reason to justify (or maybe a better word is “rationalize”) changing the classification of a lawful combatant to that of an unlawful combatant on the fly with little more pretext than saying, “well his uniform wasn’t quite regulation” if we seriously wanted a “legal” reason to apply more rigorous and harsh interrogation techniques?
I agree to the single standard of conduct by our interrogators. Then there’s never a question of limits. Argue the limits if you want too, but I can’t agree with different interrogation standards based only in “legalities”.