March 23, 2003
War Crimes and Taking The Low Road
Maybe it's just me, but it seems absurd for Donald Rumsefeld to complain about violating the Geneva convention (concerning showing captured and dead marines on TV) when we haven't had very clean hands in our treatment or prisoners, or even in the legality of the current action. We insist on others following the Geneva Convention but we violated internatioanl law by invading to begin with. We captured Taliban and others and said we did not have to follow the Geneva convention, claiming that these people were "unlawful combatants." I believe there were corroborated reports that we kept prisoners naked and hooded for hours upon hours, often during interrogation. there have been questions concerning our treatment of detainees in Cuba.
The point: We have chosen to become exactly like the very governments and people we used to criticise for human rights violations. I and many others have said that we can no longer criticize them for using practices that we have adopted.
And don't tell me 1441 authorized war. Our own U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. said, when 1441 passed, that it was not "self-authenticating" (read: self-actuating), and another respolution was needed to authorize the use of military force. We can't pretend otherwise now.
Posted by Tom Burka at 5:58 PM