AS SOMEONE who defended the Geneva Convention, who submitted to a week of "practise" torture under the watchful eye of a USAF Camp Commandant and who cherishes human rights, I find it simply unfathomable to read how President Bush's inner circle is considering revocation of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. The information comes from an article in the LA Times, with reliable sources explaining that the Defense and State departments are battling over whether to include a major human-rights decree in the U.S. terror-war rules. "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," the Los Angeles Times says, "a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards."
The USA Today blog explains, "The Geneva rule at stake is Article 3 (full text), banning 'cruel treatment and torture' among other activities. After superseding this rule previously, the Times explains, the Pentagon is redrawing its standard rules. Within the department, the debate over Article 3 is pitting military lawyers -- including JAG leaders -- and State officials against Pentagon intelligence and Vice President Cheney's office.
For an insight into the mindeset of the American public about this issue, read the comments following the USA Today breaking news story on the USA Today blog. For some balance, consider whether President Bush is culpable.