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Bush Tries to Neuter Detainee Abuse Law

Posted on Aug 9, 2006
Iraq prison abuse

In one of the more notorious images to surface in the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse scandal, a prisoner is made to pose for the camera while apparently covered in feces. President Bush recently made changes to a law that would effectively grant interrogators immunity for engaging in such humiliating practices.

Washington Post:

The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments.

Officials say the amendments would alter a U.S. law passed in the mid-1990s that criminalized violations of the Geneva Conventions, a set of international treaties governing military conduct in wartime. The conventions generally bar the cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment of wartime prisoners without spelling out what all those terms mean.

The draft U.S. amendments to the War Crimes Act would narrow the scope of potential criminal prosecutions to 10 specific categories of illegal acts against detainees during a war, including torture, murder, rape and hostage-taking.


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By felicity smith, August 10, 2006 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
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“Outrages upon human dignity.”  Does anyone NOT understand those words?  Alberto Gonzales doesn’t understand those words.  Too vague, too limiting on those who seek to fight terrorism - who are, according to Gonzales, interrogators at Gitmo and Abu. On the other hand, top uniformed military lawyers say that NOT engaging in “outrages upon human dignity” will NOT impede intelligence gathering from prison detainees, and in fact interrogators are being trained to comply with that ruling - seems the military understands the words. Gonzales, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. are going to have to come up with something more believable to keep themselves from being accused of war crimes by the International Court of Justice.

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By C Quil, August 10, 2006 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
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If I have the story straight, the only people who will be liable to prosecution for the torture of detainees are the people who don’t have anything to do with detainees.

Anybody who does is automatically exempt. If they’ve missed anyone out in this bill, they will be included in a future expansion of those allowed to torture without consequences.

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By R. A. Earl, August 10, 2006 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
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There’s something very wrong about that picture. Either it’s digitally contructed or the people involved, soldier with weapon and photographer, are such sick examples of human beings as to be quite beyond my ability to understand.

I know some people are depraved, and even turned on by scatological behavior, but this photo reveals a gross violation of even the most basic standard of decency. Anyone involved in allowing this to happen (Private to President) should be tried, convicted and JAILED.

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By Tony, August 10, 2006 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
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Responding to Comments made by 17632. I don’t think I could have put it better myself. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. How can the American people be so blind to what’s happening. To think that people believe the B.S. spouted by the administration and they’re personal Propaganda Machine, better known as Fox News. IT MAKES ME SICK!! Where is the accountability??? Does the populous not know that they administration actions are a DIRECT REFLECTION of our Nation and people as whole. And people have GALL to ask “WHY DO THEY HATE US?” OPEN YOUR EYE AMERICA! Look at the atrocities being committed in your name. Atrocities here at home as well as over seas. We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye. I fear however, until war is brought to our shores, until it’s to late to make change, we will continue our culture of apathy. Feed the humble masses they’re MacDonald’s and Budweiser and Monday night football, cable T.V. and all is forgiven and forgotten. God Help Us.

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By TruthPlease, August 9, 2006 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
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Once again, nothing ugly this administration does suprises me - only brings sadness and disgust.  What horrible degrading treatment to the Office of the President these people have done in 6 long years.  When Nixon brought America to Watergate, I asked why no one in his party stood up and said “STOP - I’M TELLING!!!”  Then when the Republican muckraking Clinton fiasco happened, I asked again How? How could such hypocrites drag America through such vicious BS?  Newt Gingrich left his sick wife, stiffed her for child support, tried to hide assets from the divorce court by putting them in his girlfriend/personal assistant’s name, then had the nerve to ‘lead’ the call to crucify Bill Clinton for a BJ with a consenting adult, all in the name of “Decency” and “American Values”. Puuleeaase!!! I absolutely do not approve of marital infidelity, but it was between the man and his wife, dude.  And it DEFINATELY was not worth $40+ million, another year of do-nothing Congress and the nauseatingly drooling media. And it sure hasn’t gotten any better since GW got in. The Republican Party and this Administration are supposed to be the people of decency and American values - but not MY American values. No Siree!!  And a damned differant definition of Decency, too. Talk about false advertizing!!  These folks have lied, cheated, stole, twisted, destroyed innocents, and endangered America financially, environmentally, politically…you name it. All in the name of AMERICAN VALUES.  While they wave their flags made in chinese sweat shops and chop the Constitution and International Treaties to pieces.  Then they scramble to cover it all up after the fact by ‘amending’ the law.  What a great system they’ve set up for themselves!  Like the ‘automatic’ Congressional payraises and No Bid Contracts!—- like I said, No surprise, just disgust and sadness at what we’ve become.

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By TruthPlease, August 9, 2006 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment
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Again - no surprise, only disgust and sadness.  How degrading the actions of this dangerous buffoon have been to the honorable office of The President. When Nixon brought us to Watergate I couldn’t understand how that could have happened and not be stopped…no one in his entourage said STOP - I’M TELLING!!!  But I thought it wouldn’t happen again - we’d learned a lesson.  Then the Republican muckraking Clinton fiasco -again I couldn’t understand how people could drag America through such hypocritical BS - Newt Gingrich left his sick wife, stiffed her for child support, tried to hide his assets from the divorce court by putting it in his girlfriend/personal assistant’s name - yet he led the call to crucify Bill Clinton in the name of “decency” and “American values” over an office BJ with a consenting adult.  I absolutely do not approve of marital infidelity, but it wasn’t worth $40 million and a year of a do-nothing Congress and drooling media.  These folks in this administration are supposed to be the people of decency and American values - but not my American values.  And a damn differant definition of decency, too.
They’ve lied, cheated, stole, killed innocents,practiced rampant nepotism at the expense of every American citizen for decades to come, drastically endangered us financially, politically, environmentally…. - and then scramble to do massive coverups after the fact.
What a great system they’ve got set up! Right up there with no-bid contracts!  So like I said, no surprise - just deep sadness at what we’ve become.

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