Monday, May 17, 2004

Once you know (from Newsweek and The New Yorker) just how long it's been official U.S. policy that the Geneva rules on prisoner torture are "obsolete" (because 9/11 Changed Everything), the timing of this seems a bit easier to understand:

(New York, May 6, 2002)

...In an unprecedented diplomatic maneuver, Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman is expected to announce today that the Bush administration does not consider itself bound by President Clinton's December 31, 2000 signature on the treaty to create a permanent war crimes tribunal....

The U.S. government has said that it fears U.S. servicemembers or officials could be brought before the court in politically motivated cases....

Oh, and Frank Rich made a nice catch yesterday, even though as he wrote he presumably didn't know what The New Yorker and Newsweek were about to report:

In one particularly embarrassing illustration of American hypocrisy, we're reminded of how Donald Rumsfeld berated the Arab channel for violating the Geneva Convention by broadcasting pictures of American prisoners of war. By the time of his outburst -- March 2003 -- we were very likely already violating the Geneva Convention ourselves.

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