Monday, September 26, 2005

McCain Keeps up Pressure on Detainee Abuses

I didn't get a chance to watch "This Week" yesterday and catch Senator McCain's appearance there, but Richard Serrano has a write-up in today's LATimes detailing McCain's response to the ongoing question of how the US should deal with detainee abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay.

McCain said yesterday that when the Defense Department authorization bill comes before the Senate again in the near future, he and other senators (Warner, Graham Collins) will continue to push for the amendment they introduced back in June, that would require the military to abide by the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and would highlight anti-torture language in the Army Field Manual.

Of the abuses committed in the past, McCain said "We've got to have it stopped. It is hurting America's image abroad." He urged an investigation into past abuses and into new allegations that have recently emerged. McCain said those accusations "have to be investigated. We've got to make it clear to the world that America doesn't do it. It's not about prisoners. It's about us."

He's right. It's about us. Every one of us. What went on at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and elsewhere must be investigated fully and fairly - and those responsible must be held to account. And we must make perfectly sure that nothing like that ever, ever happens again. McCain's amendment is a good one, and I hope that it is adopted by a wide bipartisan majority.


At 5:38 AM, Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

I agree that torture and prisoner abuse is not an option we should use in our war on terror.

On the other hand, investivations have uncovered a strikiing military reality. Namely, most prisoners kept by the miliary during this war on terror are treated, fed, and housed better than most soldiers fighting this war on terror.

We need to start treating and respecting our soldiers better. They have sacrificed a lot to stand in our place and do a dangerous job most Americans will never do.

Take care.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Michael Roston said...

McCain's actions are a fig leaf covering up the obscenity of the existing national security apparatus's use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as a weapon in the GWOT. Coming down on the Army does little to nothing but send a faulty public message that won't do much to turn back our failure at public diplomacy. Already, the Bush administration in the Levin memo declared that it would implement Geneva - but only for the armed forces. If the CIA and paramilitary forces are utilizing torture outside the chain of command, and beyond the strictures of Geneva by exploiting loopholes in the language of the Levin memo, it just doesn't make a difference. It's only extends the exsiting executive cover for the Armed Forces to the legislative sphere, and does nothing to the fact that the CIA claims a lack of "effective control" over secret facilities all over the world where it orders the torture of detainees by foreign operatives that it manages.

This isn't a conspiracy theory - it's found in the case of the Afghanistan Salt Pit and the Justice Department's conclusion that facilities not "owned" by the CIA are not restricted by American adherence to Geneva standards. See the Washington Post for the fuller story.


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