Skip to comments.Democrats, Iraqi Prisoners and the Geneva Convention
Posted on 05/06/2004 5:47:43 PM PDT by wagglebee
One of the biggest complaints about the Iraqi prison abuse scandal is the claim that U.S. soldiers violated the Geneva Convention by subjecting detainees to humiliation and intimidation tactics in a bid to get them to talk.
Democrats are griping the loudest about this. Typical was Tuesday's tirade by Sen. Hillary Clinton to CNN's Wolf Blitzer:
She fumed: "Well, first of all, Wolf, there is the Geneva Convention about the treatment of prisoners of war and there is protocol that certainly members of the Intelligence Committee and others have been briefed on as to what is expected with respect to interrogations carried out in the name of the United States."
Newsflash to Sen. Clinton, and all the others who may have forgotten that the Pentagon expressly exempted terrorist suspects - which is what many of the captured Iraqis are - from Geneva Convention protections at the outset of the war on terror.
And for a very good reason. Notes today's Wall Street Journal:
"The Pentagon has avoided formal Geneva Convention status because it doesn't want al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners to be able to hide behind 'name, rank and serial number.'
That's why, strictly speaking, the Iraqi insurgents being held at the Al Ghraib prison haven't been accorded Prisoner of War status.
If Americans want to suddenly change that, fine. But they should be mindful of the potential consequences.
Just last month Jordanian security forces foiled an al Qaeda weapons of mass destruction plot that could have killed up to 80,000 people. Jordanian TV ran videotaped confessions from the suspects, one of whom admitted he was trained in Iraq by Osama bin Laden's WMD specialist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
It's a fair bet that the Jordaniains didn't extract this information by adhering to the Geneva Convention protocols.
Zarqawi and his minions are still on the loose in Iraq, plotting to do the same to Americans at home as well as U.S. forces there.
If captured and interrogated, nothing would please them more than to be able to invoke the Geneva protocols - and promptly clam up about the next WMD plot they have in the works.
It's also fair to say no one was probably standing around taking pictures of the whole thing either.....
(Talk about humiliation tactics....Chillary knows all about those.......)
Wrong on both counts. Congress has authorised the executive to conduct war and the Geneva Conventions are not exclusive to "declared wars".
Probably has some interesting nude pictures of him too.
Yeah, I wonder what sort of "torture" Vince Foster and Ron Brown went through before they had their little run-ins with the Clintonista terror squad.
and WHO leaked them to the media?
I'm pretty sure this all got whipped into a scandal because it benefits the U.S. to direct and control its course. Someone released those photographs, and did so purposefully. Their apparent source is a DoD investigation into prison abuses that dates back some months. The DoD even issued a press release when it opened the investigations, but it didn't get traction -- then.
Now we have photographs, most of them featuring U.S. servicewomen humiliating Iraqi men. And the press has ran with it, giving the resulting scandal worldwide resonance, and rousing the usual suspects to rail against the abusive, arrogant Americans. The general in charge claims her troops were probably acting under CIA directions, and indeed, they most likely were.
U.S. interrogation techniques are noteworthy for their almost exclusive reliance on psychological techniques versus relatively crude physical pain techniques. We use fear, discomfort, sensory deprivation, lighting, sound (including carefully chosen music), a wide variety of drugs and yes, humiliation to break the wills of interrogation subjects.
In this case, I smell psyops and clever manipulation. Jihadis will fear humiliation in our prisons (a fate worse than death) and suffer a general sense of demoralization. It's already happening.
Specifically, being humiliated by women is terrifying to them. They value their masculinity, bravado and machismo above all, and are consequently very insecure about it. If we want to make jihadis feel uncomfortable and squirmy about alternatives to glorious martyrdom, we have done so.
Whether deliberate or not (and I think it was), the viral meme is working its way through the Arab mind. Threats of "greater rage" are absurd in the face of already constant rage. The practical threat of humiliation instead of glory will work its doubt into even the most devoted insurgent.
Bush's contrition only rubs salt into the wounds to Arab pride. Not only are these jihadis reduced to naked, groveling miserables -- in front of the world, and without a mark on them -- but we act like it didn't even require effort. "We didn't do it on purpose,
The message: "We didn't do it on purpose! Some of our women got out of control and abused your men." Ouch! Anathema to the Arab man. That's gotta hurt.
Meanwhile, Bush and Rumsfeld will weather a ridiculous partisan tempest in a teapot and come out looking more noble than before, while once again leaving their opponents with egg on their faces. But first, they must face the same old music they've always faced, just louder and more shrill for a short time.
And perhaps most important of all, U.S. troops have, in the course of a single "scandal", elevated from the dubious status of being "beaten down by entrenched insurgents" to being "abusive occupiers". That's quite a change of perception. Indeed, it is a master stroke in public relations.
The only real losers in all this are the soldiers who were played for patsies as part of the operation. But America has ways of taking care of its own. I see money in their futures.
I may be wrong, but it looks like a queen's pawn opening to me. We'll see who wins the game. My money is on the United States.
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