Friday, April 08, 2005

Jeanne at Body and Soul points to an interesting piece in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal regarding how we expect our POW's treated, and how we treat someone elses. Here is the key graf:

[T]he archives also make clear that some of the practices employed by the U.S. today resemble those that U.S. military commissions condemned when Americans were on the receiving end. The U.S. considered as war crimes such tactics as solitary confinement, sleep and sensory deprivation, manipulation of meal schedules, forcing men to answer questions while naked or restrained in painful "stress positions," and failing to register prisoners with the International Red Cross. Today, all have been approved or practiced at Guantanamo and other U.S. facilities.The records, many of them from tribunals held at Yokohama, Japan, between 1946 and 1949, show that many defendants, like Mr. Kikuchi, received long sentences for lesser infractions, in keeping with the U.S.'s aggressive approach to prosecutions. Some of the justifications now offered both by low-level American soldiers and top officials echo those raised, with little success, by Japanese defendants called to account before American courts.


U.S. tribunals dismissed defense arguments that Japanese practices were necessary for disciplinary or interrogation reasons, that American prisoners were treated no worse than Japanese soldiers, that Japan hadn't ratified the Geneva Conventions and wasn't therefore bound by them and that, in any event, many American prisoners had forfeited POW status by bombing cities or committing acts of sabotage.

This really serves to demonstrate how utterly hypocrtical the sophistry of the rationale the Administration and it's halleluia chorus at Fox and the rest of the right wing media have been bleating to defend their reprehensible treatment of prisoners and detainees. We are treating prisoners in ways we hung people at Nurbemberg for.

I particularly like this example:

In the annals of law, the case of Masatomo Kikuchi is all but forgotten.The former Japanese prison guard was tried by the Allies after World War II for war crimes. In 1947, a U.S. military commission, citing the Geneva Conventions and customary international law, convicted him of compelling prisoners of war to practice saluting and other military exercises for as long as 30 minutes when they were tired. His sentence: 12 years of hard labor.

I think we need to have Brit Hume and the rest of the Short Bus Crew at Fox making little ones out of bigs one just for their 24/7 Agitprop. And Bill O'Reilly should be on permanent Latrine duty...

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