|INSTON CHURCHILL ONCE observed that "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." As part of the left-wing arsenal of distorted arguments as to why Bush is so wrong in his proclaimed "War on Terrorism," another lie has presented itself, wrapped around the President's stance on the Geneva Convention and its vague prescriptions for the interrogation and treatment of prisoners of war.|
The central argument by those opposed to any alteration or clarification of the last of four succeeding agreements, with a history beginning in 1864, is that any change deemed detrimental in a revised version of the Geneva Convention might ultimately be used against our troops. The use of torture is bantered about as an example, with critics claiming that the U.S. Commander-in-Chief is looking for a legal loop hole that goes beyond the intent of the Fourth Geneva Convention, last revised in 1949. The President claims that different times and different circumstances call for one more overhaul of a multi-nation agreement that has already accepted revisions in 1949 and amendment protocols in 1977 and 2005. In other words, the current concepts of proper treatment for prisoners of war, civilians in wartime, and even the outlawing of the use of certain types of weapons in warfare, has been the result of a number of needed revisions, reflecting the changing nature of war.
In an attempt to belittle the administration's efforts, magazine reporters Michael Isikoff, John Barry, and Michael Hirsh of Newsweek used a quote from the 2002 memo from Attorney General Gonzales concerning the application of the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war to the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and truncated a key quote from Gonzales in his memo in their co-authored story. The Newsweek story quotes the Attorney General as saying, "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4989481/
Now compare Newsweek's quote with this one from the original memo; "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments." http://www.npr.org/documents/2005/nov/torture/torturegonzales.pdf
The result of this obvious effort to change the true intent of Gonzales' memo and his legal opinion of the current tenets of the Geneva Convention was swift. In no time, the word "quaint" was being used to describe the Attorney General's haughty "opinion" of the agreement in general. To add to this transgression, other reporters like the New York Times' Maureen Dowd continued this fable while left-wing blogs and websites repeated the Newsweek distortion. Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) seems to do this sort of thing to the liberal press.
Take a look at the links and you can form your own opinion. Maybe this time, truth will finally have a chance to get its pants on.
Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist based in Kernersville, North Carolina. He has his BA in Psychology and his Master’s Degree in Public Policy. He is a contributing editor at http://www.theconservativevoice.com. Contact him at Nathan@nathantabor.com.
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