Multiple choice

The new DoD regs will allow what the Geneva Conventions and the McCain Amendment forbid.

There’s an old joke about a man who was came to a question on a visa application form that asked whether he supported “the overthrow of the government of the United States by force or violence.” He replied: “Violence.”

The Rumsfeld Defense Department seems to have the same idea. Confronted with the question of whether to obey the McCain Amendment’s ban on “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatment of prisoners, they’ve opted for “degrading.”

Where’s Senator Straight Talk in all this? Is he content to have written civilized behavior into the statute books without reference to whether it takes place in the field? Bush’s “signing statement” was virtually an open declaration that BushCo intended to violate the law anytime they wanted to. Yet the Senator seems unperturbed.

No, impeachment isn’t good enough. We need war crimes trials.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

7 thoughts on “Multiple choice”

  1. Why are war crimes trials a dream? Torture and conspiracy to torture are straightforward crimes in US law. A future Democratic administration would have to investigate them seriously – by someone like Fitzgerald, not Pat Roberts – with a view to prosecution. The alternative would be to lose all moral credibility by issuing a blanket amnesty. This won't go away; look at Pinochet.

  2. It's worth a try. Notice that Kissinger has to stay out of Europe these days. Most of the demos are too corrupt and/or frightened to stand up on their hind legs and bray. But dare we even impeach? Can you say unelected President Cheney? Can we go for a two-fer? But look at the list of succession. Who along that list would you prefer? When could we stop throwing the bums out? And who in hell is the right dem to take over? Nothing but also rans, no ways and retreads there. Do we honestly think that our heartland will elect Hillary? Do we just demand defeat, even when victory hovers? Will we just throw this one away like we did the last two?

  3. cf The new rightwing blogosphere talking point that Al Gore is a twit for saying that China has higher emissions control standards than the US because everyone knows that no-one in China enforces laws, unlike the US where the law matters because it is actually enforced.

  4. Impeachment?
    Censure?
    Sense-of-the-Congress resolutions?
    Not [deleted] likely – even the Adminstration's ostensible "opposition" can barely bring itself to even speak harshly about this embarrassment of a President, or any of the regime's shortcomings, still less abuses. Disgraceful (and yes, that's both Bush and the Dems!)

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