Anyway, on to talking about the Geneva Conventions (What else?). From CNN:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday strongly limited the power of the Bush administration to conduct military tribunals for suspected terrorists imprisoned overseas at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Hamdan's lawyers argued that Bush exceeded his authority by setting up military commissions to try terrorist suspects, whom the administration terms "enemy combatants," rather than prisoners of war.And, from AMERICAblog:
The administration's position was that the term means detainees do not have the rights traditionally afforded prisoners of war, as outlined in the Geneva Conventions.
And what a surprise:Here's my problem with this whole thing - yes, it would make it much easier to defeat our enemies if we could torture the sh*t out of them. As often as people lie to stop the torture, I'm willing to believe that they give up actual information as well. It would be easier - for about a minute and a half. Then, all hell would break loose. "Policies" (I can't think of another word) like this seem like a great idea until someone used them on YOU. We want soldiers treated like humans, dammit. Just because most of our current crop of detainees aren't enlisted in a "proper" army doesn't mean that our soldiers can't get grabbed in retaliation.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strongly worded dissent, saying the court's decision would "sorely hamper the president's ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy."
The court's willingness, Thomas said, "to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous."
Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito also filed dissents.
Oh, right. Barbaric behavior does nothing but send us backwards in time to a more graphically violent world. If you think that things are more violent today than they were in the days of, say, public hangings, I think you're fooling yourself.
We must lead as we intend to go on. We must behave maturely in order to even begin to hope that others will behave maturely towards us. Bad behavior has never engendered good behavior, and it never will. These rules that we have, they weren't put in place because convicting people without trials was working fabulously for everyone.
So for now, even though it was a much closer vote than I deem reasonable, once again I say, "Way to go, Supremes".