Justice Torture Report Mars US Prestige As World Beacon
release of an opinion by the Obama appointed Justice Department that all but sweeps the infamous Bush Administration torture
memos under the rug has served notice to the world that America no longer stands by the rules of the Geneva Conventions.
issue centers around memos drafted by two former department lawyers, Jay Bybee and John Yoo, who were accused of “bending
acceptable legal reasoning in an effort to justify the use of torture on terrorism suspects.”
300-page report concludes that Yoo and Bybee are not guilty of professional misconduct by recommending “enhanced interrogation
techniques.” These techniques involved the controversial water boarding torture and may have led to a variety of other
extreme torture measures uncovered at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004.
find it extremely troubling that the Obama Administration is refusing to bring charges against these lawyers, the military
people involved in torturing prisoners of war, and Vice President Dick Cheney who has openly condoned the acts of torture
used against these prisoners and boasted about his role in supporting these crimes.
appears that the leadership in the United States is blatantly thumbing its nose at the United Nations and the other world
nations that have not only endorsed, but attempted to live by the rules of the Geneva Conventions since they were first drafted
more than a century ago.
those who may need a history lesson, the Geneva Conventions include four treaties and three additional protocols drafted and
adopted by participating nations that set standards in international law for the humanitarian treatment for victims and prisoners
first Geneva treaty dates back to the time of the American and French Civil Wars, when Clara Barton was actively involved
as a warfront nurse, witnessing the horrors of war and attempting to give as much aid and comfort as possible to the fallen
soldiers and civilians caught in the cross-fire. Indeed, Miss Barton assisted soldiers on both sides of both conflicts.
working in Europe, Miss Barton got involved in the new concept of a Red Cross Commission, and later helped in not only establishing
a Red Cross in the United States, but campaigned for the ratification of the first Geneva Convention by the United States
in 1882. That convention established the Red Cross as a permanent relief agency for humanitarian aid in times of war and allowed
its workers to operate within a war zone. It consisted of ten articles that were first ratified by 12 European nations as
early as 1864.
the years the Geneva Convention has been expanded to provide even more protection as the concept of war and all of its horrors
has changed. A second treaty adopted in 1906 specifically protected members of the armed forces at sea.
third treaty adopted in 1929 was designed to protect prisoners of war. The fourth treaty which grew from the many atrocities
committed during World War II was adopted in 1949. It not only expanded on the rules of treating prisoners of war, but included
the protection of civilians during wartime.
protocols were adopted in 1977 adding even more protections to prisoners of war, and a third protocol in 2005 declared additional
signs such as a Red Crystal as a protective medical symbol because some nations objected to the Red Cross sign for religious
has been a concerted effort on the part of the leaders of all participating nations to set standards for protecting prisoners
of war and civilians as much as possible during the horrors of war. Yet they have been unable to stop the occurrence of the
heinous practice of warfare, which has remained the most barbaric act nations can commit against one another throughout human
humanity wishes to someday reach a state of true peace and harmony on this planet, a way to bring a stop of war must be found.
But as long as big business interests and the massive defense industrial complex can acquire great financial profits by sending
young men and women off to wars, it may only be wishful thinking to believe such insanity can be brought to an end.
long as we insist on sending our best young men and women off to battle, we need international agreements like the Geneva
Conventions to assure some protection in the event they become captured and imprisoned by enemy forces. We also need to had
protection in place to make sure death camps for minority groups, like the Jewish people of Germany, are ever reinstated.
the United States has clearly abandoned the rules of the Geneva Conventions in his insane wars against terrorism could be
very bad news. It means that our fighting troops and even our citizens may be fair game for foreign enemies during wars of