Monday, July 31, 2006

Shock the conscience

This is ironic isn't it?

Shield sought for US personnel from 1996 war crimes act

An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes and prosecuted in US courts.
That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if US-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.

In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that said international conventions apply to the treatment of such detainees, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need for such protections, according to someone who heard his remarks last week.

Gonzales told the lawmakers that a shield was needed for actions taken by US personnel under a 2002 presidential order, which the Supreme Court declared illegal, and under Justice Department legal opinions that have been withdrawn under fire, the source said. A spokeswoman for Gonzales, Tasia Scolinos, declined to comment on Gonzales's remarks.
The aim, Justice Department lawyers say, is also to take advantage of US legal precedents that limit sanctions to conduct that "shocks the conscience."

Jeez, so you pass a law in 1996, then 10 years later when your president orders people to break that law and the Supreme Court upholds the law, you scramble to protect the people you've ordered to break the law.

Why don't we just shield everyone from every law? I'd sure like a shield for the granny on chemo who feels much better after smoking a joint. Wouldn't you like a shield for demonstrators that break, um, no laws? I'm sure we can apply the Gonzales shield equally, right? Especially to acts that don't shock anyone's conscience.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home