Posted by Curt on 11 July, 2006 at 8:59 pm. 1 comment.


Funny how the major MSM outfits made a big deal out of a memo the DoD released about Al-Qaeda prisoners but when you read the memo yourself you find that the headlines and the story just do not match.  

Check out some of the headlines:

In Big Shift, U.S. to Follow Geneva Treaty for Detainees

U.S. Will Give Detainees Geneva Rights

US applies Geneva Convention to military detainees

US vows to comply with Geneva Conventions

And the most blantantly false headline goes to the Washington Post with

U.S. Shifts Policy on Geneva Conventions

Wow!  Really?  Did Bush all of sudden decide to treat Al-Qaeda as POW's?  Say it ain't so Joe.

But when you read the memo, written by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England on July 7th, you find a very different story: 

The Supreme Court has determined that Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 applies as a matter of law to the conflict with Al Qaeda. The Court found that the military commissions as constituted by the Department of Defense are not consistent with Common Article 3.

It is my understanding that, aside from the military commission procedures, existing DoD orders, policies, directives, execute orders, and doctrine comply with the tandards of Common Article 3 and, therefore, actions by DoD personnel that comply with such issuances would comply with the standards of Common Article 3.

No where in this memo does it state that Al-Qaeda members will be considered POW's.   He states that the court disagreed with the Administration about the tribunals, but that's it.  They are to be treated humanely…

So where is this shift?

Andy McCarthy is wondering the same thing:

There is much less than meets the eye to the Pentagon's announcement today that enemy combatants at Gitmo will be accorded Geneva Convention protections. It is not an announcement (as it is being misconstrued in some places) that al Qaeda detainees are now considered honorable prisoners of war. What DoD is saying is that they get Common Article 3 protection, which is minimal: they are entitled to be treated humanely, which was already U.S. policy, and – consistent with what the Supreme Court has ruled – they may not be subjected to military commissions as currently designed. No one really thought the administration was going to decline to comply with the Court's ruling, so how this marks a "Big Shift," as the New York Times' headline proclaims, is beyond me.

In fact this memo re-inforces the position by the Bush administration that there was going to be no reversal of policy, since they already comply. 

As usual our MSM will make up stories and headlines that create the most shock value to those who need any excuse to hate Bush.

Oh, btw, about those tribunals :

The Senate is expected to take up legislation addressing the legal rights of suspected terrorists after the August recess – timing that would push the issue squarely into the election season.

Perfect timing to show the world which party wants to treat the war on terror as a law enforcement matter instead of a war.

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