Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Hip, Hip, hypocrites!

Remember when I said the Bush administration had (as per Newsweek) replaced the Geneva conventions with a "new paradigm"? (Also see here.)

As if sensing the potential public relations problem, the source for the Newsweek quote -- presidential counsel Arturo R. Gonzales -- wrote this in an editorial for the New York Times:

Both the United States and Iraq are parties to the Geneva Conventions. The United States recognizes that these treaties are binding in the war for the liberation of Iraq. There has never been any suggestion by our government that the conventions do not apply in that conflict. Although recent news reports from Iraq have caused some to question our commitment to the treaties, make no mistake that the United States is bound to observe the rules of war in the Geneva Conventions.
Well, which is it? Geneva or post-Geneva? The new paradigm or the old one?

This contradiction reminds me of Taguba's congressional testimony. In a widely-quoted prepared statement, he averred that prisoner abuse was not widespread at Abu Ghraib. Under questioning, he admitted that, yes, abuse was widespread.

"There is no cannibalism in the modern British Navy! And when I say there is no cannibalism in the modern British Navy, I mean...that there is some, but we we have it under control."

(One of the oddities of the Bush administration is the fact that every news story seems to illustrate a Monty Python quote.)

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