Friday, July 20, 2007


When did you stop beating your wife?

If you answer that famous trick question by saying, "I promise not to beat my wife in the future," isn't that pretty much a de facto admission that you have in the past, even if it might not be a legal admission of guilt?

With that in mind:

President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment, including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

Conditions of confinement and interrogation practices could not include:

o Torture or other acts of violence serious enough to be considered comparable to murder, torture, mutilation and cruel or inhuman treatment. [Ed. note: huh? Torture can't be comparable to torture?]

o Willful or outrageous acts of personal abuse done to humiliate or degrade someone in a way so serious that any reasonable person would "deem the acts to be beyond the bounds of human decency, such as sexual or sexually indecent acts undertaken for the purpose of humiliation, forcing the individual to perform sexual acts or to pose sexually, threatening the individual with sexual mutilation.

o Acts intended to denigrate the religion, religious practices, or religious objects of an individual.

The order also says that detainees must receive basic necessities, including adequate food and water, shelter from the elements, necessary clothing, protection from extreme heat and cold and essential medical care.
Almost all of these things, as we know, have been practiced in the past (and almost certainly the present).

This is all basically for show, however, since it's all based on a law passed last October:

The legislation said the president can "interpret the meaning and application" of international standards for prisoner treatment, a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts.
In other words, anything you hear about today can be re-"interpreted" by the President any time he (or she) chooses (assuming it wasn't transmitted to the field with a picture of the President's fingers crossed in the first place).

The actual executive order isn't online yet.

Why stop here? There's more...

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