Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged on Thursday that he ordered the secret detention of an Iraqi terrorism suspect held for more than seven months near Baghdad without notifying the Red Cross.
Rumsfeld told reporters CIA Director George Tenet asked him last November “to take custody of an Iraqi national who was believed to be a high-ranking member of Ansar al-Islam,” which the United States has called a terrorist group.
“And we did so. We were asked to not immediately register the individual (with the International Committee of the Red Cross). And we did that,” Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing hours after President Bush again voiced support for the beleaguered Pentagon chief.
And the Cons were saying before how all the wrongs that have happened in Iraq aren’t Rumsfeld (The Bush Administration)’s fault.
Assigning a prisoner number and notifying the Red Cross are required under the Geneva Conventions and other international humanitarian laws.
Rumsfeld said the man’s case was unique, but he was vague when reporters asked whether the United States was holding other “ghost” prisoners without Red Cross knowledge in Iraq.
“He has been treated humanely. There’s no implication of any problem. He was not at Abu Ghraib. He is not there now. He has never been there to my knowledge,” Rumsfeld added, referring to the prison on the outskirts of Baghdad where U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners.
Rumsfield’s quote only further proves how out of touch the Bush Administration is with not only the world outside of Hawkish Neo-Conservatism but also reality.
I think that Sen. Joseph Biden (D., Del.) summed it up very succinctly:
“There’s a reason why we sign these treaties: to protect my son in the military. That’s why we have these treaties, so when Americans are captured they are not tortured. That’s the reason in case anybody forgets it.”
Unfortunately, these are not sins of omission but sins of commission. The Bush Administration very well knows that they breaking laws. They have constantly flaunted that they believe that they are above the law and that morals are something that can be conviently forgotten or twisted to fit themselves to their agenda. It doesn’t matter if this has nothing to do with the abused Iraqi prisoners. Its wrong and it goes against the Geneva conventions.
Bloody minded Neo-Cons will tell you that the Geneva Conventions no longer apply because they were written for a time long ago or because Al Qaeda and Osama won’t abide by them, then they don’t apply to the United States. The warbirds will say that we are at war for our very way of life.
Exactly. Our way of life is supposed to be a more civilized, moral, thoughtful, and honest one. Americans like to think themselves as a Christian culture where hard work, honesty and responsibility will get you far. Americans want to be the ones that the world looks up to. The problem is that by forgetting what it means to follow rules, agreements, and to generally be humane, America finds that its name becomes more dirty and become more like the very thing they are fighting against. To fight the good fight is in fact to fight fairly, to be humane, and to still hold a level of compassion and understanding even when being spit upon. To go to the level of people who would kill innocents in the name of their crusades, to break laws only gives those who hate the United States more fuel for the fire.
Considering the military power of the United States, to actually follow the Geneva Conventions would not in the grand scheme of things make the United States any less safe than she already is now. Showing a disregard for the rules of engagement only makes the United States less safe by alienating potential allies in the world community.
If one’s cause is just and conducted fairly and morally, in the long run, they are going win. People want to always side with the moral side, the good side, the “white and clean” side.
At the White House meeting, Bush voiced support for Rumsfeld when reporters asked whether he was disappointed in the decision to hide the suspect from the Red Cross.
“I’m never disappointed in my secretary of defense. He’s doing a fabulous job and America’s lucky to have him in the position he’s in,” Bush said.
Wow. Just wow. Talk about being in denial, or being ignorant. I’m not sure which it is. I just know that these kinds of things being accepted and condoned by the leader of my country only puts me in more personal risk abroad. Since my own country cannot be expect to treat people fairly, how can I even hope for other to comply? Its no wonder why people hate the United States with such venom. Rumsfeld has made so many screw ups yet his resignation isn’t being demanded. Instead he is being applauded and praised for deceit?
I know that wasn’t the American values I was taught in school.
I read these things and it really does hurt me inside and makes me angry/sad/scared. Something needs to be done about the evil in the world- Both in the Middle East and in the White House.