Sunday, September 24, 2006

Only the New York Times 
Could conflate putting a pair of panties on someone's head with rape.

If you'll reread the article, you'll discover forcing someone to put panties on their head is sexual abuse, not rape.
You've hit a nail pretty solidly on the head here.

The real scandals are (1) the NY Times and supposed Defenders of Humanity From All Things Bush don't know what is actually authorized in interrogation under the Army FM, and lack the imagination or military experience to understand what "fear up harsh" or "love of comrades" approaches actually entail; and, (2) in being ignorant and in going for the cheap political point scoring, they insist on the literal enforcement of the Geneva Conventions. The Conventions are meant to be interpreted somewhat loosely - in accord with traditional and customary notions of the meaning of the treaty, the proper method of intrepreting international law. This allows for some fairly harsh treatment, akin to a standard approaching what John Yoo argued for - not causing permanent or severe physical or emotional harm. Sleep deprivation, coercive threats (that won't be followed through on) and other nasty measures - including maybe the barking dogs, panties on the head and so forth - should be permissible under that standard. Yet if the Conventions are interpreted literally, as the Protectors of All That is Right and Good insist, coercion and humiliation is forbidden. Now tell me, Jason, in an extremely patriarchal honor/shame society, isn't the mere presence of American female soldiers on the battlefield humiliating? How about when the AQ and their allies get lit up by a female Apache pilot, or their fighting position gets grenaded by a female MP? Is that not humiliating? Is not the mere presence of men with guns asking you questions coercive? Isn't being captured by the Great Satan the height of humiliation?

Thus within the short loop of an NYT reporter's brain, pretty much all interrogation is torture, or at least abuse in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

I've asked the question about the presence of female MPs and pilots and interrogators of some human rights lawyers on the AQ side of this fight. They insist I am being facetious and joking. Yet I never get an answer on the merits.
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