Specifically, the Bush Administration wants to disavow our promise to adhere to Article 3(1)(c) of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the section prohibiting
“outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment”because they find this limitation inconvenient to the sort of interrogations they want done.
But make no mistake: this is not merely an assault on the human rights of those we define as our enemies (without benefit of judicial evaluation). Oh, no, this is a direct assault on every individual volunteering to serve in our armed forces. The Bush Administration is not only declaring that we have the right to mistreat our prisoners, but that our own forces can be mistreated in the same manner if they are captured. That’s the beauty of reciprocity.
Again and again, Bush has shown that he is no ally of our troops. This latest foray into the abandonment of all principles of decent behavior is no different, and we will all pay for his official embracing of the evil that is torture, but our troops have the most to lose.