Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Bush administration apparently wants to amend the War Crimes Act, so that
humiliations, degrading treatment and other acts specifically deemed as "outrages" by the international tribunal prosecuting war crimes in the former Yugoslavia -- such as placing prisoners in "inappropriate conditions of confinement," forcing them to urinate or defecate in their clothes, and merely threatening prisoners with "physical, mental, or sexual violence" -- would not be among the listed U.S. crimes, officials said.
The usual suspects are up in arms, of course. But their fury aside, it occurs to me that by opposing the criminalization of “degrading treatment”, the administration is depriving itself of a golden opportunity to extricate itself from its Gitmo problem. After all, under the broader definition, the US government could simply set up a tribunal and try the Guantanamo detainees for war crimes related to their maltreatment of their guards.

After all, if it's a terrible crime when perpetrated by American guards against Al Qaeda terrorists, then surely it's at least as terrible a crime when perpetrated by Al Qaeda terrorists against American guards--right?

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