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Sunday, March 27, 2005



U.S. treatment of prisoners: The latest developments

I find it disturbing that prisoner abuse is now so seemingly commonplace and non-offensive that we are treated to aggregated "news round-up"-style reports detailing this month's developments in human rights atrocities.
MARCH 1: DEFENSE SECRETARY SUED OVER PRISONER ABUSE...
MARCH 2: CIA OFFICIAL DEFENDS EFFORTS TO INVESTIGATE...
MARCH 4: ATTORNEY GENERAL NOT SURPRISED...
MARCH 7: ABU GHRAIB GUARD GOING TO COURT-MARTIAL...
MARCH 10: THE CHURCH REPORT...
MARCH 11: ARMY REPORT ON FATAL BEATINGS GOES PUBLIC...
MARCH 15: NEW NUMBERS RELEASED BY THE PENTAGON...
MARCH 15: WEST POINTER GOES TO JAIL FOR BRIDGE INCIDENT...
MARCH 16: THE PRESIDENT DEFENDS CIA POLICY...
MARCH 17: CIA DIRECTOR PORTER GOSS TESTIFIES...
MARCH 21: FULL FBI MEMO RELEASED...
MARCH 21: EX-NAVY SEAL GOES TO COURT-MARTIAL...
MARCH 24: ARMY RETURNS TO DEATH OF IRAQI SCIENTIST...
MARCH 25: ABUSE OF IRAQI PRISONERS NEAR MOSUL ALLEGED...

I suppose it's encouraging to see some positive developments mixed in with the bad, but it's inexcusable that we have come to this point at all. And after all that, which is most likely only the tip of the iceberg, the compiler tosses in this last little bit of information that seems too much like a punchline to be anything other than a dig at the administration:
TODAY: U.S. CONSIDERS STRENGTHENING DETAINEES' RIGHTS

The New York Times is reporting that the Defense Department is considering substantial changes to the special military tribunals the Bush administration established to try foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo.

The proposed changes include strengthening the rights of defendants, establishing more independent judges to lead the panels, and barring confessions obtained by torture, military and administration officials told the newspaper.

I imagine they're going take their time in their considerations, and with any luck the problem will take care of itself.

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