13 June 2008

Activists, I tell you!

Many commenters in the Slashdot discussion on the SCOTUS ruling on habeas voiced the same slack-jawed terror that I felt when I heard the news: 5 to fucking 4?!? I guess it reflects how long we persisted with these insane ideas and how long it took to get us back to sanity, but it appears more likely that the forces of insanity are still strong. One commenter pointed out that Scalia has made similar convoluted leaps in defending torture. Thanks to Think Progress for the source quote, in response to a question asking if torture is cruel and unusual:

No. To the contrary. Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don’t think so. ... When he’s hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn’t say he’s punishing you. What is he punishing you for?

If this were a scene in a movie, you'd be justified calling the writing unrealistic. Until now. In its unlawful combatant entry, Wikipedia outlines the options as described by the Red Cross: Every person in enemy hands must be either a prisoner of war and, as such, be covered by the Third Convention; or a civilian covered by the Fourth Convention. The gray area that Bush et al. slithered around in is due to the fact that the phrase "unlawful combatant" does not exist in the Geneva Conventions. Read the opening section of that Wikipedia article for a good overview.

Particularly distasteful is Scalia's threat that the decision will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed. Fuck you.

[ posted by sstrader on 13 June 2008 at 6:06:39 PM in Politics ]