He just doesn't seem to get it
From President George Bush's press conference during a visit to Chicago July 7, from the L.A. Times:
Answering a question about his authority to try detainees before military tribunals, Bush reiterated his belief that the Geneva Convention does not apply to detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"The Geneva Conventions were set up to deal with armies of nation-states," he said. "You've got standard rules of war. So, this is new ground. This is different than any president has been through before, in terms of how to deal with these kind of people that you're picking up off a battlefield and trying to protect the American people from."
Is the president as obtuse as he appears to be? I saw this exchange on the televised press conference yesterday, and couldn't believe that no one challenged it. So, I will.
Mr. President, the Geneva Convention has nothing to do with the character or intent of the prisoner. Absolutely nothing.
Rather, the Geneva Convention lays out how we, as civilized people will treat people who are at our mercy. It's about standards of conduct we set for ourselves, as honorable people. It's about us.
I realize concepts such as "honor" and "mercy" have declined in popularity in recent years. But it not ok to detain people illegally, without representation, then put them in front of military tribunals (who are controlled by you, when it comes down to it). It's not ok to torture, degrade, humiliate or otherwise mistreat prisoners. We are not that sort of people.
At least, we used not to be.
We gained goodwill from former combatants after World War II because we treated prisoners humanely. What will be the legacy of our actions under this administration?