Up until now America had upheld higher principles with respect to the treatment of prisoners...
George Washington's soldiers in the battle of Trenton on Dec. 25, 1776 took Hessians prisoners. They said these soldiers were mercenaries and wanted to take retribution on them. They wanted the Hessians to run the gauntlet while beating them with sticks. But General Washington said no; He told them their prisoners would be treated with respect and dignity. Washington said the Hessians will suffer no abuse or torture, because to do otherwise would bring dishonor upontheirr sacred cause.
That's one of the first orders given to the continental army. It has been military tradition for 240 years, before it was stopped by the likes of Bu$h, Rumsfeld and Kline.
Now John Kline and the rest of the Rubber-Stamp Congress have dishonored the thousands of men and women currently wearing uniforms by rewriting our laws to retro-excuse any lack of discipline and criminal behavior that incurred since 911. It was written to comply with the Bu$h administrations earlier policy that held the Geneva Conventions pertaining to the treatment of prisoners of war was just 'guidelines' for others but not applicable to....the USA.
I never thought I'd see the day that our U.S. leaders would be discussing what types of torture is 'okay'. Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib-like prisons, secret CIA prisons, mock trials and tribunals, doing away with due process and interrogation techniques like 'waterboarding' are all being passed into law!
Torture is being defined by this law in the narrowest possible terms to allow coercive, physical abuse of combatant's if 'military necessity' demands it. Naturally those determining 'military necessity' will be Bu$hCo like Rumsfeld and Kline. The same leaders that have led us into a war that has now heightened terrorist attacks against America will decide if torture is okay!
All this comes after several internal Pentagon reports found widespread and severe abuse of detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere that has led to at least two dozen deaths during interrogation.
A real American patriot like George Washington would perceived this bill as abandoning our moral high ground as Americans. Kline should be ashamed for actively instituting de facto approval of torture as US Policy!
Kline has said in the past that allegations of torture have been exaggerated in an effort to hurt the Bu$h administration politically. If he really believes that then why sponsor a bill that now applies 'retro-actively'? Kline, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, says there have been cases -- such as those at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq -- where U.S. service members were found to have abused prisoners and were punished by courts martial. But Kline says he's offended by the suggestion that torture has become a part of U.S. policy.
"The policy in the United States rejects torture. We don't engage in torture," said Kline. "There are places in the world where there are horrible acts being conducted, real torture being conducted. And it seems to me that's where the focus ought to be for trying to stop torture in the world."Yet seventy-seven years after the codification of the Geneva Conventions pertaining to the treatment of prisoners of war, Kline and Republican members of the House voted to change the interpretation of the international law prohibiting torture to protect past actions and to allow future abuses.
John Kline is one of 19 Republican co-sponsors of the pro-torture legislation that passed the House last week and is now in the Senate. The GOP has amended the bill to include interrogations that would allow U.S. citizens to be detained as enemy combatants