Tony Snow conducted one of his most fascinating briefings today in his relatively short time as White House press secretary.
Most of it had to do with the administration's attempt to redefine -- or as it claims, simply make clearer -- certain key parts of the Geneva Convention's rules on torture and interrogation. In the course of it, Snow charged that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had just written a letter critical of this move, was "confused" about the matter, and several key GOP senators, including John McCain, similarly not on the right path.
That's right, everyone's all freaked out about torture and the Geneva Convention because the whole thing's so confusing. As E&P points out, "Geneva prohibitions have lasted almost 60 years without others feeling a crying need to clarify or re-define them." Apparently, everyone took stupid pills once we started this whole war on terror thing and now no one can understand something that's been considered unambiguous since it was last revised in 1949.
As Tony Snow helpfully pointed out, among the confused are Bush's former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell wrote, "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis" for Bush's 'War on Terror'. Way to get right on that Colin. Powell's a little late to the truthtelling game. But better late than never.
The problem is, of course, that Geneva's a treaty. Any redefinition of what it says would be irrelevant. We can write in whatever we want, but international law will still stand. As part of Bush's push to redefine war crimes, it's pretty much useless anyway -- it doesn't make a damned bit of difference what the US says, a war crime is an international crime. Saddam Hussein can argue with absolute certainty that gassing the kurds was legal in Iraq.
And the rest of the world can ask, "so what?"
Technorati tags: politics; terrorism; torture; war crimes; republicans; Senate; why is Bush using arguments that Saddam Hussein might?