The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, June 13, 2004

How is it possible for someone to write a letter to a newspaper without firing a single neuron?

If we use torture, enemies will, too

How can the the Justice Department advise the White House that torture of Al-Qaida terrorists in captivity ``may be justified'' (Page 9A, June 8) without considering the law of unintended consequences?

Think of the jeopardy that puts our soldiers in when captured. If the United States believes it does not have to follow the Geneva Convention, our enemies surely won't be obliged to follow them either.

Annie Bryant
San Jose

The United States has and does follow the Geneva Convention, when it captures soldiers from countries which have also signed that agreement. One could consider rough treatment of captured Al-Qaida prisoners as having an intended consequence of demonstrating that everyone should abide by the Geneva Convention. (Though I doubt the Bush Administration has that in mind, and anyway the treatment of captured jihadists is far from harsh.)

Of course Al-Qaida does not follow the Geneva Convention, and does not capture soldiers at all, except when it needs raw material for a decapitation snuff movie.



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