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And, yes, I DO take it personally: I'm not auditioning for president of the Glenn Greenwald fan club
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm not auditioning for president of the Glenn Greenwald fan club


he made an excellent point this morning when commenting on michael mukasey's wapo op-ed in today's edition...

Former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey, The Washington Post, today, arguing against civilian trials for Guantanamo detainees:
The civilized world has tried over several hundred years to establish rules of warfare so that those who wear uniforms, follow a recognized chain of command, carry their arms openly and do not target civilians are treated as prisoners of war when captured. Those who follow none of these rules are treated as war criminals, not as ordinary defendants accused of ordinary crimes and entitled to far more robust protection than war criminals.


The irony here is that the decision to declare enemy fighters in Afghanistan as "unlawful enemy combatants" -- which is what, in turn, "justified" denial of Geneva Conventions protections for them (at least until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise) -- was grounded in the fact that they do not, as Mukasey put it, "wear uniforms, follow a recognized chain of command, carry their arms openly." That's what made them, in the U.S. lexicon, not only "unlawful combatants" but even Terrorists. But, of course, exactly the same is true for our countless private contractors who are acting as combatants for the U.S. in multiple parts of the world... .

as i said yesterday, the ability of the u.s. to wax righteous to the rest of the world while blindly justifying its own utter disregard for accountability, the rule of law and internationally accepted standards of conduct is seemingly limitless...

speaking of which, a neighbor of mine in the rv park is on temporary duty here with the air national guard, serving as a mission commander for drone missions in afghanistan and pakistan and probably other places i'll never hear about... as with so many of these guys, he's a decent enough sort, pleasant to talk with, laid back and easy-going... i'm sure he doesn't think of himself as either a war criminal or a terrorist and i'm sure nothing i could say would change that... however, i'd be really curious to know how much and how deeply he actually thinks about what he's doing... i can't believe he doesn't think about it at all but i strongly suspect he tells himself that, unpleasant as it is, it's a job that's got to be done... if pressed, i'd guess most people would respond that way, so thoroughly have we been sold on the unimpeachable rightness of united states behavior in all things...

p.s. how come it is that former officials of a thoroughly discredited presidential administration - rove, cheney, yoo, mcconnell, mukasey, et al, ad nauseam - keep getting trotted back out to spew their fear-based, constitution-shredding garbage...? why do their opinions still matter...? why not john dean...? why not paul craig roberts...? for that matter, why not ramsey clark...? just askin'...

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