A few interesting items from this morning’s news roundup:
This is almost unbellievable: Congressional testimony by the president of the Association of Flight Attendants says that flight attendants on commercial airlines are still not being trained to resist hijackers.
The Washington Times follows up on Vladimir Putin’s statement that the Russians warned the U.S. about terrorist attacks on America by Saddam’s Iraq, and finds that the story has been virtually ignored by the news media.
And the Washington Post provides the documents that the White House declassified yesterday on the treatment of detainees. The documents seem to be as they were reported. President Bush, on the application of the Geneva Convention to Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners:
I accept the legal conclusion of the Department of Justice and determine that none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout the world because, among other reasons, al Qaeda is not a High Contracting Party to Geneva.
Based on the facts supplied by the Department of Defense and the recommendation of the Department of Justice, I determine that the Taliban detainees are unlawful combatants and, therefore, do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of Geneva. I note that, because Geneva does not apply to our conflict with al Qaeda, al Qaeda detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war.
Of course, our values as a Nation, values that we share with many nations in the world, call for us to treat detainees humanely, including those who are not legally entitled to such treatment. Our Nation has been and will continue to be a strong supporter of Geneva and its principles. As a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces will continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.
I didn’t see anything especially noteworthy in a partial review of the documents. I did note, however, in a document that summarized interrogation techniques that had been used at Guantanamo Bay, that one of the more severe, Category II methods was “Serving MRE instead of hot rations.”
In other words, making them eat the same food that our own troops eat in the field. Only in America, folks.