Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Gonzales to World: To Hell with the Geneva Convention

The unbrilliant Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, has responded to the Hamdan decision by (a) denouncing it; and (b) telling the world that the US has no intention of abiding by the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, as interpreted by its own highest court.

The motivation here is obviously domestic politics, of the most disturbing kind.

The ball is now with the rest of the democratic world. We can fight knee-jerk nationalist politics with knee-jerk nationalist politics of our own. We have to demand that our governments cease co-operation with the "War on Terror" until the US agrees to abide by its treaty commitments. Those are treaty commitments to us, as signatories to the Geneva Conventions.

The Harper government, for one, could be vulnerable on this. Write your MP.

Update: The domestic politics for the administration may not be as simple as all that. According to an ABC-Washington Post poll, 71% of Americans want to either charge the Gunatanamo detainees or give them "POW status". That's slightly confused, and is not directly on point for Hamdan, but it shows a rejection of the quasi-fascist "demanding due process is disloyalty" line Gonzalez has gone public with. Of course, at this point, the GOP may be most concerned with giving its base a reason to get out to the polls in 06. I doubt this will be another khaki election. Unfortunately, I also doubt the intestinal fortitude of the Democrats.

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