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16 May 2004

How we got where we are

According to Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker, the secret operations in the "war on terror", developed at Guantanamo Bay and exported to Iraq in August 2003, have led the US and the west into this moral "gray zone". A quote from the close of the article sums up the problem:
“In an odd way,” Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said, “the sexual abuses at Abu Ghraib have become a diversion for the prisoner abuse and the violation of the Geneva Conventions that is authorized.” Since September 11th, Roth added, the military has systematically used third-degree techniques around the world on detainees. “Some jags* hate this and are horrified that the tolerance of mistreatment will come back and haunt us in the next war,” Roth told me. “We’re giving the world a ready-made excuse to ignore the Geneva Conventions. Rumsfeld has lowered the bar.”
*jags (for the benefit of those unfamiliar with US military jargon) = members of JAG Corps = Judge Advocate General Corps = military lawyers, basically

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