Tuesday, July 11, 2006

But it's not a flip-flop, really...

It's not a flip flop, it's not a policy reversal, it's really just more of a reaction to polls an acceptance of the Supreme Court decision. The Bush administration has decided to grant Geneva protections to prisoners.

All cynicism aside, this is a good decision to make. I'm glad that the administration has chosen not to defy the courts on this, and I'm glad that the United States might someday once again be trusted not to mistreat prisoners. This is too little, much too late, to redeem the administration in my eyes... but they did make the right call, even if it was under pressure.

I don't trust that they made this correct decision freely; I do think that they realized that the polls were against them if they tried to defy the Supreme Court. But treating prisoners by the minimum standards of decency is always a good thing, even if it's not done for the best of reasons.

Torture doesn't work; revenge sets you down the path towards evil; everything you're willing to do to the guilty, you are certain to do to the innocent, sooner or later. Those were all good, pragmatic reasons we should have followed the Geneva Conventions from the start.

But at least we're moving in the right direction again.

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