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Red Cross is coming--quick, hide the prisoners!

Spencer Ackerman at TPM has been reading the recently leaked 2004 operations manual for military detentions at Gitmo.

Last month, Wikileaks publishedthe 2003 edition of the manual. Among other controversial provisions,the manual instructed officials to hide certain detainees from theInternational Committee of the Red Cross, a practice that the militaryrepeatedly denied was in existence at Guantanamo. Spokespeople for theU.S. military's Southern Command, which oversees Guantanamo Bay, saidthe manual was outdated and assured that some instructions thatviolated the Geneva Conventions were no longer in effect.

Ackerman quotes the Wikileaks exegetes, who find that

Systematic denial of Red Cross access to prisoners remains. The use ofdogs remains. Segregation and isolation are still used routinely andsystematically including an initial period of at least 4 weeks "toenhance and exploit the disorientation and disorganization felt by anewly arrived detainee", only terminated at the behest ofinterrogators. Both manuals assert that detainees will be treated inaccordance with the "spirit" of the Geneva conventions "to the degreeconsistent with military needs", but never assert that the conventionsare actually being followed at Guantanamo. Put into practice, neithermanual complies with the Geneva conventions.

How long until the leakers are accused of giving aid to the enemy? Place your bets.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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I wonder: Do the terrorists allow their captives access to the Red Cross? Will anyone be investigating? Anyone at all? How about the Israeli soldiers still being held by the sworn enemies of Israel? Do they get access to the Red Cross? Does anyone care? Anyone? I guess I'm asking in the wrong venue...

Bob, I trust that you don't claim that we have to wait for our adversaries to behave well before we do so. Do thugs give us a good reason to act thuggish ourselves?

At least you recognize that our adversaries are indeed thugs. That's more than the majority of Combloggers seem willing to acknowledge. And as to your main point, I have no objection to acting thuggishly if I believe that in doing so American and allied lives will be spared. I trust that is plain enough, eh?

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