US Misses Historic Investment Opportunity;
Pro-Geneva Generals Oppose Gonzalez

The AP headline reads:
Australia pledges $764 million to help
Indonesia recover from tsunami; Germany
earlier increased its package to $674 million
Does this mean that the US is now the fourth leading donor, behind Australia, Germany and Japan? Does this mean that these countries care more about Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia (Muslim by the way) than we do? Or are they simply more invested in the successful (profitable for sure) reconstruction of the nations hit by the Christmas Tsunami?

If it were my money, I'd get in on the ground floor in a heartbeat. It would sure beat going broke in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking of going broke in the Middle East, some notable generals don't want Alberto "The Geneva Conventions Are Quaint And Obsolete" Gonzalez replacing John "Political Dissent Aids Terrorists" Ashcroft as Attorney General.
"The kinds of things that Mr. Gonzales espouses are the very sort of things that are the first step on a slippery slope that compromises the rule of law in this country," retired Marine General Joseph P. Hoar, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, said in an interview.

Gonzales's attempt to place detention policies outside the Geneva Conventions to avoid subjecting military personnel to prosecution under the War Crimes Act is "unbecoming of the United States'' and anyone who would be attorney general, said retired Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, former judge advocate general of the Navy.

Hutson, now dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire, said Gonzales's legal analysis "was shortsighted'' because "it didn't look over the horizon'' to a time when U.S. forces will want to rely on the protections of the Geneva Conventions for its troops.

"This isn't the last war we are going to fight,'' Hutson said. "Once you say the Geneva Conventions are quaint and obsolete, you can't undo that.''

Cullen said he is also concerned that Gonzales tried "to usher through a redefinition of torture.'' An Aug. 1, 2002, Justice Department memo to Gonzales stated that some mental and physical pain during interrogation might not "rise to the level of torture'' under the U.S. military code.

"Physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment or bodily function, or even death,'' said the memo, written by then-Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee.

A new Justice Department legal opinion made public last week rescinds this definition of torture. The change "doesn't protect Gonzalez. It indicts him,'' Hutson said.
I'm glad that these honorable men have decided to draw a line in the sand on this battleground.