In a perfect world,the Geneva Convention was designed to create a set of rules and conduct for dealing with the results of war.To amend or reinterpret the Convention would certainly give license to other countries to apply the same logic and treatment to our prisoners.
Having served for one year in Vietnam as a surgeon,there is no question that in the back of the mind of every combat soldier is the fear of death,injury or capture.
I had a unique opportunity to deal with wounded prisoners of war .Each one was treated humanely according to the accepted rules of war. For a long period of time, I could look out the window of my hootch and see the prisoner of war compound perhaps 300 feet away.
I could not swear to how uninjured prisoners were treated either by us or the South Vietnamese.However, in our hospital, seriously wounded prisoners were treated as human beings with all the professionalism we possessed.
However,we are not fighting a conventional army.The Taliban,Islamic Jihad,Hezbollah and Al Queda do not wear uniforms .They enjoy torturing their prisoners.The killing of innocent civilians is the norm.Suicide bombing is a respected profession. They make a mockery of the Geneva Convention.
Whether we pass either of the two Senate bills,these groups will not change their ways and treat our prisoners (should they capture them)with respect and dignity.Under the circumstances of an enemy that has no state or country,but only a burning desire to kill us all if we do not convert to Islam,why should we tie the hands of the CIA?
These are not criminal conspiracies,where if we get the bad guys off the street all be resolved,and therefore a defendant deserves to see all the evidence against him.We are in an ongoing war,and the sources and methods we use to capture the terrorists will be needed for a considerable period of time.
I respect Sen McCain.However he was tortured ,not because of some deficiency in our rules of conduct,but because the enemy had no respect or use for Americans.Diluting the Presidents
plan will weaken our efforts to punish the 9/11 and other conspirators.