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Saving Private Bergdahl
By Dave Lindorff
Let me say from the outset that I have the greatest sympathy for 23-year-old Bowe R. Bergdahl, the US soldier in Afghanistan who was captured and is being held by Taliban forces, and for his family, who must be going through a living hell worrying about what is going to happen to him.
But I’m willing to bet you that all of them are wishing, right now, that the US had not decided back in 2001 to begin a campaign of torture and murder against the Taliban fighters that it was capturing in Afghanistan, and against others that it has rounded up in the so-called War on Terror.
I sure know that if my son were ever so unfortunate as to be suckered into joining the US military and was then dispatched to fight and kill people in some far-off land where the US had no reason to be in the first place, and if he were to be captured, I would want to know that my own country had been living up to the letter of the law in respecting every clause of the Geneva Convention regarding the treatment of captives.
The sad truth, however, is that neither the Bush/Cheney administration, which simply tossed out the Geneva Conventions in 2001 and said its provisions, despite being signed into law by the US, did not apply to the war in Afghanistan, which was the first assault in what they conceived as a borderless and endless War on Terror, nor the Obama administration, which has refused to grant full Geneva Convention rights to the captives it holds in places like Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base, or at Guantanamo Bay, or to prosecute those who tortured and ordered torture in the prior administration, has followed the law...
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DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net