"signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention — the one regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners taken in wartime — did not apply to members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban."
Sorry, but that is not what the Third Geneva Convention says. It defines:
Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.
(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
Now I will allow that some of the Taliban might fall under this definition, because they were the governing authority in Afghnistan at the time. But the only way one can apply this to Al Queda is to grant them country status. Which means that President Elect Obama is going to have to sit down and talk with their leaders in the next 376 days!
Then we have Senator Feinstein, who has now offered up a bill that the LA Times reports on:
Feinstein also unveiled legislation Wednesday that would impose sweeping restrictions on the CIA in its interrogation and detention programs.
The bill would require the agency to abide by the same rules as the U.S. military in prisoner interrogations, adhering to a U.S. Army field manual that outlaws abusive methods including sleep deprivation and the use of so-called stress positions. The CIA would also be forced to allow Red Cross workers access to prisoners in secret agency prisons overseas.
If we let the Red Cross come to our secret prisons, will they be secret?
The bill was endorsed by other members of the committee, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who described it as an effort to end programs that had caused "grievous and lasting harm" to the nation's reputation.
I wish these goofballs were as concerned about our safety as they are about our (or is it their?) reputations.