Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh, There's A Law About That?

We're coming to you today from the Make A Virtue Of Necessity Department here in the Marbled Halls of IM Central where we are proud to present the Bush Administration's latest version of When A Smackdown Isn't Really A Smackdown.

All US military detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are to be treated in line with the minimum standards of the Geneva Conventions. The White House announced the shift in policy after the US Supreme Court ruled that the conventions applied to detainees. "Well, 'shift' is such a perjorative word," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "We prefer to call it a flexation, as in 'the policy underwent a flexation that re-established a relationship...which we aren't admitting didn't previously exist...but if it had, then this flexation would have been adequate to adjust for the disconnect...seeming disconnect...with previously established so called international, for lack of a better word, Clear now?"

President Bush had long fought the idea that US detainees were prisoners of war entitled to Geneva Convention rights. "Funny story there," said Snowjob. "When the president heard 'convention' he immediately thought of an open bar, strippers, coke in the hotel know, convention stuff. We explained that this was a different kind of convention. He understands better now. We used visual aids."

The Pentagon outlined the new standards to the military in a memo. Tony Snowjob said that the Pentagon directive did not represent a change: "It is not really a reversal of policy. Humane treatment has always been the standard, but heck, when have we ever lived up to any standard in this administration?"

Bush was dealt a blow when the Supreme Court ruled it had overstepped its authority in setting up the tribunals, so Republican senators immediately began planning how to win congressional approval for new tribunals. "Well, whenever we break the law we just change the law," said Snowjob. "It's a lot easier know...actually having to obey it and all. If we do that, the terrorists win."

President Bush told reporters he promised to take the findings of the court "very seriously." When asked if that meant he was actually going to obey the law the president responded, "Probably not, but that will be classified information and any leakers will be prosecuted for treason. I'm looking at you Laura. Let's just settle this between ourselves."

Within minutes of the court ruling, a small group of Republican senators were trying to sort out the mess. "This 'Nation of Laws, not of Men' thing gets pretty freaking inconvenient at times like this," said senator Bill Frist, (R-DeathcabforKitty).

A former military lawyer who is leading the efforts to salvage the tribunal system, Senator Lindsey Graham, (R- Cracker) predicted that the Senate would begin work on ideas for new tribunals within weeks and vote on the plan in September. "Forget that Medicare stuff. Who cares about Social Security? This is important. We got brown people getting white people rights here. That's not the America I grew up in." the Senator said.

Meanwhile, Sen Arlen Specter (R - Whatever), a moderate Republican who chairs the powerful judiciary committee, introduced an "Unprivileged Combatant Act" which would, he said, balance "the need for national security with the need to kick us some A Rab butt."

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