R. Jeffrey Smith reports today in the Washington Post on the "debate" over Bushy's desire to change the universal interpretation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions (earlier blogs on this subject define Common Article 3). It's an interesting piece precisely because it is typical of today's journalism, which insists that there are two equally valid sides to every issue. In this case the Bushy claim that the CIA must have the right and authority to torture, although they dare not call it that, is balanced against the opposition to torture by the military and FBI and a considerable body of scientific and anecdotal evidence that torture doesn't work. The pro-torture side argues by assertion, not evidence. There is no debate when one side presents no evidence--and these assertions that information obtained by torture has led to the foiling of terrior plots or arrest of suspects have consistently been exposed as false or inflated. There is only a battle between the forces of law, reason, and morality and their opposite--irrationality, contempt for law and science, brutality.
On another front: U.S. and Iraqi forces have begun to seal themselves inside Baghdad. As strategies go this one would seem to be the equivalent of besieging yourself in your capital thereby surrendering the countryside. That's a sure sign the Bushies are winning hearts and minds.