War Crimes Act of 1996 -- Oops We Didn't Mean Us
At the time I didn't realize that not only was it un-American, it was illegal according to U.S. law. Apparently some administration officials didn't realize it either.
From the Washington Post
An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment. (emphasis mine)
If this law is changed to pardon Americans, including officials who ordered others to violate the Geneva Conventions, it will send a message loud and clear to other countries around the world. And it won't be a good message. It tells the world that what really changed after 9/11 is our ethics.
How long will it take for "Give us your poor and huddled masses, yearning to be free." to turn into:
Give us your poor and huddled masses, yearning to be free -- and we'll interrogate (torture) them to find out how they are planning to destroy our country.