"Powell wrote that he opposed Bush’s proposal to redefine the Geneva Conventions standards that require humane treatment or prisoners. Bush insists this is essential for the CIA to elicit valuable information from "high-value" detainees.
White House spokesman Tony Snow called the former secretary of state "confused" and Bush rejected Powell’s objections as "flawed logic."
Powell declined to address Bush’s comment, The Washington Post said.
"To say that we want to modify, clarify or redefine Common Article 3, which has not been modified for the 57 years of its history, I think adds to the doubt" about U.S. morality, Powell said. "Plus I believe that the legitimate concerns that the administration has can be dealt with in other ways."" Washpost
"..essential for the CIA to elicit valuable information from "high-value" detainees."
"Elicitation." I know all about that. This is a standard technique in the HUMINT business for causing someone to tell you what you want to know without asking him directly. Stating something incorrectly to elicit a correction, praising someone for a position taken to elicit a comment, feigning ignorance to elicit an explanation, these are all techniques of "elicitation." This is typical cocktail party business. It often works.
I doubt if what President Bush wants authorized in American law is elicitation.
The essence of the dispute over the president’s desired law to make the use of "alternative techniques" legal is the nature of the "alternative techniques" themselves.
What exactly are we talking about?
It is clear that President Bush wants to make actions legal that were illegal to conduct in the US in the past. That is why these "techniques" were used outside the US in the past. Will they now be used in our homeland against suspects? And who will the "suspects" be. Who will they be?
The administration does not want to tell us what the "alternative techniques" are. They say that this is because the terrorists will train against the "techniques."
Loud noises? Deep cold? Talkin’ about yo mama? The rack? What?
Folks, you can’t "train" against "waterboarding." What are we really talking about?