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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Glasses for the myopic

Posted by: Hammer / 6:47 AM

Powerline has this post:
Eyesight to the blind

Susan Albright is the editor of the editorial page at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. When one of our readers wrote the publisher of the paper to protest the paper's disgraceful editorial seconding of Dick Durbin's condemnation of the American detention operation at Guantanamo, the publisher forwarded the message to Albright for response. Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of our reader, here are the deep thoughts of Susan Albright:...

"We thought that the senator's main concern merited attention: Should the United States live up to its treaty obligations to treat prisoners humanely?

He spoke of Colin Powell's advice, which was not taken, to follow the Geneva Conventions in dealing with prisoners taken in Afghanistan and Iraq. He then quoted from what an FBI agent had personally seen at Guantanamo...."

One would think that the editorial guru of a major American newspaper might trouble herself in this context to establish the veracity of the premise of her argument -- that the American treatment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo violates the Geneva Conventions. Students of logical argument are familiar with the fallacy of assuming the conclusion to be proved. It is referred to as begging the question. At the Star Tribune, however, the beguiling repetition of an ignorant refrain apparently produces a soothing effect that obscures basic fallacies.

Students of logical argument are familiar with the fallacy of ignoring the obvious by inserting one's head into one's ass. Or, as one of the Steven's used to put it: "What's the weather like, up your own ass?"

Forbes ran this report from AFX:

Washington has, for the first time, acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.

The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Curiously, this story has appeared almost exclusively in the foreign press and blogs. Of course, you don't need this report to know that the prisoners at Guantanamo are not provided all the protections of the Geneva Convention. Common sense, as well as FBI emails, demonstrate that.


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