The point of the article, though, is to point out "Rewriting the Laws of War for a New Enemy," which makes the case that, as a legal matter, the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists. I'm not going to argue that; I'll take it as a given. My question is: so what?
Why, I ask you, gentle reader, do we abide by the Geneva Convention at all? I have two answers:
- It sucks, but it's the law; we just gotta do it because some bureaucrats made this decision for us decades ago.
- We believe in treating people (even our enemies) humanely.
One might observe that the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists, and that we could not be held responsible for torturing them, without actually wanting to do so. Perhaps that's Gonzales to a tee. I think it's worth asking the guy.
The LA Times article talks about non-state actors and how to combat them.
[Gonzales' critics] obscure a basic and immediate question facing the United States: how to adapt to the decline of nation-states as the primary enemy in war.This is a good question and a tough problem, but torture is not part of the answer.