Anyhow, an ACLU observer blogs that despite the best efforts of the Pentagon to put a happy face on the proceedings:
It's fair to say that [they] have been a public relations disaster for the U.S. – not because the congenial military spinners lack skill, but because they have such a lousy product to sell. When former members of the prosecution characterize the Commission system as a "fraud on the American people"; when a Commission member, sitting as judge and jury, concedes under questioning that he is unfamiliar with the Geneva Conventions; when the Commissions feature the extraordinary spectacle of a shouting match between two colonels in the U.S. military – one the Presiding Officer, the other defense counsel – over the lack of clear guidelines for these proceedings; the problem is not one of communications.While history will ultimately judge the War on Terror as a worthy cause, the verdict will be harsh when it comes to the utter disdain with which the Geneva Conventions were viewed by the U.S. government that helped create them (remember Clara Barton?) after the Civil War and was the major backer of a comprehensive update after World War II.
And how extraordinary that a commission judge said he wasn't familiar with the conventions, something that was hammered into me and every other young boot in basic training and remains embeded in my brain many years after.
(Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish.)