LA Times and USA Today Spin Geneva

Earlier today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pentagon officials were considering dropping Article 3 of the Geneva Convention from FM 34-52, the Army's field manual on interrogation. While the Pentagon has not reached a final decision on the potential modifications to FM 34-52, the Times and USA Today certainly have. Follow the escalation.

LAT's lead this morning was: Army Manual to Skip Geneva Detainee Rule.

"The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards."

The story prompted USA Today to run this headline at their On Deadline online forum:

"REPORT: PENTAGON TO DROP GENEVA."

It appears that the MSM is playing the old telephone game. DoD and State Department officials indicated that there was debate over a legal realignment in an obsolete Army field manual. LA Times spins the story into a defacto abandonment of all tenets of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, and USA Today ups the ante with a headline claiming the Pentagon plans to "drop Geneva."

Give this another day or so and we'll be hearing reports like "Pentagon Burns Geneva Convention in Druid Ritual."

If you're interested in hearing a more level approach to the discussed modifications of FM 34-52, see milblogger Army Lawyer's interpetation of Geneva's Article 3.