Who's "quaint" now?

After a Supreme Court rebuke, the Bush administration reverses course on the rules for detainees.

Published July 11, 2006 4:47PM (EDT)

Better late than never, or what a difference a Supreme Court decision makes:

Alberto Gonzales, memo to the president, Jan. 25, 2002: "As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war ... In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete [the Geneva Conventions'] strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."

Donald Rumsfeld's office, memo to military officials, July 7, 2006: "The Supreme Court has determined that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 applies as a matter of law to the conflict with Al Qaeda ... You will ensure that all DoD personnel adhere to these standards."

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, July 11, 2006: "It's not really a reversal of policy."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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