If anyone doubts that the new rules governing the use of torture were unknown to George W. Bush and his minions, one only needs to review the various documents set out on this web page:
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB127/index.htm. One of my personal favorites is the memo, written by then Attorney General John Ashcroft, which summarizes the position of the Justice Department on why the Geneva Convention does not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban prisoners. Ashcroft warns against the possibility of U.S. officials being subject to prosecution for violating U.S. and international laws if the Geneva Conventions are applied.
The fact that such a warning was needed should have told Bush and company all they needed to know and that the proposals should NOT have been implemented. Bush, Ashcroft, and their ilk at one moment wear their alleged Christianity and dovoutness on their sleeves and in the next authorize utterly un-Christian conduct. Sadly, it's all too typical of the Christianists. Hate and abuse of others always trumps truly Christian conduct. How appropriate that Ashcroft is now on the faculty of Regent University. These people make me ashamed to be an American.