In particular, ask yourselves why does Tony use the words "construe" and "interpret" to address the question as oppose to answer the question directly?
Q My second question: Why does the President want to modify the Geneva accords, conventions, to prevent inhumane, cruel treatment of detainees?So, really, the reason why they want to construe and interpret the conventions is that they know they are in trouble and have violated them - and they want to build in an escape valve so they don't get caught in the legal thicket when they are tried for war crimes....but I could be wrong here. What do you think?
MR. SNOW: The President has never suggested modifying the Geneva conventions.
Q You mean that all these stories are wrong?
MR. SNOW: Well, the Geneva conventions, as has been construed -- there are two things you've got to keep in mind. Number one, the Geneva conventions always must be construed especially -- you're talking about Common Article Three?
MR. SNOW: -- in manners that are consistent with the U.S. law. The second thing is this is a new situation because the Geneva conventions in the past have not been construed as applying to those who do not fight for duly constituted military forces. We will wait to see when we have a final decision on how to implement the Hamdan case. I think, at this point, what you're reacting to is things that you've seen, and I'll be happy to entertain more specific questions when we have a proffer.
Q Are these all speculative and not true?
MR. SNOW: No, it's all trying to figure out the proper way also. One of the difficulties in Common Article Three is that there's a great deal of vague language and rather than, "trying to change the Geneva accords," what we're trying to do is to interpret them.