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Hhmmm Food For Thought

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  • Hhmmm Food For Thought

    As a soldier, the Geneva Convention (or at least it's core concepts) is taught to us in basic training and in greater depth depending on individual jobs etc. It is taught both with intent to identify to us what our basic human rights are, but also to make us aware of the appropriate treatment of prisoners and detainees.

    But it is with mixed feelings that I submit the following.

    Boston Globe July 18, 2006

    The Rule Of Law By Michael Posner

    AFTER THE terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, senior officials in the Bush administration crafted a strategy for combating the grave threat posed by Al Qaeda. At the heart of the resulting doctrine was the notion that the United States is fighting ``a global war against terror" that must be fought outside the constraints of existing law. Under these circumstances, the administration argued, adherence to the Geneva Conventions and other applicable laws is a luxury, not a necessity. Therefore, detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, or at Guantanamo Bay have been detained and interrogated in what some have called ``law-free zones."

    Late last month, the US Supreme Court rejected the concept of ``law-free zones," and demanded a clear legal framework for those in US custody.

    In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , the court struck down military commissions at Guantanamo. More broadly, it held that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, requiring humane treatment and other basic rights, applies to those in US custody.

    On July 7, Gordon England, deputy secretary of defense, ordered a prompt review of rules and practices to ensure that the Department of Defense policies and practices are in compliance with Common Article 3. Senior officers have three weeks to conduct their review.

    The decision to conduct such a review suggests willingness by some senior administration officials to reexamine existing policies and practices and bring them into conformity with the Supreme Court's decision. Yet there is a deep and troubling division within the administration. A number of senior officials, including acting assistant attorney general Steve Bradbury, continue to resist any change in the administration's approach.

    In the weeks ahead, Congress and the administration will begin to decide how to address detention and interrogation policies going forward. As they do so, here are some essential elements that will allow us to test their resolve.

    First, England's memo applies only to the military, not to US intelligence agencies. The CIA and other intelligence agencies continue to operate secret detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world. Detainees in these facilities have no access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and there is no acknowledg ment, even to their families, of their location, status, or condition of health. A clear indication of US compliance would be for it to provide access to the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit anyone in US custody.

    Second, we should watch to see if the administration will comply with another of Common Article 3's requirements -- that of humane treatment of all detainees. Bradbury and others in the administration continue to resist full compliance with this requirement, which was reinforced last year by the McCain Amendment, a federal statute that bars all forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

    It is important that the administration finally has revoked the Feb. 7, 2002, memo, which accepted the Justice Department's assertion that ``Common Article 3 of Geneva does not apply to either Al Qaeda or Taliban detainees."

    As Senator John McCain has reminded us, this is not about ``them," it's about us. A concrete indication of compliance in this area will be the completion and publication of a new Field Manual on Interrogation clearly barring all forms of cruel, humiliating, and degrading treatment for anyone in military custody. This interrogation standard must be applied uniformly to the military and to the intelligence agencies.

    Finally, the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision requires that detainees tried by the United States for war crimes must be afforded judicial guarantees in accordance with the laws of war and, in particular, Common Article 3. It requires those guarantees ``recognized as indispensable by civilized people." As Congress and the administration work to assess a way forward in the aftermath of the Hamdan decision, the test of compliance will be whether they arrive at a system that very closely resembles that of courts-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    If the administration and Congress act on these three fronts, we will move from law-free zones to the rule of law, and take a giant step to restore America's standing in the world.

    Michael Posner is the president of Human Rights First.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  • #2
    It is a delicate balance. These people are hell-bent on nothing less than the total destruction of the US. They play by no rules. They operate under the color of no flag other than hatred. While I certainly do not advocate torturing these prisoners (and putting underwear on someone's head is not torture), I believe that they do not warrant or deserve the protections of the Geneva Convention. I also believe that they do not warrant or deserve the protections afforded to US citizens under our Constitution.

    As far as out tactics to date, we have been free of a terrorist attack on our soil for almost five years. We have interrupted numerous terrorist plots. I would have to give kudos to the tactics of our armed forces, intelligence and law enforcement personnel for a job well done.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Geneva Convention was originally brought about to deal with military personnel from opposing sides. In all reality, the organizations we are fighting now ARE NOT recognized military organizations under control of a recognized government, therefore they should have no protection under the conventions articles. If these individuals are caught in other countries, they do not have the rights of a U.S. citizen, nor should they. Even if caught here they (if not a citizen) should not have the constitutional protections afforded our own citizens. I don't believe in pure touture but some methods are acceptable (loud music, sleep deprivation, isolation etc.) when dealing with organizations that don't recognize any human decency what so ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Firedawg3313
        The Geneva Convention was originally brought about to deal with military personnel from opposing sides. In all reality, the organizations we are fighting now ARE NOT recognized military organizations under control of a recognized government, therefore they should have no protection under the conventions articles. If these individuals are caught in other countries, they do not have the rights of a U.S. citizen, nor should they. Even if caught here they (if not a citizen) should not have the constitutional protections afforded our own citizens. I don't believe in pure touture but some methods are acceptable (loud music, sleep deprivation, isolation etc.) when dealing with organizations that don't recognize any human decency what so ever.
        If loud music and sleep deprivation are methods of torture, I tortured my parents when I was a teenager.
        PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
          If loud music and sleep deprivation are methods of torture, I tortured my parents when I was a teenager.
          Mine told me it was torture, especially Hendricks and Zeppelin.

          I saw more than a few VC and NVA break down after 48 to 96 hours of Hendricks blaring in their ears (the Star Spangled Banner was a good one).
          Last edited by Firedawg3313; 07-18-2006, 02:51 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            HAHAHAHAA on George, but both you and Firedawg bring up the points that were running through my head when I read the original report. The Geneva Convention was designed for opposing MILITARY factions during times of declared warfare. Which translates loosely as two countries slugging it out over some piece of real estate or other.

            Terrorist groups are not military factions, even though they may operate in a loose sort of military fashion... weapons and other equipment, but they do not work with any form of government and do not support any specific country. Which brings me to the mixed feelings.

            Damn! I hate those moral issues that my training has worked so hard to encourage and develop.....
            If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

            "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

            "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

            Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

            impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

            IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

            Comment


            • #7
              If my understanding and memory serves me the Geneva Convention and Articles of War deal between recognized military forces of a recognized country(s) waring with each other. Since terrorist groups are not recognized and have not signed off on the Geneva Convention rules nor are they fighting for a particular country who is signed on with the Geneva Convention etc. and etc. then the H with them and Dam* the rules. They are fair game. Maybe the no cost Terroist Hunting Permit is all that's needed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lvwrench
                Maybe the no cost Terroist Hunting Permit is all that's needed.
                With no limit!

                Comment

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