*nods* That's true Unfortunately most of the world is arguing that the detainees in Gitmo do fall under the Geneva Convention and that because they -do- apply, they should be given the same rights as a uniformed soldier.
Regularly, detainees are not considered to fall under the Geneva Conventions. Any enemy combatant caught in civilian clothing can be summarily executed. Period. (LET ME EDIT THIS TO CLARIFY: What I mean to say here is, that an individual who is caught fighting without any military identification can be summarily executed; the individual does fall under the Geneva Conventions, but the Prisoner of War rules clearly indicate that the "jailer" can choose to execute the individual. A prisoner of war is naturally assumed to be a prisoner of war, but is entitled to a war tribunal to change his classification. To deny a prisoner of combat a war tribunal breaches the third Geneva Convention. (FURTHER MODIFICATION): "Military identification" is not quite right, I think. Perhaps "identification of opposition" or "identification with the opposition" is a bit more correct.
U.S. law dictates that any individual who commits a war crime can be imprisoned for life, and if death results to the victim, "shall also be subject to the penalty of death." War crimes can be defined as:
"(1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
(2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
(3) which constitutes a grave breach of common Article 3 (as defined in subsection (d)) when committed in the context of and in association with an armed conflict not of an international character; or
(4) of a person who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended at Geneva on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996), when the United States is a party to such Protocol, willfully kills or causes serious injury to civilians."
Common types of violations include: torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, performing biological experiments, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, sexual assault or abuse and taking hostages.
Torture is specifically defined as an act "intended to inflict severe physical OR MENTAL PAIN OR SUFFERING" for the purposes of "obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind."
There seems to be a degree of severity when it comes to war crimes and the degrees are from lesser to greater: the plan of action, the threat of action, and the action.
The law dictates that ANY INDIVIDUAL IN THE CUSTODY of the United States or the signatories of the Geneva Convention apply; the law does not in any way classify a difference between an enemy combatant, an enemy detainee, a prisoner of war, or other. The law is not narrow, and as such, cannot be disputed.
I'm only saying, when people wring their hands, worry and eschew over the reputation of America abroad, they seem to conviently forget that there are far, far worse things going on around the world than overfeeding terrorists in Gitmo.
To justify stealing because murder is worse, yes, that would be 'sublimely stupid'. But then I'm not here to play name calling games.
Oh and unsubscribe.
1. Eschew does not mean what you think it means.
2. You are rationalizing again (albeit differently). Any crime is worthy of justice. That a crime should be committed by the fiercest proponent of justice and then ignored by the world community seems initially ridiculous. The fact that the United States is feeding prisoners, and they ARE considered only prisoners of war by American Law/Geneva Convention--not terrorists-- does not in any way rationalize away the fact that some of these men have been sexually abused and tortured. If a murderer pays the family of his victim a million dollars, he should still be charged with murder.
Really, though, it's as Trieste said -- most terrorists don't quite fit that definition anyway, so technically, the GC as a whole doesn't matter in this context, even aside from the question of whether war has legally been declared. If the conventions were to be updated at this point in time, however, I suspect the definition of a POW might become noticeably different.
You are wrong.
Terrorists must be PROVEN to be terrorists, otherwise they are considered merely enemy combatants and/or prisoners. An enemy caught fighting American soldiers in Iraq CANNOT be considered a terrorist unless he is caught, or is proven to be partly responsible for, the attack or destruction of an American CIVILIAN interests abroad (companies, embassies, etc). But an individual's affiliation cannot demark him automatically as a terrorist.
Let me give you an example:
The Ku Klux Klan. If I am a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and a fellow klansmen kills an ethnic minority, I cannot be charged for conspiring to kill that ethnic minority simply because I share the same affiliation. However, if I conspired to kill that particular ethnic minority, or I conspire to kill anyone for that matter, I can be charged in a criminal court for it.
Confinement is illegal (POWs can't be held in prison cells unless it is for their own protection), but internment is allowed -- they may be kept within certain boundaries. However, their location must be as far from the fighting as possible. Besides being held in a special "camp," prisoners of war are supposed to be granted all of the rights and privileges that their captor grants to its own armed forces, at least in terms of food, water, shelter, clothing, exercise, correspondence, religious practice and other basic human needs. They are supposed to be informed of their exact location -- supplied with their mailing address, in fact -- so that their relatives may send them letters and packages.