Skip to comments.MEDIA MATTERS AND GENEVA
Posted on 01/17/2005 3:22:15 PM PST by swilhelm73
There is a confused item on Media Matters accusing conservatives, including me, of distorting the Geneva Conventions.
It argues that, even if Al Qaeda members aren't entitled to protections as POWs under Geneva III, they are protected under Geneva IV. But Geneva IV is about protections for civilians. Its title is Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Nothing in its text or negotiating history suggests it is meant to apply to unlawful combantants. That is why Protocal 1, which we rejected, was proposed in the 1970s as an addition to create protections for such combatants. Under Geneva IV there is a provision for holding civilians as security detainees, but only very briefly. If Media Matters is suggesting that unlawful combatants are entitled to this status it would mean that they are preversly entitled to better treatment than POWs--POWs can be held for the duration of the war, security detainees have to be turned around very quickly.
Media Matters also argues that al Qaeda should be protected under common Article 3 that is in both Geneva III and Geneva IV. But that article applies to armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties. Al Qaeda is a transnational organization, so conflicts involving it are inherently international and this provision doesn't apply either.
Conservatives are on solid ground here. Its the left that can't stand the idea that terrorist thugs don't deserve gold-plated treatment under international law.
The closest legal category I can think of for terrorists and illegal combatants is that of pirates on the high seas. Traditionally they could be summarily executed when captured.
I've argued for sometime that if taking terrorists prisoner becomes a net negative that we should proceed to treat captured terrorists as the norms of war dictate - summary execution.
These people simply do not satisfy the requirements to be considered POWs - They don't. They have no uniform or badge and do not carry their arms openly as required. It is also laughable to consider them civilians.
In all other wars where a Geneva accord was in place, these terrorists would have been sumarily shot as spies. It is only because it is America that leftists are bellowing.
This might be the same "Media Matters" that was founded by David Brock, the guy who decided to become a liberal because he was not being invited to the right Washington Parties. He has no credibility.
Actually, Brock switched sides due to pressure from his boyfriend.
The executions of both Nathan Hale by the British and Major John Andre by the Americans, after drumhead trials by the respective generals, was in accord with the law of war. The subsequent Geneva Conventions, all four of them, continued to recognize this non-protected category by defining and excluding "illegal combatants."
So, all these Geneva Convention arguments are based on either ignorance of what they say, or bias concerning the accurate result. Bottom line, you are correct.
Geneva protocol requires they be summarily executed if they are not in the uniform of the combatant. The problem lies when they are held as prisoners. Then they become prisoners of war. Red jump suits become the required uniform.
The Geneva protocols set to qualifications on what can or cannot be done to those outside of its scope.
Nor by capturing terrorists do we then make them prisoners of war any more then putting Jeffrey Dahmer in prison makes him a POW.
to = no
But do you agree with me that terrorists are morally or legally of a status similar to pirates, or do you know of an existing legal classification that would be better?
"This might be the same "Media Matters" that was founded by David Brock, the guy who decided to become a liberal because he was not being invited to the right Washington Parties. He has no credibility."
Yeah, I'm sure it is. That group is called Media Matters for America. (Yeah, it does, which is why they are tyring to shut us all up). That's another group packed full of tin-god folks funded by Soros.
David Brock is a self-confessed liar for hire. He was committed to a mental institution in Maryland at least once, depending on which source you care to make use of. He apparently snapped because some dude pointed out that he was gay. A liar, a wimp, and a literally certifiable nut. No credibility is an understatement.
*ping for later**
Here is what the Geneva Conventions say about people whos status is in doubt.
The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.