Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by j.locke777, Jun 27, 2007.
This too is from another forum. I hope i can get some good debate on it
Yes, you're are correct in your opinion on Gitmo. Terrorists are POWs not common criminals. Therefore, they do not deserve the freedoms the US offers to citizens.
This administration has explicitly said that these people are NOT P.O.Ws. That's why the detainees in Gitmo haven't been offered the protection of the Geneva Convention.
Terrorism is not war. Terrorism is a criminal act (albeit a very serious one), & terrorists should be offered the same rights as any other criminal. Everyone is supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law.
It really comes down to what you value more: individual human rights or the rule of law. I don't really put too much trust in either, for both are man-made and as such are arbitrary: subject to change when the governing force feels change needs to be made. War could just as easily be declared on political dissidents and people such as myself could be rounded up and, if martial law were enacted, sent to one of FEMA's 600 prison camps that are currently operational in America.
What do I think? Gitmo doesn't help our standing with the rest of the world, but that doesn't appear to matter to those in office at this time. Gitmo is effective: at containing those involved with actions against the U.S., containing the innocent, serving as an examplar for terrorist organisations to help recruit new terrorists, etc. I think that, like anything else, when you create a market for something, in this case containing terrorists, you indirectly breed terrorism. It's the same principle as with our currently overcrowded prison system.
It will take a marked shift in foreign policy, a reaffirmation of basic human rights and a will to enforce the Constitution to bring about change. Expanding Gitmo would be a mistake.
If members of al-Qaida were POW's, then no coercive interrogation would be allowed at all. The Geneva Conventions are very specific about that, and they give POW's rather extensive rights.
It may not be a war in the conventional sense, but it certainly is a form of guerrilla warfare. Of course, one of the important purposes of the Geneva Conventions is to prevent the use of such tactics. This is why it explicitly denies protection to those who fight an armed conflict while attempting to hide amongst a civilian population.
The Geneva Convention does forbid the use of civilian shields, but it doesn't deny protection to those who used that tactic once they're P.O.Ws.
All P.O.Ws are entitled to the same protection, regardless of what they may have done.
Article 4 of GC III states who shall be considered a POW, and those who engage in guerrilla warfare are not included.
This is the section most relevant to members of terrorist organizations, but by not carrying arms openly or wearing a fixed insignia they lose any claim to POW status.
I think the folks in Gitmo just need to be given trials. We're just pissing off the world by holding folks there like we are. I don't know how it's supposed to help fight terrorism to give some dude in Gitmo's son or brother more motivation to hate us. Furthermore, we're locking up good decent folks there. A guy who used to run a hookah lounge in my town got locked up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He spent a couple of years there before they let him go. How can we justify that crap? There is nothing that pisses me off more then people being led to do cruel things out of irrational fear. We're turning into p*ssies in this nation, and it's making us into monsters. F*ck that, I say.
That's fine, I wasn't actually making a case for them having P.O.W status.
But if they're not P.O.Ws, that means they're civilians & entitled to a fair trial, which they are being denied.
Also not true. Guerrillas are an explicit, and intentional, ommission from the Geneva Conventions. By providing certain protections to those who are either non-combatants, or who fight in accordance with the rules of war (i.e. make themselves easy to identify as combatants), the GC provide an incentive for those rules to be followed, and in doing so hopefully will minimize civilian casualties.
If al-Qaida fighters were to start wearing uniforms, and living in military camps, then they would qualify as POW's. I'll admit that it's difficult to surrender to a cruise missile, but that's what you get with rules of war written by major military powers.
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