GITMO Detainees

I have avoided addressing this issue because I am so torn.

Seems to me the Dubyah administration has tried to thread the needle on this one. They will not quite bring the prisoners back to America, they will not leave them in Afghanistan or Iraq, but they will try to bring them back to "Never Never Land". In "Never Never Land" they have no rights.

They are not entitled to the rights under the Geneva Conventions. They are not entitled to civil rights as civilians. They are neither criminals nor or they prisoners of war. They are something else. They have no rights.

Dubyah is trying to thread the needle so thin that even the finest thread of silk can not fit.
While the Geneva Convention does state that combatants must be dressed in a uniform, it is unreasonable to expect a poor country like Afghanistan to dress every soldier in a uniform. It might not be unreasonable for Dubyah to object to this allowance but his administration expects us to allow him to pick and choose which aspects of the Geneva Convention we will be bound by.

Some aspects of the Geneva Convention really are unreasonable. However Dubyah crosses my line by apparently including just about everyone in the "illegal combatants" category. Opposed to Dubyah and America? Well then you are just an "illegal combatant" and by Dubyah's rules you have no rights.

I am still torn by this issue. However even I can realize that what Dubyah attempts to do in Gitmo is just plain out wrong. Either the detainees are Prisoners of War or they are criminals. Dubyah's attempts to throw them into the nebulous realm of "Never Never Land" is wrong. He seeks to define them as something other then POW's and not quite criminals either. They are not entitled to status as either. They must remain in "Never Never Land" until he says otherwise.

Dubyah, either proclaim these prisoners are "Prisoners of War" until the end of hostilities or declare them as criminals. You have to move one way or the other. Your attempts at "Never Never Land" according to YOUR dreams is wearing thin.

I hope we declare them to be Prisoners of War, a war we are still fighting.


Blogger Michael said...

I entirely agree.

It is shameful to treat the Guantanamo detainees in such a fashion. You cannot have it both ways of telling the world that they are nasty people and then not charge them with their nasty crime.

There is no such thing as an "illegal combatant". This is no more than a creation to deprive these people of rights that the US has internationally agreed that they should have, that is, the Geneva Conventions. A combatant in a war against the US pick up from the battlefield? It sounds like "prisoner of war" to me and they should be treated as such.

They are actually a US citizen gone "bad"? There are laws against doing things like that and they should be charged under US law, before a US court.

Due process, assumption of innocence, and habeas corpus is what keeps democracy fair. Secret police in secret gaols holding someone endlessly without charge devoid from the legal protections afforded to even the worse criminals in that society is frankly un-democratic, unethical and immoral. If it looks, sounds and smells like something a totalitarian regime would do...


11/29/2005 08:37:00 AM  

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