July 11, 2006
Prisoners to Get Geneva Protections
The U.S. will extend Geneva Convention protections to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other locations:
The policy, described in a memo by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, appears to reverse the administration's earlier insistence that the detainees are not prisoners of war and thus not subject to the Geneva protections. But the administration has insisted that it has always treated the detainees humanely.
QandO's McQ writes,
It also paves the way for designation of detainees as POWs which allows the administration to keep them almost indefinitely (or until the "war" is over). In the big scheme of things, that seems the most important point.
In World War II I know of German prisoners of war camps in Wisconsin where prisoners helped harvest crops, can foods, and cut down trees. Don't expect the same treatment for our Islamist opponents.
Captured Islamist enemies will receive Geneva protections even though they don't fall under the Geneva convention because they dress as civilians and wear nothing to distinguish themselves as combatants, nor do they abide by the provisions themselves as the pictures and video [WARNING: Very graphic.] of killed U.S. soldiers attests.
With this decision the government has answered the question of what to do with Islamist War prisoners. Despite Ralph Peters' good point [via Riehl World View] that "an imprisoned terrorist is a strategic liability" we're going to play nicer. Captain Ed doesn't think so. Instead, he sees "more casualties for our enemies, as we will not put our soldiers at unnecessary risk for the minimal gain of capturing these terrorists if they give us no opportunity for giving us intel on ongoing operations." I hope being nicer doesn't get more innocents killed.
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