Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners

Discussion in 'Politics' started by fromtheright, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    Should they be treated as prisoners of war? As criminal defendants? Otherwise? What rights or legal protections do they have or not have? Why or why not? Who can make that determination and under what authority?

    [ January 15, 2006, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: fromtheright ]
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    enemy combatants with no rights whatsoever.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. hillclimber

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    ditto
     
  4. fromtheright

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    I would refine the point by arguing they are unlawful combatants under the terms of the Geneva Convention, and as the GC is incorporated into the War Crimes Act, that the President has the authority to make such determination, under his power of treaty interpretation, with such modifications to that authority as may exist under the WCA.
     
  5. Baptist in Richmond

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    Hello FTR:

    What was that quote attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky?

    Regards - hope all is well in your world,
    BiR (safely back home in the Commonwealth)
     
  6. emeraldctyangel

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    They are afforded medical care, right to religious pursuit, food, clean water, and a decent place to sleep. Other than that, no rights under the US constitution.
     
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I think they should be treated the same way we would want our our prisoners and hostages to be treated. Otherwise we give up the moral grounds to object when one of our soldiers is captured and treated poorly. They should be given food and healthcare and kept alive. I do not believe we should torture them although my definition of torture would be pretty specific and would not include what I would call good hard interrogation.

    The Moral Law is one of the principles of war going back to Sun Tzu and was one of his seven considerations for forcasting victory or defeat. We cannot afford to give this up.
     
  8. LadyEagle

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    These people do not abide by any moral law. They should be treated as enemy combatants. We treat them better than that, though. They are allowed to practice their religion, we furnish Qurans and prayer rugs for them and have special cooks flown in to prepare their meals according to their religious laws. They get free medical and dental care, something they wouldn't even have if they we hadn't captured them. They have it made in the shade and reportedly have more amenities than the troops assigned to guard them who have prisoner bodily fluids thrown at them. We are TOO kind.
     
  9. fromtheright

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    BiR,

    "All's fair in love and war."?

    Am relieved to hear you're safely back home.
     
  10. rsr

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    "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."
     
  11. Daisy

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    That really depends on the circumstances of each one's capture. Generally speaking, anyone captured on the battlefield who was participating should be treated as a prisoner of war.

    If the person is a US citizen, he must be treated according to US laws.

    People who are arrested on rumor or for being in the wrong place, should be questioned lawfully and either charged or released.

    If a person is arrested for looting (or some such), he should be treated as a suspected criminal until and unless he is convicted - at which time he should be properly as a criminal. If there is not evidence enough to convict him, he must be released.

    Each should be treated humanely.
     
  12. carpro

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    Prisoners all over the Middle East are probably clamoring to get into Gitmo.
    ;)
     
  13. fromtheright

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    Daisy,

    Generally speaking, anyone captured on the battlefield who was participating should be treated as a prisoner of war.

    Under the Geneva Convention, al Qaeda is an unlawful combatant and does not have the protection of the Geneva Convention available. The Taliban militia are the military of a failed state and therefore also not a party to the Geneva Convention. It seems interesting that forces that act outside the laws of war by targeting civilians expect to benefit by those same laws of war. That's not the way it works, nor the way it should work. When they're shooting at our troops and targeting civilians they can probably be assumed to be combatants of one form or another.

    If a person is arrested for looting (or some such), he should be treated as a suspected criminal until and unless he is convicted - at which time he should be properly as a criminal.

    Under whose laws? I am speaking primarily of those captured in Afghanistan/Pakistan. Under Afghanistan's anti-looting laws? Are you saying if they are armed, captured in a war zone, and stealing from civilians, they should be afforded protection under the U.S. Constitution? Based on what?
     
  14. fromtheright

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    BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not familiar with the two SCOTUS cases, Hamdi and I forget the name of the party in the other.
     
  15. Daisy

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    That's not true on several counts.

    I believe that "peoples fighting against alien occupation" are specifically covered. People belonging to an organized militia with a chain of command who carry arms openly are considered protected combatants. Until a tribunal has determined their status, they are to be considered as protected prisoners of war or civilians.

    One problem with the premise of this thread is that guilt is assumed, but no mention of how guilt was determined was made. Until there is a trial of some sort with evidence presented and a chance for the prisoner to defend himself, how do you know who is al Qaeda and who is a bystander? Your unwritten presumption is that the person was captured in battle. I believe that is very often not the case.

    But WE are. We have agreed to follow international protocols of war.

    Forces which target civilians should be tried for war crimes - which should include actual charges, evidence and access to defense or be subject to existing penal law of the country where the crime was committed. If the forces shooting at our troops are organized and carrying arms openly, they are considered combatants who are accorded special protections, otherwise civilians and subject to local law. Although all combatants are required to comply with international laws, violations do not deprive the combatants of their status, or of their right to prisoner of war protections if they are captured. Mercenaries are excepted from protections.

    Protocol 1, Art. 45, Sect. 3: 3. Any person who has taken part in hostilities, who is not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment in accordance with the Fourth Convention shall have the right at all times to the protection of Article 75 of this Protocol. In occupied territory, any such person, unless he is held as a spy, shall also be entitled, notwithstanding Article 5 of the Fourth Convention, to his rights of communication under that Convention.

    Art. 75 contains Fundamental Guarantees including "2. The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents: (a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular: (i) murder; (ii) torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental; (iii) corporal punishment; and (iv) mutilation;

    (b) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form or indecent assault; (c) the taking of hostages; (d) collective punishments; and (e) threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

    3. Any person arrested, detained or interned for actions related to the armed conflict shall be informed promptly, in a language he understands, of the reasons why these measures have been taken. Except in cases of arrest or detention for penal offences, such persons shall be released with the minimum delay possible and in any event as soon as the circumstances justifying the arrest, detention or internment have ceased to exist."


    About non-war crimes:
    Under the laws of either the country they are in or under the laws of the Protecting Power (not the US as we are party to the conflict). No, I am NOT saying they are protected under the U.S. Constitution, unless they are U.S. citizens. Based on the Geneva Conventions, Convention III (covering occupied territories).
     
  16. fromtheright

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    Daisy,


    I believe that "peoples fighting against alien occupation" are specifically covered. People belonging to an organized militia with a chain of command who carry arms openly are considered protected combatants. Until a tribunal has determined their status, they are to be considered as protected prisoners of war or civilians.

    This is under the Additional Protoccols of 1977. A few problems:

    --The U.S. has not ratified the 1977 Protoccols and they were not submitted to the Senate precisely because it dilutes the customary rule going back to the 1874 Brussels Conference that combatants must comply with all four traditional rules of lawful combatancy which includes the fourth provision "of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war". President Reagan's opposed it, in part because it would

    The 1977 Protoccols would give such protection regardless of what such groups prior conduct may have been.

    --It remains very questionable whether the Protoccols have become customary international law.

    --the term occupation refers, within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, only to situations in which one State occupies the territory of another State. Afghanistan was clearly a "failed state" prior to the U.S. invasion.

    One problem with the premise of this thread is that guilt is assumed, but no mention of how guilt was determined was made. Until there is a trial of some sort with evidence presented and a chance for the prisoner to defend himself, how do you know who is al Qaeda and who is a bystander? Your unwritten presumption is that the person was captured in battle. I believe that is very often not the case.

    You raise a good point. I'll have to study that one further. My admitted presumption is that armed forces of a state Party are presumptively given the prerogative to determine whether individuals captured are engaging in combat.

    But WE are [a party to the Geneva Convention]. We have agreed to follow international protocols of war.

    The point is that al Qaeda is not and therefore cannot claim the protections available under it that apply to prisoners of war, because they are unlawful combatants.

    I obviously need to study more. Excellent arguments, Daisy.
     
  17. Daisy

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    What is the definition of "failed state" in this context?
     
  18. larry9179

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    It's important to remember these terrorists were captured, not rounded up like the Gestapo did the Jews. I'm against torture, but I'm fully for detention, prosecution and punishment of anyone who attacks our nation and our freedoms.
     
  19. Baptist in Richmond

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    [​IMG]
    No, that is not the quote!!

    Thanks for that: as I am typing this, I am headed to Philadelphia, but my flight is delayed. I will try to send a postcard!!! [​IMG]
    This may shape up to be a bad travel day.......


    [​IMG]
    That's the one!! Think about that: the society can be judged by entering its prisons. There is a lot of truth to that statement, and consider the perspective of the person who made the it.......

    Regards to both of you,
    BiR (Hopefully I will soon be headed to Philadelphia)
     
  20. fromtheright

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    BiR,

    No, that is not the quote!!

    Oh well, I've never been accused of being a literary genius. :D

    as I am typing this, I am headed to Philadelphia

    So much for being safely back home. God give you safety in your travels, BiR. We on the Right here need you to keep us straight.

    Point well taken re the prisons. I must admit, without regret, that my instinct in not particularly caring for the humaneness of their treatment is revulsion at animals who saw people's heads off. I certainly don't take the position that the liberals here, or at least you two favorite of my libs here (you and Daisy) are seeking to coddle scum; I know you are simply seeking to see America stand for what is best in us. I just don't want these beasts to get any better treatment than they deserve under whatever law applies.

    I still owe Daisy an answer on "failed states", didn't get a chance to do so last night.
     

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