On the Geneva Conventions
One of the criticisms of the Hamdan convention that is offered by certain rightwingers goes like this:
the Supreme Court’s new ability to enter into treaties with terrorist groups – extending the Geneva Convention to Al Qaeda seems daft.
Maybe these rightwingers should read the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War:
Article 1: The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.
Article 2: In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them. The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance. Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
While Al Qaeda may not have signed this treaty, the U.S. has. What part of “Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations” do these rightwingers not understand?
Update: As some troll claims the Gitmo detainees are not POWs – McJoan notes:
the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress is intending to make political hay of the Supreme Court Hamdan decision by painting the Democrats as weak on terrorism. Well, that’s news. Let’s talk about what that really means for the Republicans. It means they are branding themselves as pro-torture. Because what the administration’s insistence upon military commissions really has been all about, from the beginning, is torture. The military commissions operate outside of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and common Article 3 of the Geneva convention which preclude the use of coerced evidence in judical proceedings.
Jane Hamsher continues the discussion and points this out from the WaPo story:
A Washington Post-ABC poll this week suggested that while Americans continue to favor holding suspects at the U.S. military installation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they are leery of an administration policy that has resulted in almost all of the 450 detainees being held without charges. Of those polled, 71 percent said the detainees should be either given POW status or charged with a crime.
Yes – the American people understand this issue even if some of the partisan hacks in the GOP do not.
Update II: it seems our favorite troll has a narrow definition of who is a POW. Read Article IV, which has a much broader definition. It seems certain GOP hacks lack an ability to even read the clear words of the Geneva Convention at issue. Yet, they lecture the justices of the Supreme Court?