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View Diary: Rumsfeld's Revenge: Army Field Manual to Allow Torture (217 comments)

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  •  Disturbing. Will the Obama order provide... (8+ / 0-)

    for treatment of all the current (and hopefully, not future) detainees under Common Article 3, though? My understanding was that the new Exec Order on treatment of detainees subscribed to the Geneva Conventions. And do we still think there will be "unlawful combatants" [read: civilian prisoners] under the Obama DoD and DoJ? That unlawful, fictional status is the only reason these classified procedures are out there, anyway, right?

    Don't make first Grandma Robinson whip out the wooden spoon!

    by noabsolutes on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 02:31:49 PM PST

    •  This is the bigger issue, I agree (7+ / 0-)

      The discussion about whether the so-called 'isolation' technique is a euphemism for solitary confinement/torture seems sort of beside the point.

      What jumped out at me was this bit about "enemy combatants" who are not covered by the Geneva Conventions at all. As you say:

      That unlawful, fictional status is the only reason these classified procedures are out there, anyway, right?

      Yes, I think this is the question that needs to be asked of Obama. Does the US plan to continue holding people in a status that violates the Geneva Conventions?

      If he says no, then the issue of any special rules for these persons, whatever they are, would become moot.

      If he says yes, that with the advent of global terrorism networks such as Al Queda, the current definitions of "legal combatants" and civilians (and the the assumption that every person is either one or the other) is no longer sufficient to guide our handling of them, then he nees to make that argument explicit, and try to convince the world to change international law, revise the Geneva Conventions and create a new status for those who do not fight on behalf of any legal government or single country and wear no uniform, but are nonetheless 'at war' with the United States and other countries and need to be handled differently than either POWs or civilian prisoners.  

      If he can't or won't do that, then the discussion is over. There is no need for special rules for a status of persons that cannot legally exist. These persons must be treated as civilian prisoners, no exceptions.

      •  it is a twisted and distorted conception of (9+ / 0-)

        international humanitarian law that BUSCHO applied.
        As I posted above, a person is either a combatant or civilian.  "unlawful combatants" are a perverted notion of the "unprivileged belligerents".  They are civilians taking direct part in hostilities.... which means that while they may lose their protected status (ie, immunity from prosecution) and may be targeted as combatants in hostilities, that has nothing to do with detention, where they must be treated as any other civilian.

        "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

        by normal family on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 03:12:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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