Wednesday, May 20

UN Report: GITMO Detainees Not Entitled to Protection of Geneva Conventions

Looking at the whole 'torture' debate that Congress is getting into now, I thought it good to post the below reminder of what I wrote back in 2006:
Speaking of the Geneva Convention. The UN issued a report in February titled "Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay." The press covered the report and it's calls for the US to close Gitmo. What the press seems to have missed was this important note by the Chairperson of the working group that made the report:

The Chairperson of the Working Group and the Special Rapporteur note that, while United States Armed Forces continue to be engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan as well as in other countries, they are not currently engaged in an international armed conflict between two Parties to the Third (POWs) and Fourth (civilians) Geneva Conventions. (Pages 13-14 of the report)

In other words, the Geneva Conventions do not apply to these criminals. - June 2006
So, when it comes to those being held by the US in GITMO, the US has not and is not violating the prisoner's Geneva Convention protections, because they are not entitled to them. And even if the Convention applied, those caught were in violation of their responsibilities under it. (Not targeting civilians, uniform, etc...) President Bush, did however extend them treatment in line with the Conventions.

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