Monday, July 10

Likely Unintended Effect of Fighting for Rights for Terrorists: UPDATE

Late last year I suggested that the result of all of the Human Rights groups fighting for rights for captured terrorists will likely result in more killed and less captured terrorists.

This suggestion was proved correct with the elimination of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. US and Iraqi Troops were positioned in the palm grove outside Zarqawi's hideout, but they made no attempt to capture him. Instead, they were stationed there solely to secure the site after the strike or deal with whoever ran out of the building if the strike did not go as intended. Cleary, if any terrorist was worth catching alive, it was him. It the US is not interested in catching him alive, the others should expect anything other than the same treatment.

Today, Ralph Peters of the NY Post comes out and takes the position that terrorists should be taken care of on the battlefield, not permitting them the opportunity to take advantage of our legal system and human rights concerns.

July 10, 2006 -- THE British military defines experience as the ability to recognize a mistake the second time you make it. By that standard, we should be very experienced in dealing with captured terrorists, since we've made the same mistake again and again.

Violent Islamist extremists must be killed on the battlefield. Only in the rarest cases should they be taken prisoner. Few have serious intelligence value. And, once captured, there's no way to dispose of them.

Killing terrorists during a conflict isn't barbaric or immoral - or even illegal. We've imposed rules upon ourselves that have no historical or judicial precedent. We haven't been stymied by others, but by ourselves.

The oft-cited, seldom-read Geneva and Hague Conventions define legal combatants as those who visibly identify themselves by wearing uniforms or distinguishing insignia (the latter provision covers honorable partisans - but no badges or armbands, no protection). Those who wear civilian clothes to ambush soldiers or collect intelligence are assassins and spies - beyond the pale of law.

Traditionally, those who masquerade as civilians in order to kill legal combatants have been executed promptly, without trial. Severity, not sloppy leftist pandering, kept warfare within some decent bounds at least part of the time. But we have reached a point at which the rules apply only to us, while our enemies are permitted unrestricted freedom.

The present situation encourages our enemies to behave wantonly, while crippling our attempts to deal with terror. - NY Post (Read the whole thing)

This is the type of fight that we are in now. Those who we are fighting spend their time plotting and preparing while at the same time hiding amongst us. Just imagine is Mohammad Atta was arrested on September 10th. How many Americans (not to mention the international community) would be lining up to stand behind that monster in his defense. (Look at all those defending 'Tookie' williams and he was a convicted multi-murderer!)

Take the story coming out today of a Middle Eastern man who was allowed to board a Delta flight despite being discovered as a security threat. OK, I am calling him a security threat, even though the authorities claim that he was not. You be the judge:

The report states that a man with a Middle Eastern name and a ticket for a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta shook his head when screeners asked if he had a laptop computer in his baggage, but an X-ray machine operator detected a laptop.

A search of the man's baggage revealed a clock with a 9-volt battery taped to it and a copy of the Quran, the report said. A screener examined the man's shoes and determined that the "entire soles of both shoes were gutted out."

No explosive material was detected, the report states. A police officer was summoned and questioned the man, examined his identification, shoes and the clock, then cleared him for travel, according to the report.

A TSA screener disagreed with the officer, saying "the shoes had been tampered with and there were all the components of (a bomb) except the explosive itself," the report says.

The officer retorted, "I thought y'all were trained in this stuff," TSA officials reported.

The report says the TSA screener notified Delta Airlines and talked again with the officer, who said he had been unable to check the passenger's criminal background because of computer problems. -

This could only be a 1) Dry run, 2) TSA security test, 3) an attempt for attention by a crazy person. Right now we don't know, and that is exactly what our enemy is counting on.

It was from Powerline where I saw the Post opinion first. As for mentioning the Geneva Conventions, the UN's own Commission on Human Rights issued a report a while back where the press reported that it called for the closure of Guantanamo However, you might not be aware that it also stated that Guantanamo inmates are not covered under the Geneva Conventions:

24. 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 and Fourth Geneva Conventions. In the ongoing non-international armed conflicts involving United States forces, the lex specialis authorizing detention without respect for the guarantees set forth in article 9 of ICCPR therefore can no longer serve as basis for that detention.

So even if these guys did meet the requirements (wearing uniform, etc.) it would not matter because the group/cause they are fighting for is not a Geneva Conventions Member.

Don't wait to hear that in the press.

Update: (11 July)
Willisms has a summary of the legalese of the Geneva Conventions and how this is acceptable under the rules:
Dealing With Captured Terrorists - Willisms

Kill, Don't Capture - NY Post
Likely Unintended Effect of Fighting for Rights for Terrorists - FFI - 26 Nov 05
Human Rights Groups Kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
- FFI - 08 June 06
HPD, airport security at odds over incident -

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