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Posted: 5/8/2004 3:48:26 PM EST
Alright. It's been 20 years since I had a course in the Laws of Land Warfare, but this has been gnawing at me since we started keeping AQ and Taliban at Gitmo:

Why are we treating people who are not part of any nation's army, who do not wear any uniform, who target civilians and otherwise completely disregard the Laws of Land Warfare as POWs? I can respect a member of an enemy military force, but these guys are most definitely NOT.

I will be among the first to say that the actions of those at that prison in Iraq go beyond the pale, and do NOT represent the American Fighting Man or Woman, but why are the AQ, Fedayeen Saddam, and Taliban not just chemically interrogated and then quickly and quietly disposed of? As terrorists, spies, and saboteurs, they do not fall under the Hague or Geneva conventions, IIRC.

I am not trying to be facetious, incite ill will, or anything like that. I just want to know why we aren't draining these guys dry for info and then killing them as spies and terrorists?
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 3:53:55 PM EST
Because the American government is too easily swayed by foreign interests and a small minority of shrieking pussies that don't have what it takes to get the job done properly. Instead of relying on the support of the majority of Americans (who most likely do not give a fuck about this story), the government tries to cater to every foreigner and every shrieking interest group, and then becomes weak and indecisive.

If something this small is such a big deal to Americans as the media and the rest of the whiners makes it out to be, then the U.S. has lost this war. It's only a matter of time. Unfortunate, but there it is.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:10:03 PM EST
I'm not really talking about the prison story (those people should receive a court martial and do hard time), but about our apparent unwillingness to get some serious info from these people. Keeping them in prison for years on end is NOT going to add to our supply of intel, and allows for the possibility that these individuals could escape or be released by a Kerry administration. Heaven forfend.

I guess what I'm really asking is if these guys ARE covered by the LOLW? If so, HOW? They wear no uniform, owe allegiance to no country, and target civilians.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:13:52 PM EST
If they are arrested by police agencies inside the U.S., it's a constitutional question.

If they are detained by the military outside of the U.S., they have no defined status as of yet (hence the arguments over Gitmo and the "detainees"). They are definately not POWs as defined by any document that purports to establish "rules of warfare". Why are they not treated in a manner more befitting their status and previous actions? See above.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:33:19 PM EST
If you go into the military recruiter's office, what job allows you to be a terrorist interrogator for the military? IE torture artist.

Who sent you?
No one.
Wrong answer. (Smashes pinky toe with 3lb sledge)

Who sent you?
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:35:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By kpel308:
Alright. It's been 20 years since I had a course in the Laws of Land Warfare, but this has been gnawing at me since we started keeping AQ and Taliban at Gitmo:

Why are we treating people who are not part of any nation's army, who do not wear any uniform, who target civilians and otherwise completely disregard the Laws of Land Warfare as POWs? I can respect a member of an enemy military force, but these guys are most definitely NOT.

I will be among the first to say that the actions of those at that prison in Iraq go beyond the pale, and do NOT represent the American Fighting Man or Woman, but why are the AQ, Fedayeen Saddam, and Taliban not just chemically interrogated and then quickly and quietly disposed of? As terrorists, spies, and saboteurs, they do not fall under the Hague or Geneva conventions, IIRC.

I am not trying to be facetious, incite ill will, or anything like that. I just want to know why we aren't draining these guys dry for info and then killing them as spies and terrorists?




Good freakin' question
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:37:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/8/2004 4:38:33 PM EST by kpel308]

If you go into the military recruiter's office, what job allows you to be a terrorist interrogator for the military? IE torture artist.

Who sent you?
No one.
Wrong answer. (Smashes pinky toe with 3lb sledge)

Who sent you?


That stuff is really not necessary. You get MUCH better performance by chemical interrogation, especially by someone who is skilled in the practice. I'd say just keep the guy around to see if the intel pans out or other questions develop, and then during the next session, he just doesn't wake up. I don't have a problem with that, IF the individual was captured while fighting us or attempting an attack. I do NOT want to put anyone who just disagrees with our presence in this category. Al Sadr or Osama, yes, but Joe Blow Iraqi, no.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:45:13 PM EST
quite frankly cause we are the US.

We are "supposed to be the responsible ones"
we are "Supposed to set the example"


We are the big brother of the family. The little brother gets away with it, but we are "old enough to know better".

WE are supposed to be held to a higher standard, to set the example.

Do i agree with it? not necessarily. But that seems to be the stance of the US. At least officially.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:49:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/8/2004 4:50:01 PM EST by limaxray]
Not a lawyer, but here's my understanding....

The prisoners in Iraq and Gitmo are not considered "prisoners of war" because under the Geneva Convention they do not fall in one of these categories:


Geneva Conventions of 1949, Article 4

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

5. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.





Listening to Gen Meyers on CSPAN today, he mentioned that there are only 12 prisoners in Iraq who fit that description.

But, if they aren't POWs, why do we treat them the way they do?

Real simple--we HAVE to take the moral high road in this conflict! If we don't, then we're no better than they are, and would not have international support we need to accomplish the tasks at hand. (Edited to add--it's not like we've got a lot of that to begin with....) So, we do little things, like treat non-POWs like POWs, and even then we're accused of some pretty heinous stuff.

Also, remember that torture and interrogation are two different things. Torture tends to get the results you want, because the victim will do or say anything you want to hear to get you to stop inflicting pain. Interrogation is something else.

Last, we haven't killed anyone as a spy since the Rosenbergs in the 50s. You think the backlash against these beasts posing as US Army prison guards is bad; wait till the world hears we capped a prisoner because he was a spy and we were done with him.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 4:49:34 PM EST
The problem is guaranteeing that the guy you are interrogating _is_ what you think he is. Running across some innocent on the battlefield, when fighting in an urban environment, is entirely possible. Certainty of guilt is one problem.

Also consider how much valuable intel most of these bags actually have. Remember that they may tell you everything they know . . . or believe . . . and still be completely wrong. 90% of these guys haven't got crap to tell us that we don't already know.

Those for whom there is no question . . . absolutely. Scramble their brains and get it all on paper. But for those who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time . . .

We must take great care to be on the right side of things all the time. Otherwise we risk losing our souls.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:18:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By kaotic:
If you go into the military recruiter's office, what job allows you to be a terrorist interrogator for the military? IE torture artist.



97E.

Things have changed with Interrogators, apparently.

The old wartime planning for interrogators was that we always expected to have far more prisoners, even in a shooting war with the Soviets, than we could ever deal with. Our interrogation "techniques" mainly consisted of a hot meal and decent treatment. The hard cases who don't want to talk weren't considered worth any special effort. It was assumed from past experience that large enough portion of the rest of the prisoners would be so overwhelmed by the fact that they weren't being tortured and that had a full stomach for the first time in ages that some would give relatively useful information.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:39:54 PM EST
I really don't mind giving someone the needle who is sworn to kill us, even at the expense of his own life. The problem is, is it technically LEGAL under current LOLW? I don't really care about public opinion, I care about saving American lives and ridding us of terrorists.
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