Re: News Release

"Rod Engelsman" <rod.engelsman@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Cliff wrote:

They were attacking the military targets of an invading force.
They were motivated to protecting their homeland.

Yeah... like osama bin laden was protecting his homeland Saudi Arabia.
Like the Chechens or the Pakistanis too I assume...

Osama bin Laden wasn't a member of the Taliban.

The taliban protected osama bin laden while he was in afghanistan you can
say that he wasn't a "member" your only playing with words.

And anyone other than Afghanis captured on the field of battle would have
a questionable status. But Afghani citizens attempting to repel our
invasion would have to be considered soldiers under the GC and accorded
the rights of POWs.

No they would not have. The GC is pretty darn clear on who is and isn't an
illegal combatant.
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
(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.

What flag or "fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance" did these
fighters use?

Further, ANY fighters captured on the field of battle are to be accorded >
POW status until such time as a competent tribunal determines their
status. There were no such tribunals until the Supreme Court forced the

Article 5
The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4
from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final
release and repatriation.
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent
act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the
categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection
of the present Convention until such time as their status has been
determined by a competent tribunal.

The key element in article 5 is: "Should any doubt arise". I and many other
say "there is no doubt".....

And BTW SCOTUS has not made ANY decisions concerning the status of these
people. The case was just heard and a decision will not be until probably
the end of summer......maybe wishful thinking on your part?

They were using primarily conventional weapons of war (guns and bombs).

And just what does this have to do with the Geneva conventions?

Just like all good terrorists do. Maybe there would not have been an
issue if the planes they flew into the WTC were made of paper.

The terrorists who committed the atrocities of 9/11 are high-level
criminals, not soldiers.

After osama bin ladens declaration of war against the US there is no
question that they were either illegal combatants, spies or saboteurs take
your pick, any one of the above means they are not afforded the protections
of the GC. Moot point, all are dead except for one.....

And one of them is very near to getting a needle in his veins for the

The Taliban was the de facto government of Afghanistan when we invaded,
so armed members of the Taliban, whether they wore any kind of uniform
or not, were by practical definition, soldiers.

By practical definition they are illegal combatants. That is if you
believe following laws.

There is no definition of "illegal combatants" in the GC, which is the
controlling authority in international law concerning war.

It does not matter what you call them, they are not entitled to the
protections of the GC so let's just change that name shall we? Lets call
them "people who do not warrant the protection of the Geneva
Convention"...does that make you feel better?

For the above reasons, I conclude that the captured Taliban are entitled
to the protections of the Geneva Convention.

Your conclusions are ludicrous and have no legal basis whatsoever.
Possibly a case of wishful thinking on your part because you do not agree
and you wish to condemm those who you do not agree with.

My conclusions are far from ludicrous.

It is certainly ludicrous. Maybe it wouldn't be if you could not read.

They are shared by a great many people and organizations including Amnesty
International, the International Red Cross, and Human Rights Watch. No
less authority than the Supreme Court of the US has weighed in on the
matter and found the Bush administration to be breaking the law in holding
the Gitmo detainees indefinitely without status hearings as prescribed by
the GC.

Remember the little bit of text that says "Should any doubt arise". Still
means the same thing in this context....

This is far from a slam dunk on your side.

You read the text of the GC and the comments above and tell me what their
fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance was. Maybe their turbans?
White good? Black bad? Checkerboard maybe?

The world knows this, and the Bush administration is acting in
contravention to ratified Treaty obligations by ignoring these facts and
inventing terms to avoid calling them POWs.

Bush did not invent the term illegal combatants, or create the definition
of illegal combatants. The term arises from the Geneva
conventions....Bush was not even born when the term and the definition
were introduced.

It's a negative definition, like "None of the Above" or "Other". AFAICT,
you end up as either a POW, a Protected Person, or a War Criminal
according to the GC. POWs have rights, Protected Persons have rights, and
War Criminals finally have the rights of the accused under the US

It seems to me your problem is with the GC itself not our interpretation of
it then. Laws are black and white not shades of grey either the laws apply
or they do not. In this case it is obvious that they do not apply and that
means that the GC does not apply. It is really simple.

The BA is attempting an end run around this through the use of the
facilities at Gitmo, basically contending that Gitmo isn't the sovereign
territory of any Nation other than the US, and that it isn't part of our
sovereign territory either. It's sort of like putting them on the Moon or
something and then saying they have no rights because of where they are.

Gitmo has nothing to do with the legality of it. Where they are held is a
moot point.

administration seems to want it both ways.

It seems to me that you are the one that wants it both ways, inventing
ludicrous meanings to existing laws, accusing someone of inventing things
that were in existence the day they were born. Grasping at straws to bash
those that you do not agree with.

It's the BA that's grasping at straws, not me.

For one example can you explain what the taliban used as a fixed distinctive
sign recognizable at a distance?


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