American Samizdat

Monday, November 14, 2005. *
Two persistent sources of confusion in this debate have been misreadings of the Geneva Conventions and sloppy (or willfully distorted) use of the word "torture." The Geneva Conventions are very strict about which detainees qualify for the protections of "prisoner of war" status: They must, for example, have fought in uniform and shown some respect for the laws of war, such as avoiding attacks on civilians.

What's more, any form of manipulation, including positive reinforcements such as better rations, are forbidden when it comes to interrogating legitimate POWs. Recognizing guerrillas and terrorists as POWs would be a form of unilateral disarmament, and, worse, would legitimize their behavior. The U.S. was respecting, not skirting, international law when it refused to classify them as such.

Have we declared war yet?
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:17 PM
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