[ExI] criminals? pows? spies?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat May 16 13:28:57 UTC 2009

2009/5/16 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> This is most puzzling:
> http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hyhhRFdRhxZQUP6yBx71wUU_W42QD986QD680
> So were the detainees captured with the status of POWs, then urged to be
> considered criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights (since we had not
> declared war, but al qaeda had on us) but now with reinstated tribunals,
> they are being legally converted to... what?  And if they are found guilty
> (of human caused disaster?) then what do we do?  We can't keep them, we
> can't let them go, we can't shoot them, and any course of action in trying
> them sets the legal groundwork for politically motivated retribution as soon
> as the current crop of elected leaders are out of power, with precedents
> being set now by those same leaders.
> This is one hell of a note.  The phrase "take no prisoners" once meant to
> slay everyone.  Now it no longer means that, but rather a more advisable and
> much more literal course of action, for it is entirely unclear what in the
> hell to do with them if you do.  Rejoice, for war is now obsolete.  We can
> no longer fight, for we no longer have the unambiguous legal foundation to
> do so.

They are either POW's covered by the Third Geneva Convention
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Geneva_Convention) or civilians
(including "unlawful combatants) covered by the Fourth Geneva
Convention (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Geneva_Convention).
Bush and now, it seems, Obama have decided to detain them indefinitely
in an ad hoc category outside the law.

Stathis Papaioannou

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