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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Geneva for Cut-Throats?

While making horribly unclassy comments through-out her editorial today on liberal opposition to security and imprisonment weasures towards captured terrorists, Ann Coulter penned this absolute gem:

By the way, how did the Geneva Conventions work out for McCain at the Hanoi Hilton?

When our enemies sliced Daniel Pearl's head off and Al Jazeera televised it, when the enemy does not openly where uniforms and act as soldiers for a cognizable state, when citizens are directly targeted for heinous acts, when intelligence is needed without time to obtain a warrant to stop a bombing of anything, the Geneva Conventions do not apply.

The idea that our decision to utilize methods that we decide are proper will motivate our enemies to ignore the Geneva rules on prisoner treatment so that Americans will not suffer from torture ignores the events since Danny Pearl's death at captor's hands (and gleefully filmed).

3 Comments:

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous higher ground said...

If these actions by our enemies are so reprehensible, (and indeed they are) why would we be in a hurry to get down to their level, jettison our principles and emulate them? Shouldn't this country be proud to stand for something better than the terrorist approach to life? I know from my father's WWII stories (Pacific theatre) that bad things could happen to prisoners of war on both sides, but at least our treatment standards were not being institutionalized (key word here)at some low level. This post smells of situation ethics.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger neal phenes said...

Soldiers captured during war would receive proper treatment as due them under the Convention. These prisoners lack standing to assert the same rights as prisoners of enemy states. They are not the intended beneficiaries of the law.

We are talking standing here. The post also tried to explain that throat-cutters will not change their behavior towards individuals they capture (soldiers, electrical contractors, journalists or nuns)regardless of our conduct towards terrorists we capture. I was denying the motivational effect.

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous higher ground said...

I think we should be talking image, principles, and what this country should represent to the world, not something as narrow as "legal standing." Nor would I expect a change in conduct by terrorists as a consequence of who we are or what we do - that is already manifestly clear. It seems a given, whether talking about prisoners at the Bulge being machine gunned for logistical convenience, or infected with who knew what disease cocktail in Japanese prisoner camps, that soldiers often did not receive proper treatment despite the Convention. In this context, if nothing else, the Convention at least represents who we are, or maybe aspire to be. Tangentially on "motivational effects" it seems also considered expert opinion that torture is an ineffective method of obtaining truthful information from a prisoner.

 

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