Gitmo: The New Rules of War

Pierre-Richard Prosper said: “We’re applying the Geneva Conventions, but he by his conduct has not earned the benefits or privileges of being labelled a prisoner of war.”

That is some evil sounding rhetoric.

It’s my understanding that, according to Geneva Conventions, either someone is or is not a prisoner of war. A person doesn’t have to earn the benefits and privileges of being a prisoner of war. If you are being detained by a government because of allegations of involvment in fighting against that government, then you are by definition a prisoner of war.

Basically, Prosper is saying that the US government doesn’t care about international law and will apply it at whim without any explanation. Prosper doesn’t even explain the US policy about how someone earns the right to be treated like a human.

Prosper in this next video argues that we’re in an unconventional war that is against a private organization rather than a state. If that is the case, why did we invade and occupy two countries? And this is further confusing since the US government and other governments are increasingly relying upon private organiztions as mercenaries. Are we getting to the point where governments are stepping away from taking any responsibility of the wars they start and the killing they cause? In the future, governments will pull the strings behind the scenes while private organizations fight other private organizations. Meanwhile, innocent citizens will be caught in the middle.

Anarcho-capitalists argue only governments can fight wars and not private organizations, but I fear they are sadly wrong. If there is another world war (not of the cold war variety), it quite likely could be between private organizations that have no loyalty to any specific nation and so would have no responsibility to any specific citizenry. The private organizations who fight the wars could be the same that own the media. Just imagine if Blackwater became an large international mercenary force and imagine that it was owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Gitmo Innocents

Below is more evidence that Bush (& Friends) was as evil as we all thought he was.    


   

And here is an article from Fox News so that no one can argue that this is a story only the liberal media is reporting. 

Powell Withholds Comment on Report That Innocent Men Were Kept at Gitmo
Fox News

Colin Powell declined to comment on an article published in the Times of London Friday that reported innocent men were kept at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp because the Bush administration feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader war on terror. The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Powell, the former secretary of state, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantanamo detainee. Peggy Cifrino, principal assistant to Powell, said in a written statement to Fox News, “General Powell has not seen Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration and, therefore, cannot provide a comment. Nor, obviously, can ‘it be understood that he backed’ the declaration as reported by Tim Reid of The Times.” The Times of London reported that George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knew in 2002 that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo were innocent, but the administration believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.Colonel Wilkerson, who was Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was a long-time critic of the Bush administration’s approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq. According to the Times of London, Wilkerson claimed that one reason Cheney and Rumsfeld did not want the innocent detainees released was because “the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were.”  

This is even more interesting when one considers this in the light of how the lawyers who represented terrorist suspects were attacked for doing their job as lawyers (a job, by the way, that is one of the major supports of our democracy and of our constitutional rights).  

 

 

 

‘Al-Qaeda 7’ Controversy: Detainees And Politics
by Ari Shapiro

 Justice Department attorneys who once helped represent terrorism detainees are at the center of a raging dispute. A conservative group is arguing the nine lawyers are influencing U.S. policy to help their former clients. 

The seed of the controversy was planted at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last November, where Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about his agency’s decision to give detainees civilian trials in the United States.   

“Would you provide me and members of the committee with the following information,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked Holder, “the names of political appointees in your department who represent detainees or who worked for organizations advocating on their behalf.”   

Holder said he would look into it and added that people who have been involved in detainee issues recuse themselves at the Justice Department when it’s appropriate.   

Holder continued, “People who should not be participating in certain decisions do not do so.”   

Grassley and other Republicans sent a follow-up letter. And last month, the Justice Department responded, saying nine Justice attorneys were once involved in representing detainees.   

Grassley named two of them. A group led by conservatives Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol then released an Internet video spot.   

“Who are these government officials?” says a voice in the ad. “Eric Holder will only name two. Why the secrecy behind the other seven? Whose values do they share? Tell Eric Holder, Americans have a right to know the identity of the ‘Al-Qaeda 7.’ ” Fox News identified the seven lawyers and pointed out that the Bush Justice Department also hired lawyers who had represented detainees.  

Even though conservatives have criticized Liz Cheney for this attack add, many conservatives have defended Gitmo and torture on the basis that terrorist suspect should be treated as if they were terrorists. The logic behind this argument is that if there was evidence for their innocence they wouldn’t be in Gitmo (or one of the other detainment prisons). This was also the argument for why they shouldn’t be tried in civilian courts because, afterall, terrorists don’t deserve justice. They deserve only our righteous hatred and the might of our vengeance. 

So, how many innocents were tortured and/or died in detainment while Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld lied and while Republicans supported those lies?