Thursday, June 29, 2006

An intriguing possibility

As I don't already have enough to do at work, I was reading Captain Ed's take on today's Supreme Court ruling in the Hamdan case. In short the Justices ruled 5-3 (Roberts recused himself) that military tribunals for terrorists would be illegal under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

Here's Cap'n Ed:
I haven't read the decision, but the reliance on the Geneva Convention seems strange. The convention binds nations when dealing with other signatories, not with those who have not agreed to reciprocity. The terrorists we have captured do not wear uniforms to distinguish themselves from civilians; in fact, they take great pains to hide themselves among civilians, deliberately target civilians, and use civilians as human shields. Applying Geneva Convention protections to these terrorists undermines the primary reason for these conventions: protection of civilians. They now will pay no penalty for their disregard for the rules of war, thanks to SCOTUS.


Ed concludes: "Congress needs to correct this issue immedately. The mischief that this enables will not only hamstring this war on terror, but any future war we may be forced to wage."

What would make for both high drama, and for great courage would be for the US governement to proceed with tribunals anyway. If we read the Geneva Convention thoroughly, then we have to conclude that there is no allowance for non-signatories who prey on civilians to be accorded protections under the Convention. Therefore, one must logically conclude, that in spite of the Court's decision, military tribunals are the only real option.

If Bush ordered military tribunals, the Left would howl and call for impeachment, but the Right and most moderates who favor a vigorous prosecution of the global war on terror (or radical Islam as were over Epinionated types like to say) would probably see the President as being correct with his interpretation. Would the House impeach? Not likely.

This could turn into a big, big winner for the Republicans, even though the decision went against them.

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