|Quoting Baroque (Reply 5):|
This US administration seems to have an almost obsessive view that its power is totally untrammelled inside the US and outside it. Will we see a "trammelling" process develop?
Unfortunately, what this business has highlighted is that any country can disregard the provisions of the Geneva Conventions if it chooses - and there are no international sanctions which can prevent this. The US Supreme Court determined that the USA was in breach of the Conventions in its recent decision - but could only require that the Executive complied with them from now on. For obvious reasons it could not apply any penalties.
It's quite interesting that the invention of the whole 'enemy combatant' business (those actual words do not appear anywhere in the Conventions) seems to have flowed from a bit of 'speed-reading' of the relevant Convention - fastening on Article 4, which provides that people not wearing uniform, not under command, etc. may not qualify for protection.
However, whoever did the speed-reading didn't even bother to read the following Article 5, which says:-
"Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.'
In other words, given that none of the prisoners at Gitmo (and especially none of the people subjected to 'rendition') have had their 'status determined' by any sort of 'competent tribunal,' they remain entitled to the full privileges afforded to prisoners of war.
And the USA therefore remains in flagrant breach of the Geneva Conventions.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci