Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Everyone at Gitmo Is An Enemy Combatant; We Can "Hold Them Forever" (Video)

Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on "On the Record" last night.

In January, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)called Gitmo a "well run jail".

He contradicts what he said earlier in the day, that he wants to be "the President's Partner" over prosecuting GITMO detainees.

Mr. Obama had this to say about using the Army Field Manual from The Associated Press.

"We believe that the Army Field Manual reflects the best judgment of our military, that we can abide by a rule that says we don't torture, but that we can still effectively obtain the intelligence that we need," Obama said. He said his action reflects an understanding that "we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it's easy, but also when it's hard."

An excerpt from the text of Obama's Executive Order regarding "Ensuring Lawful Interrogations".

By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in order to improve the effectiveness of human intelligence gathering, to promote the safe, lawful, and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody and of United States personnel who are detained in armed conflicts, to ensure compliance with the treaty obligations of the United States, including the Geneva Conventions, and to take care that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed, I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Revocation. Executive Order 13440 of July 20, 2007, is revoked. All executive directives, orders, and regulations inconsistent with this order, including but not limited to those issued to or by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from September 11, 2001, to January 20, 2009, concerning detention or the interrogation of detained individuals, are revoked to the extent of their inconsistency with this order. Heads of departments and agencies shall take all necessary steps to ensure that all directives, orders, and regulations of their respective departments or agencies are consistent with this order. Upon request, the Attorney General shall provide guidance about which directives, orders, and regulations are inconsistent with this order.

Executive Order 13440 was signed by President Bush July 20th, 2007. It stated that that members of al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces are unlawful enemy combatants who are not entitled to the protections that the Third Geneva Convention provides to prisoners of war.

The Third Geneva Convention provides protection for prisoners of war assuming they meet the following criteria

4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps,
including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions

that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);

that of carrying arms openly;

that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

President Bush was correct. Members of terrorist organizations DO NOT meet the above criteria and therefore President Obama is incorrect in his belief that the Geneva Conventions and The Army Field Manual apply to enemy combatants.

Further, terrorists are not covered by The Fourth Geneva Convention which applies to treatment of civilians.

Essentially, no court, domestic or international has yet to provide a definitive ruling defining any "intermediary" between a formal army, militia or organized force (which GCIII protects) and non-combatant civilians (protected by GCIV).

Article 51.3 of the Commentary states this: IV Geneva Convention also covers this interpretation: "Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.". In the words of the International Committee of the Red Cross. or ICRC "If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered "unlawful" or "unprivileged" combatants or belligerents (the treaties of humanitarian law do not expressly contain these terms). They may be prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action. Both lawful and unlawful combatants may be interned in wartime, may be interrogated and may be prosecuted for war crimes.

So it appears there is a distinct lack of a true definition of how a terrorist, or "enemy combatant" in the international community. If anything, IV Geneva Convention affirms interrogation tactics used on the Guantanamo detainees.

The War of Terror is a unique circumstance in world history. If President Bush misjudged anything, he did so to in order to protect America and American citizens.

Obama is erring on the side of protecting the terrorists and worried about his and the United States' "Image" around the world. Pretty narcissistic, don't you think?

Mr. Obama is worried about being popular more than doing what it right.

We are sorry Mr. Obama, but America and Americans are more important than how we look to outsiders.

"The time has come to set aside childish things", Mr. Obama. You want to hang out with the popular kids in the world, putting the so-called "world opinion" above American safety? Now that is truly childish.

With all due respect, THAT is the fundamental difference between Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush.

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1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately the only CHILDISH behavior is under the current very marginalized Republicans who have chosen to turn on their own and follow the rantings of Rush Limbaugh and a criminal political hack named Cheney that ran roughshod over the country, breaking law after law from torture - USC Title 18 Chapter 113C - to wiretapping and fiber optic tracing - AT&T, Verizon, MSN and AOL, tearing apart the people and running a fear campaign scam to keep the controls on and the citizenry off their game.
    Power hungry vampirism is the forte of the new grand Old Pariah and the wrong winged Neo-Con their golden idol. Eating their own and destroying anything good they ever had going for them.
    Centrist is "evil" and left is "unAmerican", peace is "unpatriotic" and humanitarian is "communist"
    Yes , TORTURE is ILLEGAL IN the US by US law put in force by your own Ronald Reagan.
    We have tried Japanese in the US for torture after WWII and tried Texas sheriff and deputies for torture (waterboarding to be specific) and NO one - not President, Vice Vice, the DOJ, the CIA, the FBI, the Congress or the guy on the street is above the law.
    To claim that Obama in closing the hell called Gitmo and the other 100 ++ black Sites is a danger or a threat is playing that same game of yellow to orange terror alert they played so well during the 2004 election every time they got questioned or every time a democrat got a head in the polls 0 now it is for the sole purpose of CYA and disruption.
    They are purposely setting out to do what they claim is being done by Obama, destroying a nation...With destruction through terror, they come in and gain control - through terror they get the average schmuck to turn over their rights and beg for protection...the Protection never comes and the terrorists have won for the terrorists ARE DICK CHENEY and his cohorts!