cicerone imposter wrote:
Tantor, I see an important difference between a war between soldiers, and the execution of so-called terrorists by the CIA.
We agree that there is an important difference between a war between soldiers and a war with terrorists. Under the Geneva Convention, the terrorists have virtually no protections. To enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention, you must identify yourself as a combatant, generally by wearing a uniform. You must not target civilians. Al Qaeda fails both tests.
Generally, combatants caught out of uniform are considered spies and it is perfectly acceptable to shoot them on the spot. During WWII, our OSS parachuted agents in civilian dress behind Nazi lines to establish spy networks. When the Nazis caught and executed them, we made no protest. We did not have a legal leg to stand on. Likewise, when the Nazis infiltrated saboteurs in GI uniforms behind American lines during the Battle of The Bulge, they were executed after a military hearing. The Nazis made no complaint because there was no legal one to make.
Following these legal precedents, when we catch terrorists in mufti, we are perfectly entitled to kill them on the spot. Now, I don't advise this, by way of explanation. It's much better to capture them, have our allies interrogate them, squeeze them dry of intelligence, and then let our allies execute them.
cicerone imposter wrote:
If the CIA has carte blanche to kill terrorists, we have no need for the prison in Cuba, and all the innocent would have been executed, because many or most of them would have been identified as "terrorists." The two American talibans would have been executed, because they were identified as the enemy/terrorists. I see something dangerously wrong with that type of execution. On the other hand, I don't see anything wrong with identifying terrorists, and letting them have their day in world court. Identity and execution is prone to too many mistakes. c.i.
Yes, I can just see Johnny Cochrane holding the bloody ski masks of Al Qaeda terrorists in the courtroom, shouting, "If it don't fit, you must acquit." I imagine the Saudis would pay him handsomely to make a fool of America.
Bush's instructions to the CIA are that they are cleared to kill terrorists where capture is impractical. However, "impractical" can mean a lot of things. If our boys err on the side of killing terrorists rather than capturing them, well, no harm done. They need killing.
No need to start hyperventilating over the CIA executing the Club Gitmo guests. They are already our captives. Bush's finding does not apply to them. They should face Mecca and thank Allah they are safe in Gitmo and not roaming around loose in Afghanistan where the Americans are likely to launch a Hellfire missile up their wazoo. And that part about "all the innocent" guys out there in Gitmo, man, Cicerone, you crack me up. You're quite the jester. Thanks for the laugh.