Genevamania! Bush extends Article 3 to detainees worldwide

posted at 1:25 pm on July 11, 2006 by Allahpundit

The tide of anti-Americanism begins to turn. Islamists throughout the Middle East wonder if the Great Satan is as satanic as they’ve been taught. America reclaims its soul and in so doing answers the question of our age: are we as a people really any better than mass-murdering crypto-Nazi religious fanatics?

Yes. The answer at last, my friends, is yes.

In fairness to Bush, this was a fait accompli after Hamdan. If he didn’t do it, the Supreme Court eventually would have done it for him. In fact, they already sort of did. Here’s how Article 3 begins:

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions

And here’s what I wrote about it in my, um, “analysis” of Hamdan a few weeks ago:

Afghanistan is a High Contracting Party, so the question for the Court was whether Al Qaeda operatives captured there are subject to the Article. Answer: yes. “But,” you say, “it says it applies only to conflicts ‘not of an international character’ and the war on terror is as international as they come.” Indeed — but the Court is reading “international” in its literal sense, i.e., “between nations.” Al Qaeda isn’t a nation. Which means no matter how global the jihad might be, so long as a jihadi is captured within the territory of a signatory to the Conventions, he’s entitled to the protections of Article 3.

Pretty much everyone is a signatory to the Conventions — except Al-Qaeda, of course — so Article 3 essentially already applies worldwide by operation of the Hamdan decision itself. Changing the policy on his own initiative lets Bush bank some goodwill on the eve of the G8 with North Korea and Iran on the table.

Smart politics. And so good for the soul.


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Fun part about this is that now Bush does NOT have to give trials to these folks…

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

D means that we can keep them for as long as we want, as POWs without charging them… we only have to give them judicial guarantees IF they go to court…

C is more problematic, as personal indignity is in the eye of the beholder… they can say that not following Sharia law is an affront to their dignity…

Other problem with this… do you know that we have to start PAYING these prisoners under the Geneva Convention???

Romeo13 on July 11, 2006 at 1:36 PM

This means that we can’t use napalm on them, right?

JamesVersusEveryone on July 11, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Ok now take them out and hang them!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 11, 2006 at 2:04 PM

Oh yeah! And let’s see if this a two way street!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 11, 2006 at 2:05 PM

Its my understanding that the GC protections (in Article 3) do not extend to ‘illegal combatants’ in any nation. These are the ones which do not have any sort of plainly visible identiciation as a combatant – an armband, uniform, etc…

Is this true?

The GC was written, partially, to protect the civilian populations by clearly identifying the combatants. When terrorists hide in the civilian population as civilians they endanger the civilians and do not deserve GC protection.

CrazyFool on July 11, 2006 at 2:30 PM

Two words: Feh.

OK, one word. Sue me.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 11, 2006 at 2:43 PM

Changing the policy on his own initiative lets Bush bank some goodwill on the eve of the G8 with North Korea and Iran on the table.

Smart politics. And so good for the soul.

Is this like the goodwill he always seeks from his enemies? Gee, I don’t think any of them have ever reciprocated. And they won’t now.

Its my understanding that the GC protections (in Article 3) do not extend to ‘illegal combatants’ in any nation…When terrorists hide in the civilian population as civilians they endanger the civilians and do not deserve GC protection.

Absolutely correct. Yet, we’re giving it to them on bended knee with neck proffered.

It’s over, we’ve lost.

ScottG on July 11, 2006 at 3:20 PM

No uniform = SPY

You are allowed to shoot spies during a war.

Highplains on July 12, 2006 at 12:58 AM

No uniform = spy

I do not believe it is spelled out in the Geneva Convention, but de facto, do not the indentifiers, or national insignia of uniforms have to be designated before the fight begins?

Otherwise, how do you declare what is not a uniform, when determining who is a spy, and who is a combatant?

The Geneva Conventions and legal traditions are explained beautifully at the Federalist Society

The only sure identifier I can determine for these terrorists is a severed human head which is seen easily at a distance as required by the Conventions, and pretty much copyrighted by that group.

The head choppers should be accorded full Geneva treatments, everyone else should be shot on sight.

This would be a win-win, because, in most of America excepting perhaps San Francisco, and Bloomberg’s New York, cutting off the head of a kafir would be considered at least a misdemeanor.

It may even be sufficient to disqualify the identifiable combatant from getting amnesty under the Senate Immigration Bill.

entagor on July 12, 2006 at 10:45 AM

No uniform = SPY

You are allowed to shoot spies during a war.

Got a quote for that?

Here’s what I’ve found regarding spies:

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with security of State or Occupying Power as case may be.

Remember that this doesn’t mean they get POW status, just protected civilian status.

Read the whole thing here.

Mark Jaquith on July 15, 2006 at 2:37 AM