Time: Hey, what happened to Obama’s organization?

posted at 12:15 pm on September 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

No matter what anyone thought of Barack Obama as a candidate, his campaign organization impressed everyone with both its fundraising and GOTV power.  After his election, the campaign transformed into the DNC affiliate Organizing for America and dedicated itself to drumming up support for Obama’s policies and for the Democrats who linked themselves to them.  After the passage of Porkulus, though, OFA slowly disappeared off the radar screens except for their incessant e-mails asking for money.

Time Magazine wondered what happened, and they discovered that OFA has almost disintegrated — even with a large amount of cash from the White House:

What happened to Barack Obama’s once vaunted political machine? The outfit that put upwards of 8 million volunteers on the street in 2008 — known as Organizing for America — is a ghost of its former self. Its staff has shrunk from 6,000 to 300, and its donors are depressed: receipts are a fraction of what they were in 2008. Virtually no one in politics believes it will turn many contests this fall. “There’s no chance that OFA is going to have the slightest impact on the midterms,” says Charlie Cook, who tracks congressional races.

Neglect is to blame. After Obama was elected, his political aides ignored the army he had created until it eventually disappeared. No one was in charge; decisions were often deferred but rarely made. By the time they realized they needed more troops, says longtime consultant Joe Trippi, “their supporters had taken a vacation from politics.”

Neglect is part of it, but not a complete explanation.  The driving force behind OFA and Obama’s campaign has been the Left, and they’re no longer enthused or engaged.  Obama promised them an end to the Iraq War and Guantanamo Bay’s terrorist detention center, and instead Obama gave them Bush’s SOFA withdrawal plan and an absolute punt on Gitmo.  The Left thought they would get the public option in ObamaCare, the stalking horse for a nationalized, single-payer health care system, but instead got a watered-down version of their dream.

And Time’s Jay Newton-Small negates his her own neglect meme by noting that OFA got a $30 million windfall from the Democratic Party under pressure from the White House.  Where did the money go?

Several tell Time that OFA boss David Plouffe, who ran Obama’s 2008 campaign, is using the cash to rebuild an army for 2012 under the cover of boosting turnout in 2010. OFA is putting staff into such states as Virginia, North Carolina and Arizona, which have few close statewide races this fall but which are all prime targets in an Obama re-election campaign. “This is totally about 2012,” Cook says.

In other words, OFA is a lot like Obamanomics.  It promises to boost fortunes in the short term, but really uses the money for Obama’s own personal purposes.  Maybe OFA has lost 95% of its staff because they’ve seen this kind of Hope and Change up close — and don’t want to associate themselves with it again.

Update: Jay Newton-Small is a woman, not a man; my apologies for the pronoun error.


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What happened to Barack Obama’s once vaunted political machine?

Nobody likes a loser…that’s what happened.

Wyznowski on September 9, 2010 at 12:17 PM

0ne hit wonder….

ted c on September 9, 2010 at 12:18 PM

The right loathes him, the center has abandoned him, and the left doesn’t care anymore. See ya, Carter.

John the Libertarian on September 9, 2010 at 12:19 PM

he has no new ideas.

seven on September 9, 2010 at 12:21 PM

One thing I’m learning from Islam- threats of violence work. Perhaps OFA needs to send out mass emails with veiled threats of violence if former donors don’t send them cash.

Monica on September 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Message to Obama Nation – fads don’t usually last too long. Folks in 2008 were caught up in a fad. Like teenage girls who got worked up over the Backstreet Boys. Obama ’08 will never be recreated. Time to move on…

joejm65 on September 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

the ‘driving force’ behind OFA was a bunch of cheeto eating, Abercrombie and Fitch wearing, testosterone pumped, mom haters who had the semester off from University. Now that their parents 401Ks are decimated and one parent is unemployed in the Age of Obama, these jokers are likely looking for a job (to help maintain their Halo standard of living at school this semester), the one thing Obama cannot give them.

ginaswo on September 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM

I’m wondering where all the ACORN cockroaches ended up.

BigWyo on September 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Suffice to say that any future presidential candidate who promises to cool the planet and lower the rising seas will be laughed out of contention — even if he puts “yes, we can” into Latin on his pre-presidential seal. VDH

VibrioCocci on September 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM

ginaswo on September 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM

So what you’re saying, then, is that Obama needs to nationalize Cheeto’s and Abercrombie & Fitch, and he can get them back on OFA?

/

VibrioCocci on September 9, 2010 at 12:27 PM

What the heck is this?

So earlier this year, when the White House gave OFA a whopping $30 million — more than half of the party’s entire budget for 2010 — senior Democrats suspected a hidden agenda.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2016973,00.html#ixzz0z3BKAlve

WoosterOh on September 9, 2010 at 12:27 PM

OFA is putting staff into such states as Virginia, North Carolina and Arizona, which have few close statewide races this fall but which are all prime targets in an Obama re-election campaign.

Good luck with that. I bet his popularity is ready to sky rocket in Arizona! BTW, good shot, ginaswo!

cartooner on September 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Smoke meet mirrors.

mankai on September 9, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Flash mob.

OfA was nothing more than a rather large flash mob.

Mew

acat on September 9, 2010 at 12:30 PM

OFA is putting staff into such states as Virginia, North Carolina and Arizona

Arizona !!

There is no way in hell any amount of money will turn Arizona for Obama.

J_Crater on September 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM

It’s gonna cost tonnes of cash to pay all the Black Panthers necessary to win the 2012 Election…

phreshone on September 9, 2010 at 12:32 PM

The fools were fooled, like all other. Taxpayers paid and continue to do so, for all of it.

Must be punished, harshly.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

They were out too late at Justin Bieber concert. They’re sleeping…ssssshhhh – they should stay in bed because, “like, politics is so totally boring and all.”

Yellowdog12 on September 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

His only chance for 2012 will be a newly amnestied imigrant vote. I predict that Hillary will win the nomination.

jimw on September 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Time: Hey, what happened to Obama’s organization?

Reality set in and people didn’t get their skittle spewing unicorns.

rbj on September 9, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Obama only has his eyes on 2012.

albill on September 9, 2010 at 12:38 PM

The driving force behind OFA and Obama’s campaign has been the Left, and they’re no longer enthused or engaged.

Good! Take your ball, go home, and stay there on NO-vember 2… Your input is neither required nor desired…

Khun Joe on September 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

OFA is putting staff into such states as Virginia, North Carolina and Arizona
Arizona !!
There is no way in hell any amount of money will turn Arizona for Obama.
J_Crater on September 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM

The Feds are suing AZ. Perhaps the Dims are funneling money into the state for other purposes? Stay tuned.

joejm65 on September 9, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann has some kind words for team Obama:

“You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian sh**t.”

NoDonkey on September 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM

I guess this answers the question if Obama wants to only run for one term because his eyes were on becoming UN President or Mayor of Chicago.

redeye on September 9, 2010 at 12:43 PM

OFA is a variation of a personality-driven organization, with the personality driving it being The One. OFA exists primarily to get Obama elected. They should be honest and change it to Organizing for Obama.

Christien on September 9, 2010 at 12:43 PM

DAMN THE TORPEDOES!

MORE SPENDING!

FULL STEAM AHEAD!

Good Lt on September 9, 2010 at 12:44 PM

My guess is AP will start the day off with how organizers had to recruit students to fill empty seats at Obama’s speech in Ohio.

John the Libertarian on September 9, 2010 at 12:45 PM

So Ed, will there be a NFL Open Thread later?

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2010 at 12:47 PM

One thing I’m learning from Islam- threats of violence work. Perhaps OFA needs to send out mass emails with veiled threats of violence if former donors don’t send them cash.

Monica on September 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Bammie is not above making personal threats. He told the bankers “I’m all that stands between you and the pitchforks.” He raped the Chrysler bondholders, an outrageous contravention of 300 years of contract law. A president that will do this doesn’t need buffers.

Bammie now has a blank check to shut down any organization that they feel is in danger of failing. When it comes to extortion, that’s f’n golden.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Yes I do remember a nice man who knocked at my door stumping for Obama in ’08. Talked to him nicely about the need for federalism, the broken state of the economy, that neither party wanted individuals to have a say in their lives and wanted to rule from the top… and that Obama was going to give more of that, not less.

There were a few Obama bumper stickers in the parkinglot.

Until about 6 months ago.

If Soros helped OFA wants another earful, they can get it. And then I will ask which petty tyrant is paying for them to stump around like brown shirts and if they have any dignity left in their soul.

Strange that I never saw one Obama sticker down at the gun range parking lot….

ajacksonian on September 9, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Message to Obama Nation – fads don’t usually last too long.

joejm65 on September 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Obama is like Clackers. They seem really fun and cool, until you realize they whack you in the head. Then you put them in the trash.

faraway on September 9, 2010 at 12:59 PM

He won in ’08 thru a combo of cheating in caucuses, the dead voting and being the black guy who was able to be clearly black while finessing a promise to end white guilt. He has no organizational or leadership abilities and that lack will follow him everywhere and make such tasks as keeping OFA alive always an uphill battle. He even appears to lack the basics of team playing: he cannot seem to see a connection between harm coming to other Dems and eventual harm to him. I guess it’s just the narcissism. Golf suits him perfectly.

snaggletoothie on September 9, 2010 at 12:59 PM

“No matter what anyone thought of Barack Obama as a candidate, his campaign organization impressed everyone with both its fundraising and GOTV power.”

“Time” failed to mention the salivating press as a major factor in that impressive campaign. Without cheerleading from the talking heads that incompetant fool would be nowhere.

FOWG1 on September 9, 2010 at 12:59 PM

he has no new ideas.

seven on September 9, 2010 at 12:21 PM

He never had any new ideas . . . Marxism can hardly be called new.

rplat on September 9, 2010 at 1:13 PM

There is no way in hell any amount of money will turn Arizona for Obama.

J_Crater on September 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM

True, but go ahead and spend lots of money here anyway, Barry. Our local businesses can use it.

AZCoyote on September 9, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Funny you should ask, I just got this email from them, along with a link to a video of “how they will prove us wrong” check it:

We’ve been written off before.

I saw it firsthand in Iowa during the 2008 caucuses. Polls had us down. The national TV pundits told us for months there wasn’t a chance that then-Senator Obama and his supporters could pull it off.

But we did.

And it was person-to-person organizing that helped turn the tide — talking to voters, getting our message out, and doing exactly what they said couldn’t be done.

The game plan is the same this year — in his Vote 2010 campaign update, David Plouffe made it clear how Organizing for America is going to make the difference in close races across the country.

Get the game plan from David, and, if you can, please chip in $5 or more to help build the team that will prove the pundits wrong in November:

Watch the strategy update.

https://donate.barackobamablows.com/September

Thanks,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America

NTWR on September 9, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Turns out organizations based on the cult status of one lying political leader tend to dissolve when the truth becomes obvious to all. They should be embarrassed.

echosyst on September 9, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Apart from union thugs and ACORN lowlifes Barry never had a massive organization. What he did have was money – massive donations from foreign countries that were not refused on his website allowing him to break campaign laws.

He was elected by the lapdog media that worshiped him and told the American people that Jeremiah Wright was a lovable but eccentric and kind Uncle to Barry.

DeweyWins on September 9, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Another aspect as to the disintegration of the so-called “Obama’s Army” was that many who were members were only fleeting ones. They wanted “to be part of history” and be the first to elect a black man to the White House. These supporters didn’t know anything about what Mr. Obama believes, nor did they care. Now that they got what they wanted, they sink bank in to the non-electing abyss from whence they came.

Another aspect is that supporters believed he really was a different candidate. They were completely sold on the Hope and Change mantra. After Mr. Obama election and inauguration he turned out to be just like every other candidate with good PR. Finding out your candidate isn’t what you projected into them creates a large loss of morale.

Weebork on September 9, 2010 at 1:25 PM

The issue I have with Guantanamo Bay is that we have been holding people for a decade, without a trial, without due process and without an end in sight.
The fact that they are not American does not mean we should enslave people like we are. It’s wrong.
Put them back in Afghanistan with their families.

And if we ever have to see them through a weapon sight again, this time do what should have been done the first time ( and anytime armed force is necessary) – KILL THEM.

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Obama only has his eyes on 2012.

albill on September 9, 2010 at 12:38 PM

I, I, me, me, me……

pseudonominus on September 9, 2010 at 1:30 PM

After Obama was elected, his political aides ignored the army he had created until it eventually disappeared.

Nothing unusual there. They served their purpose for THE ONE. And many will be stupid enough to respond when THE ONE calls them again.

Just ask Rev Wright and Bill Ayers what happens when you’ve served your purpose.

GarandFan on September 9, 2010 at 1:32 PM

“their supporters had taken a vacation from politics.”

Probably after watching their Community Whoreganizer-In-Chief go on permanent vacation this year they figured, why bother?

Leaders lead by example. Obama has shown he is no leader.

pain train on September 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM

If Obama only serves one term, he will be considered a failed President. He does not want that to happen. Compare him to Bush2 and all you would have to say is, “who served 2 terms?”

He has time to go towards the center. He just wants to see what happens in this election. It’s all about him!

Vince on September 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Awww…the passionate love affair is over. Too bad it left another unwanted pregnancy (ObamaCare, etc). This is one pregnancy that must be terminated.

dont taze me bro on September 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

0ne hit wonder….

ted c on September 9, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Holy crap, Ted–now I’m lost in the 80′s again…I will leave a trail of skittles (was saving them for election night to throw at the tv)–come get me if I’m not back by supper…

lovingmyUSA on September 9, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Obama and the Democrats fouled up on the major domestic issues, politically and practically.

Stimulus looked a whole lot like Porkulous. Whether or not things would have been worse without all that spending and debt, the economy still sucks, and unemployment is still high. It is becoming obvious to most observers (even many European economists!) that any hope of recovery in the US is being stymied by the spectre of further taxing and regulating by Democrats, and the choosing of economic winners and losers based on Democrat connections and political considerations.

Obamacare was the worst of all worlds. No “stalking-horse” public option for the Left, but still a government takeover to the right. It was passed by resort to questionable legislative procedures in the face of strong public opposition on a party-line vote. It too obstructs economic recovery due to the uncertainty of its ultimate costs, which are now universally agreed to increase despite the promises of deficit-neutrality.

It was a really big party, but afterward the Obama Youth didn’t get what they wanted. The lofty promises of the Lightworker have turned out to be the hollow rhetoric of a politician. They have gone back to gaming, facebook, and reality TV.

novaculus on September 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Never fought in a war huh? They are POWs and are much better off in Qitmo than where they came from. Better for us too!

Vince on September 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM

There is no way in hell any amount of money will turn Arizona for Obama.

J_Crater on September 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM

This is just mindboggling. Obama really has no idea how bad he’s doing in AZ right now. Wow.

JavelinaBomb on September 9, 2010 at 1:45 PM

He had support that was a mile wide and a millimeter deep to make him win a historic election first.

Now the mostly young voters who made up the army for his campaign have seen the harsh reality of his policies on their ability to get a job.

A whole lot of buyers remorse there.

CommentGuy on September 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM

What the heck is this?

So earlier this year, when the White House gave OFA a whopping $30 million — more than half of the party’s entire budget for 2010 — senior Democrats suspected a hidden agenda.

WoosterOh on September 9, 2010 at 12:27 PM

That’s what I want to know. How does “the White House” give $30 million to a campaign organization? Is that legal?

Missy on September 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Plouffe probably had a pretty back-slapping great 2009 but I bet he doesn’t relish his job in the next couple of years. In fact I’d be surprised if he’s still in it by January 2012.

But you never know with these clowns. They can’t even tell when they’re screwing up.

Missy on September 9, 2010 at 1:50 PM

There is no way in hell any amount of money will turn Arizona for Obama.

J_Crater on September 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM

By the time they are through with our immigration policies, English language ballots will be available by special order only.

IlikedAUH2O on September 9, 2010 at 1:52 PM

And Time’s Jay Newton-Small negates his own neglect meme by noting that OFA got a $30 million windfall from the Democratic Party under pressure from the White House. Where did the money go?

This will be the epitaph of Obama’s first and only term – “Where’s the money?”

PatMac on September 9, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Never fought in a war huh? They are POWs and are much better off in Qitmo than where they came from. Better for us too!

Vince on September 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Hey Rambo….
I just want to clarify that you made absolutely no sense here, whatsoever.
They are not POW’s. Which is why they are supposedly NOT entitled to protections guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions.
And last I knew, this country didn’t fight “wars” in order to indefinitely jail people, wihtout trial, without due process, without recourse.
It’s certainly against MY values, and everything about this country that I love.
If they deserve to die, kill them. If not, let them go. But just holding them there indefinitely is wrong.

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Hey, White house gives 30 million to OFA, I want to know if it is legal, too.

tinkerthinker on September 9, 2010 at 2:06 PM

he has no new ideas.

seven on September 9, 2010 at 12:21 PM

I’d say he never actually had any ideas. He had/has a mix of hasty reactions and delayed reactions, all lacking any semblance of proper timing or aforethought.

Yoop on September 9, 2010 at 2:06 PM

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 2:06 PM

I respect the idea that you may have an opinion, even though it has no basis in logic. Pure emotion. They are POWs of the WARon terror and are treated well while not being allowed to go and kill someone else.

Vince on September 9, 2010 at 2:20 PM

I thought it was rather comical that this morning’s NPR piece on Jerry Brown fundraising noted he was getting help from the “independent grassroots group Organizing for America”.

I just about spit Starbucks on the steering wheel.

JEM on September 9, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I respect the idea that you may have an opinion, even though it has no basis in logic. Pure emotion. They are POWs of the WARon terror and are treated well while not being allowed to go and kill someone else.

Vince on September 9, 2010 at 2:20 PM

What are you talking about??
They are classified by the United States government as “enemy combatants” to allow the United States to circumvent the Geneva Conventions.
Google is your friend.

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Is organize an Alinsky word? We have a community organizer and Organizing for America both for the elevation of one person and his left wing policies.

burt on September 9, 2010 at 2:37 PM

After Obama was elected, his political aides ignored the army he had created until it eventually disappeared.

The “Army” had already leveled up and beaten the boss monster Bush. It was time for a new game, no patience for the “Long Haul” of recovery. The stimulus dollars did not appear in thier pockets. Their parents went unemployed and tuition money dried up. They did however get free health care untill age 26, so most likely they are at home eating Sun Chips on the couch watching Law and Order re-runs.

Koa on September 9, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Obama only has his eyes on 2012.

albill on September 9, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Obama is a narcissist. Narcissist can not fail since they are the ones that truely understand the problems and the solutions. He sees his job as delegating others to do the work that he wants done. If he fails it is because others failed, not him. In the end he will use that argument to promte himself into a higher postion of authority.

When he won the election he saw that as proof that he was right about everything. He WON, was his ultimate promotion to power to make things as he wanted them. As expected he put people into to postions of power that would push his agenda and do what he wanted done, without question or failure.

As failures became more common, he began finding blame in others; with it being Bush’s fault on almost any failure of his government, expanding into failures of his congress to do what needed to be done, the republican party of NO who refused to accept his polices without question or opposition to what was in them and now rogue states like Arizona and the Tea party conservatives.

2012 is not looking very positive for his re-election, but how do you get a narcissist to see that and not lose it? You keep telling him that he can do it. They intended to have all the key legistlation; healthcare and cap and trade in place before the midterms and amnesty before the next congress took over. They expected to lose some power in the midterms, because that is what always happens to the party in power, but regain it in the next elections, with the help of the newest citizens, giving them the power to continue with the new changes that were delayed until after those elections.

The eyes are still on 2012, but the reality is beginning to set in that the Narcisist’s mandates have been rejected by the voters he had considered as irrelevent. They know now that only by using everything they can to germander the next presientual election, can he win.

Just my opinion, but that caca seems to have hit the fan last July when the Obama’s were not invited to the Clinton’s wedding, his approval rating continued to drop and the reality that he was failing as a president, and the ability for Michelle, and Barry, to live life large was going to be cut short.

Michelle had to upstage the Clintons. The trip to Spain, with the youngest daughter and understanding friends that she could talk to was the result. The older daughter missing out on that to attend a sleep over summer camp does not seem to wash clean. My guess is someone took the wrong side or did not agree with the plan. Obama took his own and expected retreat by surrounding himself with sports superstars he admires, and that lonely birthday party in Chicago that was effectively a denial of being a failing president, which I would guess was still ringing in his ear even though Michelle was on the other side of the pond.

Presidents always write a dairy of sorts, which remain in the Presidential library. Obama has been reading the writings of past presidents, trying to learn how to be a president as my wife said. It would be interesting to read what he has written.

Franklyn on September 9, 2010 at 2:53 PM

What are you talking about??
They are classified by the United States government as “enemy combatants” to allow the United States to circumvent the Geneva Conventions.
Google is your friend.

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

I know that! For cryin’ out loud man just because the government classifies them this way does not mean that they are not POWs. When you confront an enemy you either kill him or capture him. If they are surrendering you can’t just kill them because you don’t want to keep the poor babies away from their families.

You can’t try them in civilian court…. ah heck, you know all of this already. Its a conundrum that I believe is being handled very well.

We are fighting a war. They are prisoners of that war. Give them any title you want but they are still POWs.

Vince on September 9, 2010 at 2:58 PM

…as my wife said. It would be interesting to read what he has written.

Franklyn on September 9, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Unfortunatly we will never know as his diaries will be sealed with his transcripts and birth records.

Koa on September 9, 2010 at 3:01 PM

His only chance for 2012 will be a newly amnestied imigrant vote. I predict that Hillary will win the nomination.

There in lies the danger. the new voters may vote democrat, but the democrats they vote for won’t be named Jones or Smith. Like In the movie ” Machete”, they’ll vote for the network. If you don’t think a 3 million person voting block, won’t make some major changes in CA. politics, your stupid. It won’t affect the republican machine at all.

BruceB on September 9, 2010 at 3:31 PM

“His only chance for 2012 will be a newly amnestied imigrant vote. I predict that Hillary will win the nomination.”

There in lies the danger. the new voters may vote democrat, but the democrats they vote for won’t be named Jones or Smith. Like In the movie ” Machete”, they’ll vote for the network. If you don’t think a 3 million person voting block, won’t make some major changes in CA. politics, your stupid. It won’t affect the republican machine at all.

BruceB on September 9, 2010 at 3:31 PM

A hispanic third party? La Raza on the ballot? That would be the end of the democratic party.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2010 at 4:19 PM

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM
Vince on September 9, 2010 at 2:58 PM

RTFM, 3d Geneva Convention

Article 4

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

5. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:

1. Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

2. The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties.

The members of the Iraqi Army qualified as POWs, AQ and the Taliban don’t, because they don’t always openly carry their arms and don’t obey the laws of war. (failing to meet either A.2 or A.6).

Prisoners are held to keep them from committing further hostile acts. We held German POWs in WWII until the war was over. That’s the way it has always worked.

LarryD on September 9, 2010 at 4:46 PM

LarryD on September 9, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Exactly, they are not POW’s and the Unites States Government has explicitly denied them the rights they would have per the Geneva Conventions.
However, your assertion that we should until them until the end of hostilities is absurd. We are in a theological conflict that will most likely last more than any of our lifetimes. It is contrary to our core values to hold someone prisoner, with no due process, no proof of guilt and no verdict. Especially indefinitely.
It is not something that anyone of us should be so flippant about.

KMC1 on September 9, 2010 at 7:47 PM

The Perpetual Campaign.

hillbillyjim on September 10, 2010 at 12:53 AM

Stock in Snake oil has dropped off. /S

byteshredder on September 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM