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Congress to Supremes: Drop Dead! (Updated)
Posted by: Dale Franks on Thursday, October 19, 2006

A few weeks ago, when the Military Commissions bill was being debated, all of the focus was on torture. everyone was trying to figure out what, exactly, would be allowed when questioning GWOT detainees. Could we slap them around a bit, or were we limited to caressing their cheeks while gazing longingly into their eyes?

Now, that was important debate to have, and we appear to have settled it in a manner acceptable to everyone.

But what no one was talking about, as John Yoo points out in the Wall Street Journal, was that the Military Commissions Act gave a big middle finger to the Supreme Court, and the Hamdan decision.
The new law is, above all, a stinging rebuke to the Supreme Court. It strips the courts of jurisdiction to hear any habeas corpus claim filed by any alien enemy combatant anywhere in the world. It was passed in response to the effort by a five-justice majority in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld to take control over terrorism policy. That majority extended judicial review to Guantanamo Bay, threw the Bush military commissions into doubt, and tried to extend the protections of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, overturning the traditional understanding that Geneva does not cover terrorists, who are not signatories nor "combatants" in an internal civil war under Article 3...

This time, Congress and the president did not take the court's power grab lying down. They told the courts, in effect, to get out of the war on terror, stripped them of habeas jurisdiction over alien enemy combatants, and said there was nothing wrong with the military commissions. It is the first time since the New Deal that Congress had so completely divested the courts of power over a category of cases. It is also the first time since the Civil War that Congress saw fit to narrow the court's habeas powers in wartime because it disagreed with its decisions.

The law goes farther. It restores to the president command over the management of the war on terror. It directly reverses Hamdan by making clear that the courts cannot take up the Geneva Conventions. Except for some clearly defined war crimes, whose prosecution would also be up to executive discretion, it leaves interpretation and enforcement of the treaties up to the president. It even forbids courts from relying on foreign or international legal decisions in any decisions involving military commissions.
So, there won't be any more Hamdans in Federal Court. No habeas corpus for military detainees. No requirement to extend Geneva Conventions protection—which they clearly do not deserve—except as we desire to.

Political Genius Kieth Olbermann, however, has noticed. He says it's the Beginning of the End of America.

And he knows that because we've seen it many times, and he regales us with the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Espionage Acts, and the internment of the Japanese. Remembering these things he is prompted to say:
But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.
Except, of course, when habeas corpus was suspended, first by Abraham Lincoln, then by Congress, during the Civil War. But, please, let's not let inconvenient facts get in the way of Mr. Olbermann's ranting, which addresses President Bush:
“One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,” you told us yesterday, “said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America.”

That terrorist, sir, could only hope.

Not his actions, nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.

Habeas corpus? Gone.

The Geneva Conventions? Optional.

The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.

These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be “the beginning of the end of America.”
Mr. Olbermann appears not to know that enemy prisoners of war have never, at any time in our history, have any habeas corpus rights at all. They are military detainees, who have historically been presumed to remain so for the duration of the conflict for which they were interned. (The custom of parole prior to the 19th century notwithstanding.)

Mr. Olbermann appears similarly unaware that Geneva Convention protections have never been applied to terrorist. The conventions are narrowly tailored to cover only recognizable combatants. We have no moral or legal responsibility to extend the Conventions beyond those bounds. The onus of abiding by the Conventions resides entirely with the terrorists, who can obtain those protections automatically if they abide by them themselves.

Traditionally, the penalty for being captured as an unlawful combatant was a summary court-martial, followed by a firing squad.

Mr. Olbermann should be thankful that we aren't doing what we are perfectly authorized to do under the Conventions.

UPDATE:

These bits are also very silly:
We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use those acts to jail newspaper editors.

American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about America...

Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased.
So, in other words, the American system worked, and the abuses of Mr. Adams were punished by the electorate.

Scary.
We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that Act to prosecute 2,000 Americans, especially those he disparaged as “Hyphenated Americans,” most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war.

American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said about America.
OK. I get it. Woodrow Wilson, Democrat, bad. What I don't get is:
Many of the very people Wilson silenced survived him, and one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900,000 votes, though his presidential campaign was conducted entirely from his jail cell.
And the point would be...? That the Espionage Act killed Wilson? That in a country of 120 million, there were alomost a million socialist tools? This is just pointless. Wilson got sick and died. I don't think that says anything about the rightness or wrongness of the Espionage Act. This paragraph is just silly.
And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in charge, General DeWitt, told Congress: “It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen—he is still a Japanese.”

American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about coming to America...

And Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States to the citizens of the United States whose lives it ruined.
Again. Gotcha. Roosevelt, Democrat, bad. Although, the American people kept re-electing the SOB until he died. And, during the Clinton Administration, he got his own monument, right off The Mall in Washington DC.

Still, in all of the above examples, we didn't see "the end of America". What we see instead is that, even when the American government goes off course, the American people keep sterring it back on course. I think that mitigates—or should—some of the overblown fear mongering Mr. Olbermann is panting over.

Oh, and while we're at it, let's note that, even prior to Hamdan, precisely one American citizen, that Padilla fellow, was held incommunicado as an enemy combatant. Which all of us here condemned, by the way. So, let's not get all giddy with rage and fear yet.

The Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to limit the Court's jurisdiction, and to suspend habeas corpus. We may not like that when it happens, and if it happened in peacetime, there should probably be an instant revolt. But this isn't exactly peacetime. If the president starts rounding up American citizens and locking them away, then we will need to go off.

If he doesn't, then we could all do with a little less wailing and gnashing of teeth.
 
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But what no one was talking about, as John Yoo points out in the Wall Street Journal, was that the Military Commissions Act gave a big middle finger to the Supreme Court, and the Hamdan decision.

Which they have no right whatsoever to do. The Supreme Court’s job is to protect the Constitution, and Congress has no power or right to interfere with it’s ability to render this law null and void if it chooses.

Except, of course, when habeas corpus was suspended, first by Abraham Lincoln, then by Congress, during the Civil War

A voluntary derelication of duty by the Supreme Court, pragamtically justifiable by the genuine and immediate potential disintegration of the country, and it lasted only a few years, but still very arguably unconstitutional and a violation of the principles of this country.

Mr. Olbermann appears not to know that enemy prisoners of war have never, at any time in our history, have any habeas corpus rights at all. They are military detainees, who have historically been presumed to remain so for the duration of the conflict for which they were interned. (The custom of parole prior to the 19th century notwithstanding.)

Except that this conflict has no clear beginning and no clear end. Traditionally, the war ended in a measurable way and prisoners were later exchanged. POW’s didn’t stay POE’s for decades. This problem has not been fully resolved.

Besides - the real problem with this bill - is that American citizens have never been, can’t be, and shouldn’t ever be considered prisoners of war, period. Their constitutional rights can not be stripped by anyone, ever, constitutionally.

It’s a crying shame to see an alledged libertarian defend the granting of authority to the indefinite incarceration without charges of American citizens on the whim of the government. Does that help the government live in fear of its citizens, like you were talking about two posts ago?


Mr. Olbermann appears similarly unaware that Geneva Convention protections have never been applied to terrorist. The conventions are narrowly tailored to cover only recognizable combatants. We have no moral or legal responsibility to extend the Conventions beyond those bounds.

The conventions absolutely do extend beyond recognizable combatants. If you don’t believe me and don’t want to look it up yourself, I’ll research it this weekend, email it to you, and you can update the post.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Mr. Olbermann appears not to know that enemy prisoners of war have never, at any time in our history, have any habeas corpus rights at all. They are military detainees, who have historically been presumed to remain so for the duration of the conflict for which they were interned. (The custom of parole prior to the 19th century notwithstanding.)
Mr. Franks appears not to know that we have no ’enemy POWs’ because we have no war. Only conflict.


Dale, please send a link to any bill passed after 12/8/41 whereby Congress has Issued a Declaration of War.

And I’m curious, what specifically is the nationality of our ’enemy combatant’? Who are we fighting again? Not What...but WHO? An adjective?

Please keep your non-sequetir smear thesarus on the shelf next to your Bible and GOP playbook, and answer the question without personal attack, or dismissal.

If you can.
 
Written By: Rick Day
URL: http://goplobby.org
Dale, please send a link to any bill passed after 12/8/41 whereby Congress has Issued a Declaration of War.
Oh man. I bet you’re one of those guys who thinks there’s a significant difference between a US flag with fringe on it and one without it, aren’t you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Both of y’all (glasnost and Rick Day) need to become more acquainted with our Constitution. For starters, try the powers of Congress as defined in Section 8 of Article I:
The Congress shall have Power ...

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
And then try Article III, Sec. 1:
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
and Sec. 2:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
(all emphasis mine)
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Except that this conflict has no clear beginning and no clear end. Traditionally, the war ended in a measurable way and prisoners were later exchanged. POW’s didn’t stay POE’s for decades. This problem has not been fully resolved.

The ends of our wars were only measurable after the fact. It’s not like Washington or Lincoln had Madame Cleo on the staff. (Before you ask, they didn’t have Michael J. Fox, a Delorean and 1.21 gigawatts available either).

This war began in a pretty definitive way with 9-11, wouldn’t you agree?

The fact that this war may be longer than past wars is not sufficient argument to say there’s no such thing as PoWs or enemy combatants anymore. Detainees are going to be afforded due proces even if it’s not identitcal to our civil law process.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
There are about 100 prisoners in Gitmo whom our government is trying to release, if only they could find a country to take them. These were some of "the worst of the worst’ according to Cheney who have been rotting in prison for years because they didn’t have the right of habeas corpus. Only now it turns they are innocent. OOPS!
Basically, you are an enemy combattant if our government says you are, and you have no right to challenge the evidence against you. Hearsay is just fine and dandy, as is evidence gained by Bush’s ’firm’ methods.
So what are these values of ours that we so proudly proclaim? Is justice in there somewhere?
Or are these values good only until it becomes inconvenient?
Don’t bother bringing up beheadings and such. It should not be our goal to sink to their level. If we want to survive, we have to make sure our values survive.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
But what no one was talking about, as John Yoo points out in the Wall Street Journal, was that the Military Commissions Act gave a big middle finger to the Supreme Court, and the Hamdan decision.
Which they have no right whatsoever to do. The Supreme Court’s job is to protect the Constitution, and Congress has no power or right to interfere with it’s ability to render this law null and void if it chooses.
I’ve got a copy of the constitution around here somewhere that says:

In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

In other words, Congress no only has the right to do so, they have plenary power to restrict, by law, the Court’s appellate jurisdiction.
Except, of course, when habeas corpus was suspended, first by Abraham Lincoln, then by Congress, during the Civil War
A voluntary derelication of duty by the Supreme Court, pragamtically justifiable by the genuine and immediate potential disintegration of the country, and it lasted only a few years, but still very arguably unconstitutional and a violation of the principles of this country.
"A voluntary derelication of duty by the Supreme Court"? Really? Well, that pesky Constitution I was talking about earlier says in Article I, when defining the powers of Congress:

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

So, if Congress suspends habeas, the Court can’t say anything about it. It is power vested solely in the legislature.

Fascinating document, the Constitution. You should take a look at it sometime.
Besides - the real problem with this bill - is that American citizens have never been, can’t be, and shouldn’t ever be considered prisoners of war, period.
On this, at least, we agree. They should receive a fair trial, then be hung as traitors. Glad to see you’re with me on this, though.
The conventions absolutely do extend beyond recognizable combatants.
No. They don’t. At least, none of them to which the US is a signatory. They were written specifically to exclude them.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I’d like for both Congress and SCOTUS to make Keith Olbermann shut up. Well, he can talk about sports, so long as he leaves politics out of it. Other than that he needs to shut up. Bill O’Reilly too.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
As usual, Yoo is lying and others lie with him. This act does not just deny the right of SC appeal to alien enemy combatants. Its denies that right to all "enemy combatants" including US citizens, upon unilateral declaration by the president. That violates the constitution. While congress does indeed have the right to limit the supreme court’s jurisdiction, they do not have the right to violate the constitution. They’re not just "giving the finger" to the supreme court; they’re giving it to the constitution itself, and those who wrote it, and those who over the centuries have died for it. Anybody who giggles about such behavior would probably have giggled at a Stasi interrogation too.

The proper thing for the court to do would be to rule this act unconstitutional. That might provoke a constitutional crisis, and that in turn might hasten our current slide into tyranny, but it might also wake people up enough for them to do something about it. What’s amazing is that anyone who claims to be a "libertarian" would be fighting on the tyrants’ side.
 
Written By: Platypus
URL: http://pl.atyp.us
This act does not just deny the right of SC appeal to alien enemy combatants. Its denies that right to all "enemy combatants" including US citizens, upon unilateral declaration by the president. That violates the constitution.
Really? Please point to the relevant clause. My copy of the Constitution gives congress the power to both limit the Supreme Courts Jurisdiction and to suspend habeas corpus.

Do you have a copy of the Constitution with super-secret limiting clauses the rest of of don’t have?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Of course, the constitution also allows the congress to strip the federal courts of their article III jurisdiction as well. Something that is frequently overlooked in these debates.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
Now Dale, being modern liberals, Glasnost and Platypus have always had a constitution that always means just what they say it does, and nothing more.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The comfort level with the extraordinary powers granted to the President just amazes me.

It really works only if you agree wtih the President’s decisions.

I’m wondering which historic precedents and what parts of the Constitution will be cited when a President gets elected with whom these folks disagree.

The ’Father Knows Best’ approach works best as a TV show only.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
Putting aside the merits of the Military Commission Act, this Yoo columns is just insanely stupid. The Court wasn’t engaged in a "stunning power grap". Quite the contrary, the were trying to prod Congress to act. Have you actually read the Hamdan opinion? Here’s what it said:
The Court’s conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground: Congress has not issued the Executive a "blank check." . . . Indeed, Congress has denied the President the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the President from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary.

Where, as here, no emergency prevents consultation with Congress, judicial insistence upon that consultation does not weaken our Nation’s ability to deal with danger. To the contrary, that insistence strengthens the Nation’s ability to determine—through democratic means—how best to do so. The Constitution places its faith in those democratic means. Our Court today simply does the same.
The president did what the Court told him to do; he finally went and got Congressional approval for what he was doing.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
There has been a persistant rumor over the years that the British during the Falklands Campaign captured @four mercenaries of American/European extraction that were operating as two man sniper teams. According to the rumor, since these individuals were not covered by the Geneva Conventions, the British summarly had them shot within hours, if not minutes, of capture. If one were to take a poll of various militaries around the world, I would suspect that most of them would agree that the Geneva Conventions do not cover terrorists. And "foreign fighters" engaged in comabt outside their home countries would clearly fall under the mercenary provisions of the Conventions and are specifically excluded by the Conventions from its protections. It has always seemed to me a pretty clear cut case of who are covered and who are not.
 
Written By: JamesT
URL: http://
The comfort level with the extraordinary powers granted to the President just amazes me.
For powers associated with fighting a war, they are ordinary, not extra-.
"It really works only if you agree wtih the President’s decisions."
Such politics should stop at the border in wartime. I am not questioning your patriotism, I’m saying you don’t really have any. Not to an America which does, can, or should exist.
"I’m wondering which historic precedents and what parts of the Constitution will be cited when a President gets elected with whom these folks disagree."
Speaking for myself, I’ll say when I think something is unwise, and I won’t claim something is unconstitutional or unprecedented unless, y’know, it’s unconstitutional or unprecedented.
"The ’Father Knows Best’ approach works best as a TV show only."
That’s not what this is. In fact the real (small) constitutional crisis happened when the Supreme Court used ambiguity in the first "habeus" bill to excuse its addressing Hamdan in the first place, although there was no reasonable doubt as to the Congress’s intentions in passing the bill—to keep the Court from taking Hamdan’s appeal.

The real, and huge, crisis would happen if the Supreme Court blatantly and without political cover ignores this law and the constitution.

Of course, when they do that with political cover, that’s SOP.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The president did what the Court told him to do; he finally went and got Congressional approval for what he was doing.
He already had Congressional approval, the AUMF. He later got the first habeus bill, which the SC blatantly and unconstitutionally ignored.

I want to see if they’ll up the ante and the five who voted on the winning side in Hamdan do it again.

We could replace all five.

Sweet!

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Dale, please send a link to any bill passed after 12/8/41 whereby Congress has Issued a Declaration of War.
Here you go.

M: (Inaudible) Talbot(?). Senator, thank you for this broad gauged approach to the problems we face. My question is this, do you foresee the need or the expectation of a Congressional declaration of war, which the Constitution calls for, and if so, against whom? (Scattered Laughter)

JB: The answer is yes, and we did it. I happen to be a professor of Constitutional law. I’m the guy that drafted the Use of Force proposal that we passed. It was in conflict between the President and the House. I was the guy who finally drafted what we did pass. Under the Constitution, there is simply no distinction ... Louis Fisher(?) and others can tell you, there is no distinction between a formal declaration of war, and an authorization of use of force.
 
Written By: BrianOfAtlanta
URL: http://
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

So, if Congress suspends habeas, the Court can’t say anything about it. It is power vested solely in the legislature.

Fascinating document, the Constitution. You should take a look at it sometime.
Just out of curiosity, which of those two exceptions (rebellion or invasion) applies in this case?
 
Written By: DMG
URL: http://
We were invaded on 9/11.

Or does that not count because you disagree?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
OK, is it just me, or does this not seem a reasonable definition of "unlawful enemy combatant"???

http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/S-3930_passed.pdf
‘‘(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT.—(A) The term ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ means—
‘‘(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or
‘‘(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.
And maybe I’m just not reading this right, but the military commissions setup are limited to alien unlawful enemy comatants. Not, anyone the President decides to throw down a hole.
‘‘(a) PURPOSE.—This chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://
Just out of curiosity, which of those two exceptions (rebellion or invasion) applies in this case?
Uh, an American citizen who joins Al Qaeda is clearly rebelling.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
We were invaded on 9/11.

Or does that not count because you disagree?
It doesn’t count because it was an attack, not an invasion.

Or are those the same because you agree?
 
Written By: DMG
URL: http://
Uh, an American citizen who joins Al Qaeda is clearly rebelling.
That might actually answer my question, though I think it strains a bit to consider isolated cases the same thing as open rebellion, i.e. the Civil War.

 
Written By: DMG
URL: http://
So DMG, it’s OK if YOU rebel...it’s only bad if 11 MILLION rebel? How’s that work, it’s not murder if only you kill someone, it’s only murder if 6 million die?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dale:

This wasn’t as hard as I expected it would be.

In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
In other words, Congress no only has the right to do so, they have plenary power to restrict, by law, the Court’s appellate jurisdiction.
This doesn’t apply to challenges to the constitutionality of a given law, Dale, as Marbury vs. Madison seemed to declare pretty clearly, more than one hundred years ago. Even if appelate restriction is constitutional within the context of an otherwise constitutional law, The Supreme Court has the right to delcare this law unconsitutional for reasons relating to other than the above. Such as:
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
In other words, The Constitution specifies when you can suspend Habeus Corpus: rebellion or invasion. If you suspend it at some other time, then your suspension is *unconstitutional*. Which is determined by... *The Supreme Court.*
Period.. Until someone passes an amendment to the contrary.
On this, at least, we agree. They should receive a fair trial, then be hung as traitors. Glad to see you’re with me on this, though.
People caught planning to personally set off bombs in the United States - with evidence presented in a court of law? Yes. So I’m glad we therefore agree that this law, which doesn’t guarantee anyone any kind of trial, but merely specifies the conditions of a trial if and when the Secretary of Defense decides to allow them one, is wrongheaded and terminally flawed.

I’ve read the Constution, Dale. But thanks. As for the Geneva Conventions, it seems to me like Hamdan consituted a direct disagreement with your point of view. But my views on indefinite and unannounced incareration do not rely on the Geneva Convention. They are happily supported by the Constitution, but don’t depend on them either, when you get right down to it.

The undersigned Plenipotentiaries of the Governments represented at the Diplomatic Conference held at Geneva from April 21 to August 12, 1949, for the purpose of revising the Convention concluded at Geneva on July 27, 1929, relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, have agreed as follows:

Part I. General Provisions

Art 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Art 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

Art 3. 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:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(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.
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.





 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
As for the Geneva Conventions, it seems to me like Hamdan consituted a direct disagreement with your point of view.
And Congress just overturned that decision, and told the Court to but out. One of the reasons why...well, You quoted this bit, but apparently, didn’t catch it:
They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
If the party does NOT accept and apply the conventions, the other parties are not bound by them. Convention protections are reciprocal.

So much for that argument.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
So DMG, it’s OK if YOU rebel...it’s only bad if 11 MILLION rebel? How’s that work, it’s not murder if only you kill someone, it’s only murder if 6 million die?
Acutally, it’s more like murder if I kill someone and mass murder if I’m responsible for 6 million dying. Homicide vs. genocide, perhaps? Either way, both could be bad. You might notice I expressed no opinion on good or bad, only on a difference of scale. The only reason I don’t say definitively that it would be bad is because I don’t know who’s going to make a determination on what constitues "rebllion". Is taking part in an active protest against the government’s policies automatically bad? Do the words "slippery slope" come up a lot here?

So going back to the one person vs. many thing, maybe it would be treason if I commited overt acts vs. rebellion if there’s a group doing it.

It’s not much of an analogy but you picked it, not me.
 
Written By: DMG
URL: http://

 
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