A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Stop the ACLU BlogBurst 7/14/05

This Week's Topic: the ACLU and the Detainees at Guantanamo Base

Why is it that the ACLU is consistently on the wrong side? Why does the ACLU always side with the evil, the depraved, the murderers, the bombers, and the like, rather than siding with the true victims, the patriots, the religious, the right, and the good?

We have the case of the detainees being held at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). Only one guess as to which side the ACLU is on.

The ACLU has constantly harped that the detainees are not being allowed their rights under the Geneva Convention. See here and here and here. And for goodness sake, here they are using such news sources as Al-Jazeera, The Nation, and the New York Times.

The true question is what rights do these detainees actually have? They were not part of a uniformed military, belonging to a specific nation. Rather, they use any means to maim and murder. These "men" are members of Al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization, that would not hesitate to kill all Americans, even the members of the ACLU who are "defending" their "rights." That's what they do: murder.

Since these "men" were fighting, they cannot be considered "civilians," nor are they "non-combatants." What are they then? Prisoners of War?

Under the Geneva Conventions,

Art 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.
Hmm, I was not aware Al Qaeda members wore patches declaring themselves to be members of Al Qaeda, so they do not meet condition (b). And, is putting a dynamite belt around oneself, under one's clothing considered "carrying arms openly"? So they do not meet condition (c). How about condition (d)? They don't seem to follow any "laws and customs of war" that I have ever heard of, so . . . no.

So, we cannot call members of Al Qaeda "prisoners of war." They do not fulfil the conditions necessary. So, it follows that their captors are not required to bestow upon them the rights of "prisoners of war."

So, on what grounds is the ACLU complaining?

The Geneva Conventions require certain treatment of "prisoners of war," which the detainees are not, in regards to such things as adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, medical treatment/hygiene, and religious, intellectual and physical activities.

From the reports I have heard, except for a few cases of what one might call "fraternity hazing" at America's universities, the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been treated superbly. Other than the fact that they are captives, their quality of life far surpasses what they had back in their caves in Afghanistan.

They have first rate medical treatment, plenty of fresh clothing, soap, water, etc. They are give Qurans and a military chaplain. They are able to play soccer and be physically active, as long as they behave, etc.

The food the detainees are served sounds superb. Fox News reporter Molly Henneberg went down to Gitmo with 16 House members, mostly from the Armed Services Committee. Here is the transcript from her discussion with Brit Hume on "Special Report" on 28 June 2005. I actually saw the interview the day it happened.

Molly and the Representatives, including wacko Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) ate Orange Chicken with Rice, Okra, and Bread. Molly said it was really delicious. I highly doubt the military down there is eating Orange Chicken or the like every night. They probably have standard military fare.

Here is a Gitmo Cookbook someone has put together, featuring recipes of the meals served to the detainees, including: Baked Tandouri Chicken Breast, Mustard-Dill Baked Fish, Lyonnaise Rice, and Fish Amandine. Yum.

Yes, perhaps there has been a bit of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, the sort, as I wrote, one can see at any fraternity hazing party on almost any university campus in America. Underwear on the head. Being taunted with names. Being yelled at. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I would prefer all of that to being beheaded, which is what the friends of these detainees do to American and other prisoners they have captured. It seems the ACLU doesn't agree.