In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

  • Mood:

Shocks to the genitals for everyone

The recap for charliecon is going to be delayed for a bit. So what should I do without a recap to work out? I thought I'd wax philosophical for a bit about one of the contraversies of the day, namely torture and the Geneva convention.

Lets take the latter first since I think it's easier. Frankly, I don't think any of the insurgents or Al Queda deserves Geneva convention protection under Article 4 which handles international conflicts.

Article 4 covers all conflicts not covered by Article 3 which are all conflicts of an international character. It defines prisoners of war to include:

* 4.1.1 Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict and members of militias of such armed forces
* 4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:
o that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
o that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
o that of carrying arms openly;
o that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
* 4.1.3 Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
* 4.1.4 Civilians who have non-combat support roles with the military and who carry a valid identity card issued by the military they support.
* 4.1.5 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.
* 4.1.6 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.

As far as I can figure, all of the various people we're fighting right now slip through the cracks of those definitions. They're certainly not the regular army of any country we're at war with and that militia argument is shot to hell. They can't even claim that 4.1.6 applies since the areas involved are almost certainly occupied.

As for torture in general, the problem there is not the what, but the who. People try to parse what is and what is not moral based on the procedure used. Sleep deprivation? Yes. Waterboarding? No. That's crap when we all know that in the end, it's who is being subjected to the interrogation that matters. We should not be waterboarding or electroshocking people for shits and giggles. There should be at least some intelligence that the person has valuable information and then if it will concretely save american lives, some sadistic MF should go to town on their ass. Of course, how do you determine when a person is deemed to have enough valuable intel to cross the line? There's no easy answer to that but I think that it'd be foolish to take the option off the table without knowing the circumstance. In any imminent threat where I and those I know face a good chance of being blown to bits, I'd certainly hope that someone is at work with the blowtorch and pliers.
Tags: war on terror

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