Prisoners of the Current War

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Prisoners of the Current War


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Bruce Fein ("Rule of Law crippled," Commentary, Tuesday)is letting his idealism blind his view of reality. His comments about the "Great Writ" would be true if any of the enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere were U.S. citizens and subject to the rights and privileges of the U.S. Constitution. However they are not, and I resent his extending rights to the entire world which my ancestors fought and died for. This is a war of nation against nation, and in no war in history have prisoners been given the civil rights that Mr. Fein is trying to extend. At the very minimum, we as the capturing power have the right to hold prisoners until hostilities have ceased.

These prisoners do not even properly possess nor are we mandated to provide the rights granted under the Geneva Accords since they do not fight for a regular national army, under a chain of command, and in uniforms; the United States has every right to simply kill these prisoners out of hand as enemy agents. We also have the right to interrogate them by any means necessary in order to extract information that will protect our troops and civilians. By fighting with terrorist methods, they have forfeited any legal and moral protections which they might have otherwise enjoyed.

The rules of war exist because of the conditions of war, and to pretend that civilian law with its rules for gathering of evidence and treatment of prisoners can apply on the battlefield is ludicrous. …

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