13 October 2005

Retired Senior Military Officers Back Hamdan

A group of retired generals and admirals have filed an amicus brief in the Hamdan (Guantanmo Bay) case, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case and hold that the Geneva Convention creates individual, court enforceable rights. The Court of Appeals held that the Geneva Conventions do not create any rights enforceable in U.S. Courts. The brief is here.

Why would they favor Hamdan, a man the President has declared an enemy combatant? Because they know that U.S. respect for the rule of law and the Geneva Conventions protects captured American soldiers in the future.

They note that the U.S. respect for the Geneva Conventions has led enemies in war to save the lives of thousands of American soldiers in the past, and that many countries whom we could be at war with in the future have questioned the continuing applicability of the Geneva Conventions to U.S. soldiers going forward as a result of the administration's actions in this conflict.

In a not unrelated development, the Hague is refusing to extradite a suspected terrorist, because the U.S. cannot be counted upon to protect his legal rights. The Bush Administration's disregard for the rule of law has undermined its effort to fight a war on terror, again and again and again.

Yet, somehow, Condi Rice is stunned that the world thinks that the U.S. doesn't have much regard for international law, despite the fact that the Financial Times doesn't seem to have much difficulty at all figuring out what this is the case. Where did she get her PhD again?

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