RANGER AGAINST WAR: Prisoners of War <

Friday, February 03, 2006

Prisoners of War

In a recent wire story by Deb Riechman (AP,1/01/06), Bush exclaims, "We're at war with an enemy that wants to hurt us again." If this is true, then why are these enemies not afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention when captured on the battlefield? If apprehended by federal law enforcement, then why are these so-called enemies not dealt with in a democratic manner by having open, transparent trials to determine if they are actually "enemy"?

We are playing fast and loose with our legal terminology. There is a difference between an enemy combatant--a military designation, and a terrorist, which falls under the purview of the legal system. Their detention and their trials are handled differently, and are presided over by different officiating bodies. And always, habeus corpus remains. As Bob Herbert recently asked in his New York Times Column, who will defend the Constitution?

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