New Agreement on Rules for Interrogating Terrorists: Merely Theatrics
by Whymrhymer

The President and those Senators whom many Conservatives call RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) have reached an agreement that leaves the Geneva Convention intact and sets down the rules for U.S. interrogation of terrorists in detainment — once again stressing the RINOs apparent point that appearances are more important than results.

It’s easy to see why there was opposition to the President’s proposal to revise our interpretation of the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention certainly needs revision, just to clarify it’s too vague language but the opposition is concerned primarily because unilaterally revising the language of the Geneva Convention, in effect, breaks a treaty that has been agreed to and signed by many (approx. 194) nations. Our tampering with the Geneva Convention may also effect the treatment our soldiers are given if they are captured by a nation that has signed the Geneva Convention.

All that, as interesting and important as it is, is really quite beside the point. If we were to go to war with a nation that has not signed on to the Geneva Convention or against fighters that do not recognize the Geneva Convention, they would not follow it’s rules and, of course, we would not be bound by it’s rules. Such was the case in Viet Nam against the Vietcong, such is the case in the current Middle-East conflicts against terrorists.

The Geneva Convention is actually a set of four separate Geneva Conventions, the Third Geneva Convention is the one that governs the treatment of Prisoners of War. Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention defines Prisoners of War as:

1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict and members of militias of such armed forces.
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” (emphasis mine):
a) They must be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates.
b) They must have a “fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance”
c) They must carry their weapons openly.
d) They must conduct their operations “in accordance with the laws and customs of war.”

As anyone can see, terrorists wearing the clothes of the common man of the region, using car bombs and roadside bombs as their weapons of choice, who target non-military (civilian) buildings and situations and who are well known to brutally behead their detainees with dull knives (and video tape it for release to the media), can hardly be considered prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. These people can, IMO, hardly be considered worth of the title: human beings.

Very clearly, you can ignore all references to the Geneva Convention in the press accounts and the Congressional banter — the Geneva Convention does not apply to detained terrorists. The machinations that the President and Congress are going through have, in fact, nothing to do with the Geneva Convention.

What is going on in Washington is partly the continuation of a 5-1/2-year power struggle between Conservatives and Liberals and partly a show put on for the world to see how much we “care” about our imprisoned terrorists. The net result of the show is, at least on the surface, the weakening of our ability to effectively interrogate captured terrorists.

In my opinion, this discussion between the President and the Senate, that the public has been so intimately involved in, should have been conducted in closed sessions — not in the public arena. The public has no pressing need to know about our policies governing our government’s interrogation of terrorists. No private citizen is involved, and no private citizen will benefit or be harmed by those interrogation techniques.

News Links:

Deal set covering rights of terror suspects

Deal on detainees quells GOP infighting

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Is the Senate Finally Getting Serious on Immigration?
by Whymrhymer

The Associated Press Story that leads the U.S. news front today declares that Congress is hard at work addressing border security and immigration.

To say ‘it’s about time’ would be an understatement.

The debate underway in the Senate concerns proposed legislation to build a 700-mile fence along the U.S./Mexican border, which would go a long way to securing the most porous one-third of that border. The House, this week, is working on three bills that will 1) criminalize the building of unauthorized tunnels between the U.S. and Mexico, 2) make it easier to deport illegals who belong to gangs or commit crimes and 3) clear up the gray areas that will allow state and local authorities to assist U.S. Customs and Immigration officials with the capture and detention of illegal immigrants.

That all of this is being so vigorously pursued in the run-up to the November mid-term elections, in an attempt to schmooze voters, is irritating — but that it is being done at last is gratifying.

The House seems to have had the best grasp of the problem for some time now. Last December they passed bills that were intended to tighten the border to stem the flow of illegals across our borders and to implement rules that would more effectively prevent U.S. employers from hiring illegals — both critically important items — but the legislation was ‘debated to death’ in the Senate. The Senate was, at the time, under the influence of President Bush’s pie-in-the-sky guest worker program. Since then, the Senators have apparently become better informed about the realities of the immigration problem and have been ignoring the President’s still continuing pleas for a program that he refuses to admit is just another amnesty program. The fencing bill being worked in the Senate was approved last week and sent up to the Senate this week.

200 miles of the 700-mile fence under debate would be built in Texas, from Laredo to Brownsville. The two Republican Senators from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, are in favor of the fencing bill but have a quarrel with the fact that the U.S. government is telling the states where the fencing should be built; they feel that that decision would be better made by local and state officials. There are, no doubt, many other issues to be cleared up and one can only hope that, when the debate is over and the bill has passed, the final product will not be as porous as the border it is meant to protect.

News Links:

Border lawmakers, officials resist fence proposal

Enforcement is focus of immigration bills

You can find this article and a treasure trove of other timely and thought-provoking articles at the The Blogger News Network. Go now and visit!!