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  • Why Military Tribunals Are Consistent with the Geneva Conventions

    At last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, after Attorney General Eric Holder again refused to rule out a civilian trial for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) shot back: “We know the administration is not going to hold the trial in New York. They should just say it already.” But the Obama administration will fight reality on this issue for as long as politically possible because the far left and Attorney General Holder still believe military tribunals for KSM and other terrorists are inconsistent with the Geneva Convention. Holder, et al. are wrong. Retired U.S. Naval officer and military commission judge Keith Allred explains why:

    Unlawful combatants are entitled to be tried in a forum that meets the standards of the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3: a “regularly constituted court that afford[s] all the judicial guarantees . . . recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.” A military commission meets this standard, and trying unlawful combatants in a military commission advances important national interests in encouraging compliance with the laws of armed conflict.

    Much has been said to impugn the military commissions as unfair, inadequate forums for the trials of these and other unlawful combatants. But the Geneva Conventions expressly contemplate tribunals for unlawful combatants that are less protective of their rights than the forum guaranteed to lawful combatants. Congress understood this scheme when it established military commissions to try unprivileged belligerents, as contemplated by Common Article 3. Trying these men in federal court improperly rewards their abuse of civilian status to engage in hostilities by giving them greater protection than we would give to a prisoner who complied with the laws of war. This is a dangerous precedent, and there is no need for it.

    Read Allred’s full Wall Street Journal op-ed here. For more facts, also see Heritage’s Detention of the Enemy During Wartime.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Why Military Tribunals Are Consistent with the Geneva Conventions

    1. KT says:

      Yes, I miss President G.W. Bush.

      He would not have intentionally soiled our country with this kind of import.

      This one does look a little like Popeye's nemisis, Brutus- I think they called him.

      I do sense a tsunami coming.

      Thank God for people who will explain why this administration is wrong in closing Guantanimo Bay and exporting the human debris.

    2. Zack says:

      so bush and cheney hold 439 trials for suspected terrorists in civilian courts with 80% convicted and 3 in military tribunals with 1 conviction that was recently let go. but now that Obama is doing this we must question his path for national security. you guys are really falling apart here. thank you Heritage. thank you for making sure democrats hold the majority in november!

    3. Thomas, Sankt August says:

      Dear Sir:

      Unlawful Combatants = militants who whear no uniform.

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