Politics & Policy

No POWs At Gitmo

Why they are detainees.

After touring Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba last week, California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein said this about the al Qaeda and Taliban members held there:

”These are people — if you release them, they’re going to go out and kill again.”

Progressives in Amnesty International, the European Union, and certain segments of the British Labour Party should study the simple words of their fellow liberal. The men locked up at Camp X-Ray would be delighted to murder more Americans, Britons, and even people from the 82 other countries whose citizens were slaughtered in the September 11 World Trade Center attack.

As al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden himself put it: “to kill Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim.”

Critics of the Bush administration, who demand that the captives be declared prisoners of war and protected by the Geneva Convention, seem totally oblivious to the homicidal intentions of the Guantanamo detainees.

As terrorists and combatants who hid among Afghan civilians and never wore uniforms, these inmates are not regular soldiers. That excludes them from the Geneva tent.

Prisoner-of-war status also presents three intolerable problems:

First, as POWs, today’s detainees would be free to tell U.S. investigators nothing but their names, ranks and serial numbers (even though they lack the latter). Information gleaned from questioning al Qaeda and Taliban captives already has foiled bombing conspiracies against U.S. targets in Singapore and Yemen. These life-saving interrogations must continue.

Second, the Geneva Convention requires the release of POWs once hostilities cease. In other words, after U.S. troops inspect the last Afghan cave, Camp X-Ray’s residents could go home. If so, they will regroup and soon plot new atrocities.

Third, Article 98 of the Geneva Convention of 1949 guarantees that “All internees shall receive regular allowances, sufficient to enable them to purchase goods and articles, such as tobacco, toilet requisites, etc.” Do you want your tax dollars to subsidize the colleagues of Mohammed Atta and Mullah Omar?

The 158 thugs at Camp X-Ray receive medical attention and three culturally sensitive meals daily. They freely pray to Mecca and are caressed by Caribbean breezes in the 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit. They are living large for people who, unless you are a Muslim, want you dead.

The global handwringers who cry for Uncle Sam’s guests at Camp X-Ray should calm down and let U.S. officials prevent new acts of mass murder.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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