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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    03 Jan '10 03:49
    Is it misleading to refer to them as civilians?

    How should they be referred to?

    As targets, are they more legitimate than civillians? Less or the same as military personnel?

    Would foreign countries (i.e. non-U.S.) be entitled to treat them Unlawful Enemy Combatants if captured?
  2. 03 Jan '10 04:03
    Originally posted by FMF

    Would foreign countries (i.e. non-U.S.) be entitled to treat them Unlawful Enemy Combatants if captured?
    With the Taliban and al-Qaeda... does it really matter?
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    03 Jan '10 04:17
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    With the Taliban and al-Qaeda... does it really matter?
    I said "foreign countries", on purpose.
  4. 03 Jan '10 04:34
    Duh they are not civilians if they are referred to as such in the news that is because it is pure propaganda.
  5. 03 Jan '10 04:36
    Originally posted by FMF
    Is it misleading to refer to them as civilians?

    How should they be referred to?

    As targets, are they more legitimate than civillians? Less or the same as military personnel?

    Would foreign countries (i.e. non-U.S.) be entitled to treat them Unlawful Enemy Combatants if captured?
    YES.
    Spies, agents of espionage, something of that form.
    Yes. Same or more than military personnel.
    Yes. Just imagine if the US captured Chinese espionage operating in the US. Its subversive.
  6. 03 Jan '10 05:58
    does the geneva convention address espionage?
  7. 03 Jan '10 06:46 / 1 edit
    Agreed with with Chess jester
  8. 03 Jan '10 07:10
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spy#Risks

    Risks

    The risks of espionage vary. A spy breaking the host country's laws may be deported, imprisoned, or even executed. A spy breaking his/her own country's laws can be imprisoned for espionage or/and treason, or even executed, as the Rosenbergs were. For example, when Aldrich Ames handed a stack of dossiers of CIA agents in the Eastern Bloc to his KGB-officer "handler", the KGB "rolled up" several networks, and at least ten people were secretly shot. When Ames was arrested by the FBI, he faced life in prison; his contact, who had diplomatic immunity, was declared persona non grata and taken to the airport. Ames's wife was threatened with life imprisonment if her husband did not cooperate; he did, and she was given a five-year sentence. Hugh Francis Redmond, a CIA officer in China, spent nineteen years in a Chinese prison for espionage—and died there—as he was operating without diplomatic cover and immunity.

    Many organizations, both national and non-national, conduct espionage operations. It should not be assumed that espionage is always directed at the most secret operations of a target country; national and terrorist organizations and other groups needed to get agents into target countries to learn security routines around their targets. They also needed to arrange secure ways of transferring money.

    Communications both are necessary to espionage and clandestine operations, and also a great vulnerability when the adversary has sophisticated SIGINT detection and interception capability.
  9. 03 Jan '10 07:21
    http://www.google.com/cse?cx=002683415331144861350%3Atsq8didf9x0&q=geneva+convention+on+spies&ie=utf-8&sa=Search

    http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200406171111.asp

    June 17, 2004, 11:11 a.m.
    Barbarians at the Geneva Gates

    (Why are we giving al Qaeda perks?)

    “There's a reason why we sign these treaties: to protect my son in the military," Sen. Joseph Biden (D., Del.) hissed at the attorney general through his enormous teeth. "That's why we have these treaties, so when Americans are captured they are not tortured. That's the reason in case anybody forgets it."

    Well...sorta.

    The relevant reason we sign treaties like the Geneva Convention is so that other signatory nations do unto us as we would do unto them. That means we can't subject captured French soldiers to Caddyshack II, and France can't subject our boys to Jerry Lewis marathons.

    Okay, perhaps I'm making too much light of a serious thing — torture. But, then again, so is Biden. The Geneva Convention is a contract, like all treaties. And contracts obligate those who sign them to certain behavior.

    Hence, POWs from signatory nations are entitled to all sorts of stuff, including dormitories replete with educational and entertainment facilities and generous canteens run by POWs who receive a share of the profits.

    As Rich Lowry and others have pointed out, many of these provisions are the vestiges of World War II — when millions of conscripts were thrown into a faraway conflict and, hence, deserved not merely humane treatment, but, in Lowry's words, "Hogan's Heroes" treatment.

    And that's why White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez suggested in a 2002 memorandum that the Geneva Convention seemed "quaint" in the context of the war on terror.

    But that's all beside the point for the moment. Because regardless of whether it's "quaint" for prison guards to behave like Sgt. Schultz ("I see nothink!", one thing is clear: The Geneva Convention does not require countries who haven't signed it to do anything at all.

    And guess what? Osama bin Laden has as much use for the Geneva Convention as he does for the new Lady Remington electric shaver.

    So yeah, Biden is correct in all of his pious glory that the Geneva Convention protects military personnel like his son from being tortured — but it protects them from torture by forces from other countries who have signed the Geneva Convention: and no one else. (By the way, Biden's son is quite safe as a stateside military lawyer — a fact Biden revealed after the useful sound bite was over.)

    ...

    (p.s., biden's son did serve as a judge advocate in iraq later. zb)
  10. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    03 Jan '10 15:16
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://www.google.com/cse?cx=002683415331144861350%3Atsq8didf9x0&q=geneva+convention+on+spies&ie=utf-8&sa=Search

    http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200406171111.asp

    June 17, 2004, 11:11 a.m.
    Barbarians at the Geneva Gates

    (Why are we giving al Qaeda perks?)

    “There's a reason why we sign these treaties: to protect my son in the mili ...[text shortened]...

    (p.s., biden's son did serve as a judge advocate in iraq later. zb)
    All well and good, but torture is not only prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. The fifth article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights expressly prohibits the use of torture and the US is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Neither of those needs to refer to military personnel in any specific way, make distinctions between groups of people or implicitly exclude any group of people from the prohibition of torture. Certainly, neither of them say that one may torture those who do not abide by that prohibition. Rather, the ban is universal. Those treaties were not only signed with the hope of reciprocity; they were signed as an undertaking and an obligation, hence the inclusion of the 'universal'.
  11. 03 Jan '10 18:20
    Originally posted by FMF
    Is it misleading to refer to them as civilians?

    How should they be referred to?

    As targets, are they more legitimate than civillians? Less or the same as military personnel?

    Would foreign countries (i.e. non-U.S.) be entitled to treat them Unlawful Enemy Combatants if captured?
    What about the school? Are you going to mention that?
  12. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    03 Jan '10 19:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by DrKF
    All well and good, but torture is not only prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. The fifth article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights expressly prohibits the use of torture and the US is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Neither of those needs to refer to military personnel in any specific way, make distinctions betwee ...[text shortened]... they were signed as an undertaking and an obligation, hence the inclusion of the 'universal'.
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also says you have to support me if I'm unemployed. It's full of welfare rights, which makes it incompatible with the liberty rights philosophy the US is based on. Likewise it mentions "duties to the community" which again shows the welfare-rights based perspective - not a liberty rights based perspective.

    Because of this, it's been made clear that the USA is not bound by that document despite the symbolic signing.
  13. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    03 Jan '10 22:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also says you have to support me if I'm unemployed. It's full of welfare rights, which makes it incompatible with the liberty rights philosophy the US is based on. Likewise it mentions "duties to the community" which again shows the welfare-rights based perspective - not a liberty rights based perspective.
    ...[text shortened]... 's been made clear that the USA is not bound by that document despite the symbolic signing.
    and the United Nations Convention Against Torture? Are you unilaterally withdrawing from that as well?

    Oh, and 'full of' (as in 'full of' welfare rights) clearly means something different for you and me. Have you read the Declaration?
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    04 Jan '10 01:36
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also says you have to support me if I'm unemployed. It's full of welfare rights, which makes it incompatible with the liberty rights philosophy the US is based on. Likewise it mentions "duties to the community" which again shows the welfare-rights based perspective - not a liberty rights based perspective.
    ...[text shortened]... 's been made clear that the USA is not bound by that document despite the symbolic signing.
    And yet the U.S. system does support people who are unemployed. And it does have considerable and extensive welfare systems - none of which is incompatible with "liberty rights philosophy". I'll be interested to see whether you apply AThousandYoungism to this issue, as you once did to the concept of Food Security that sat so badly with you: something like this maybe? The human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights cannot ever be perfectly realized therefore... the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not exist. Yes?
  15. 04 Jan '10 01:55
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also says you have to support me if I'm unemployed. It's full of welfare rights, which makes it incompatible with the liberty rights philosophy the US is based on. Likewise it mentions "duties to the community" which again shows the welfare-rights based perspective - not a liberty rights based perspective.
    ...[text shortened]... 's been made clear that the USA is not bound by that document despite the symbolic signing.
    A 'symbolic signing'?

    That's pretty good. So, if the mortgage guys come around to repossess your home, you can just say, 'What's the story? I only symbolically signed the mortgage agreement. Now, go away.'
    Or if you get fed up with your spouse, it'll be, 'But I only symbolically signed the marriage documents, I'm off with one of my young students, bye.'

    Ridiculous argument.