welcomes the news that foreign law bodies are demanding civilian trials for enemy combatants
held at Guantanamo. The money quote from the article
""We strongly believe that there are now only two legally acceptable courses of action open to the US authorities. Either the US government must return the detainees to their own home countries where they can be tried under their own national laws, or they should be tried in a US civilian court with full guarantees for a fair trial."
This is factually incorrect (as the authors of this letter presumably know being, after all, lawyers) as far as the Geneva Convention is concerned and moreover is a position contingent upon no state of war existing between the United States and al Qaida. NATO has already settled that issue legally by invoking the mutual defense clause in response to the attack on 9/11 so as far as international law is concerned, a state of war exists. Belligerents, to be eligible for Geneva Convention protections, must obey it's protocols which al Qaida does not do, regularly fighting out of uniform and making civilians a primary target of their attacks. These are war crimes punishable by death for good reason. After all,the intent of Geneva is to offer a carrot and a stick to combatants in order to minimize hardship for civilians caught in a war zone and require soldiers to fight soldiers, not women, children and the aged.
The United States is within it's belligerent rights under international law to try al Qaida members before a court-martial or a special military commission or tribunal ( like....Nuremburg). Critics can point to the requirement for a normal military hearing to adjudicate POW or Illegal Combatant status prior to such an extraordinary trial ( which the Bush administration has delayed doing) but that is not what this group is loudly demanding - they want civilian trials as if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
had the misfortune to have been arrested sticking up the local 7-11. It's ill-intentioned utter nonsense by European leftists designed to delay accountability for Islamist terrorist acts for as long as humanly possible, particularly if the death penalty is a possibility. This is the same crowd of jackasses who think a stiff sentence for a psychopathic Bosnian Serb " General"
who murders 8000 people is 46 years ( bet you he gets out in 10). These leftwing Euro-lawyers like process and they don't like accountability, justice, the death penalty, George Bush or the United States. Nor do they care a whit for the people al Qaida kills. We should give their letter the credence it deserves.
The United States is not legally obligated to treat war criminals of a paramilitary organization engaged in armed attacks as civilians and citizens when they are neither.