Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Senator Sessions Flips. Again. Enemy Combatants Become Prisoners of War

If you are a regular reader, you know how much I love to write about Senator Sessions and the serial stupidity of the GOP. I believe that Mr. Sessions exemplifies that quality.

As the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, today Sessions inserted both feet into his mouth when he responded to a discussion about Fort Hood, terrorism, and the upcoming trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammad by saying:

"The enemy, who could of been obliterated on the battlefield on one day, but was captured instead does not then become a common American criminal. They are first a prisoner of war, once they're captured. The laws of war say, as did Lincoln and Grant, that the prisoners will not be released when the war - until the war ends. How absurb is it to say that we will release people who plan to attack us again?"

This is a really interesting comment. The "war on terror," according to the terms set forth by just about everyone, has no real ending. When do we say it is over? If prisoners then are prisoners of this war on terror, when can they expect to be released? They can't. That is exactly why Bush and company created the military tribunal system, Guantanamo Bay, and the designation "enemy combatant." The use of the term "prisoner of war" has very specific legal obligations to the country holding that individual.  Why do you think that Bush and company were very, very careful to never, ever refer to any of the "enemy combatants" or other residents at Guantanamo Bay as "prisoners of war?" They and the mainstream media refer endlessly to the "war on terror." But they had to create a new lexicon to wage it. Enhanced interogation. Enemy combatant.

Senator Sessions just as the rest of the Republicans do, chooses which terminology fits the argument, or which argument fits the results he wants to reach.

h/t Crooks and Liars

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