Saturday, January 22, 2005

An answer to my question

Thanks to Marty Lederman of Balkinization, who has posted all of Gonzales's written responses to Senate Judiciary Committee questions, I have an answer to my question about the Geneva Convention below:
Moreover, Gonzales suggests that the Fourth Geneva Convention, with its protection of civilians, no longer applies to civilians detained by the U.S. now that the U.S. is no longer an occupying power. [QUESTION FOR THOSE WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS: If Geneva IV does not apply to protect civilian detainees of a non-occupying power, which, if any, of Geneva's protections do protect such civilian detainees?]
I may have to send one of those Balkinization guys an email. I think they actually know what they're talking about, unlike me who is dilettante extraordinaire. Because now I have more questions. Am I wrong in thinking the implication here is that we can torture civilians with impunity as long as we've declared a war to be over? If we're in a "military action" (not officially a "war") with a country, can we torture civilians? If Rumsfeld takes a vacation in France and gets a bad baguette? What are we talking here?

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