Prisoners of War

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Prisoners of War

The United States angers terrorists and other foreigners on a daily basis, but we find it hard to understand why. Examples abound and most often relate to ignorant decisions on behalf of the government concerning the welfare of these foreigners. The situation on the island of Cuba at the Naval Station of Guantánamo Bay has grown out of hand. Here, the U.S. holds the prisoners that it has captured as part of its war on terrorism in a camp. They hold ver 600 men there without contact with their home countries or families and without the legal consultation of a lawyer. President Bush classifies these prisoners as “enemy combatants” and the U.S. says that for this reason they can withhold their rights unlike a normal prisoner in the case of wars (Jost).

During an election year such as the current one, cases such as these must be taken into consideration before electing or maintaining a leader that might choose to find ways to bend the rules on human rights. The detainees of Guantánamo Bay have their rights as prisoners of war denied and the U.S. does not define them as such. Much evidence to suggest otherwise includes the type of enemies included in the detainees and the international laws suggested in the Geneva Conventions. The U.S. has done nothing illegal based upon the international laws that it has adopted. However, one rends to question whether the laws adopted or not adopted by the U.S. rightfully define the prisoners based upon what has been laid out by the founding fathers of America. We can hardly assume that they do.

Before anyone can make judgments upon the rights of the detainees, it must first be decided upon what these men can and cannot be considered. The men held at Guantánamo...

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... to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.” Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2002. On-line. Internet. 22 Feb. 2004. <http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm>.

"Geneva Convention."Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

22 Feb. 2004 <http://search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=37105>.

"Guerrilla." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

22 Feb. 2004 <http://search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=39163>.

Jost, Kenneth. "Civil Liberties Debates." The CQ Researcher Online 13.37 (2003). 22 February 2004 <http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher>.

Martin, Peter W. “U.S. Constitution-Bill of Rights.” 14 March. 1993: On-line. Internet. 22 Feb. 2004. < http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html>.

“Rumsfeld defends Guantanamo.” Tapei Times. 15 Feb. 2004, pg. 7.
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