Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Obama to Seek Closing Amid Hunger Strike at Guantánamo

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/us/guantanamo-adds-medical-staff-amid-hunger-strike.html?pagewanted=all

Held as prisoners for TEN YEARS without being charged. Imagine that...

The problem seems to be that they are considered enemy combatants, which would make them Prisoners of War. To my knowledge you don't ever charge POWs with crimes; you keep them imprisoned to keep them out of combat and then return them to their country at the end of the war. The reason this is a problem is because they are part of stateless organizations, which means there's really no protocol in place for returning them after the war. There is no "after the war" in the vague War on Terror.

So that leads to the question: What do we do with these stateless enemy combatants? Solution: We multilaterally (through the UN?) come up with a set of rules for dealing with them. This is bound to be a problem as stateless actors continue to have more of presence. The US cannot set the precedent that it's OK to deal with this problem like this. We need to lead the way towards solving this problem multilaterally.

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