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October 18, 2004
Guantanamo Spanish For Revolving Door?

Thanks to our so-called friends and allies, the US military has been playing a bit of catch-and-release with the terrorists originally captured in Afghanistan. International pressure and domestic legal action have caused the Bush administration to be cautious about indefinite detention -- perhaps a bit too cautious, CNN now reports:

t least seven former prisoners of the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been involved in terrorist acts, despite gaining their freedom by signing pledges to renounce violence, according to the Pentagon.

At least two are believed to have died in fighting in Afghanistan, and a third was recaptured during a raid of a suspected training camp in Afghanistan, Lt. Cmdr. Flex Plexico, a Pentagon spokesman, said last week. Others are at large. ...

The small number returning to the fight demonstrates the delicate balance the United States must strike between minimizing the appearance of holding people unjustly and keeping those who are legitimate long-term threats, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

That is a ridiculous statement, but one that the Pentagon has been forced into making by pusillanimous allies and an arrogant judiciary that has attempted to usurp the role of the executive in wartime. The idea that we should release terrorists captured on the battlefield bearing arms against us hearkens to the law-enforcement strategies that have been thoroughly discredited in the war on terror.

We should give no consideration beyond that required by the Geneva Convention, which only applies to those prisoners in uniform, representing a recognized government. The only issue that should require review at Guantanamo is whether the detainee was captured on the battlefield. If so, then if he wore the uniform or insignia of a recognized government, he should be treated as a POW. If not, he should be shot as a spy.

Attempting to apply Miranda warnings, attorneys, and hearings to determine the legitimate status of each individual detainee in a war situation is insane. Trusting that Islamist lunatics will put aside their murderous motivations because they signed an agreement to stop is exponentially more insane. When one of these people come to the US and stage an attack that kills thousands, we'll be able to thank the world community and the bleeding-heart liberals for valuing the lives of bloodthirsty terrorists more than the thousands of civilians they target.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 18, 2004 9:34 PM

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