Tuesday, July 29, 2003

On the Taking of Hostages

Calpundit says:

At first we're led to believe that we're gaining ground in Iraq due to a simple shift in tactics, but a few days later we learn that what this really means is that we're kidnapping families and holding them hostage in order to increase the "quality and quantity of intelligence." This may seem like a good idea in the world of 24, but in the real world it's a war crime. It should end right now, and I hope everyone who linked to the first article links to the second as well and denounces these tactics as unworthy of us. The world should know that we're better than this.

Jim Henley says:

y the way. I never want to hear another word about the alleged iniquities of Justin Raimondo, ANSWER, Robert Fisk, Patrick Buchanan, Lew Rockwell or even, god help us, the French. Not one more fucking word.

A few readers have pointed out that we never actually signed on to Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention. Absolutely correct. Apologies for the mistake Here´s Convention 4, articles 34 and 147.

Art. 34. The taking of hostages is prohibited

Art. 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

Reader AQ also writes in to give us this from the Uniform Military Code of Justice.


Any person subject to this chapter who, except as provided by law, arrests, or confines any person shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Of course, now that the law is just Bremer´s personal game of Calvinball who knows what this means.

Mark Kleiman comments, noting my mistake, as does Phil Carter. Tom Spencer and Big Media Matt also comment.