21 September 2006

Congress, torture and the coming of the Raven Banner

It is fascinating to watch what some folks will confound so as to try and assemble an argument. However, due to the niceties of the modern age, there are many that feel that *anyone* caught in combat is a *legitimate* combatant due to the wonders of the Geneva Convention and should be afforded the rights thereof.

Terrorists, however, do not do things that are accorded to legitimate armed forces of Nation States:

First off they represent no Nation and are not even under mercenary code, pay and line of authority TO a Nation. Yes, Mercenaries are *legitimate* combatants when they make their paymaster KNOWN. Terrorists represent their own organizations which do NOT fall under the Geneva Conventions. I looked at this originally with the SCOTUS ruling, and find their viewpoint to be unsupportable and, in fact, a steep Judicial over-reach of power asserting things that the Nation is signed up to do which neither the Executive nor Legislative have signed on to. The Geneva Convention *framework* is that of State-based actors be they military or civilians. Those are the ONLY distinction the GC makes prior to 1977 and the US did NOT sign on to the 1977 extensions to cover terrorists.

Second, terrorists have NO accountability nor structure under which they may be held accountable nor no Nation that we may hold accountable for their actions. They fall completely outside of the 'non-recognized State' verbiage of the GC in *that* respect, also. So they are not legitimate military and they have no chain of command for accountability. Both of which make them non-legitimate combatants and unable to seek redress under ANY military or civilian part of the Geneva Conventions.

Third, terrorists have no territory or governance area which may be considered to be a 'State' or 'unrecognized State'. In point of fact they remain anti-State and even when they aim to take over fractions of States that have fallen into disorder it is NOT to establish an accountable Nation State. They wish to act as conquerors, exploit fallen regions, throw them into submission and then attack via terrorism MORE Nations and sub-national fractions in hopes of bringing MORE States down. In doing this they attack the very foundations of diplomacy set up that underpins the entire Geneva Conventions as a WHOLE. Let me make this perfectly clear: terrorists not only stand outside of the framework of the Geneva Conventions, but they stand outside the centuries of diplomacy that make the Geneva Conventions POSSIBLE. They do not seek to be under the Geneva Conventions and given any opportunity to USE them they will do so and further attack the legal and foundational underpinnings of any Nation so unwise as to allow that.

Fourth, terrorists refuse to wear uniforms. This is more than distinguishing marks: it is an attempt to sow distrust and discord within and amongst Nations and increase suspicion of individuals within National populations. In doing this they seek to undermine the Peace of Westphalia which gives Nation States Sovereignty and means of recourse against outside interference and ONLY allows interference from recognized actors that are Nation State bound and accountable. So even civilians of other Nations can be redressed via legal interaction established via diplomacy and held accountable. Terrorists do not DO this and , in point of fact, will use multiple means and methods to cloud and dilute their National origin and citizenship until they can easily claim multiples of them and find the one best suited to their needs of destroying Nations. So, even if looked at as a civilian, terrorists are working to undermine the State based accountability system. When they take up active arms and schemes they are NOT just mere criminals, they are barbarians seeking to inflict as much humanitarian damage, fiscal damage, infrastructure damage, military damage, diplomatic damage and legal wrangling ad infinitum so as to weaken their enemies. All captured training materials from all attacks point to this: if captured they will use the very niceties of legal fiction against the State that captured them so as to continue undermining that State along legal vectors.

Fifth, and finally, terrorists will *not* honor agreements. Any 'ceasefire' is, to them, a mere time to re-arm so as to re-attack later. This has been seen so frequently that it is now something unremarkable to say. This is complete refusal to stand by one's word and NOT attack so as to SEEK a lasting peace. This is using temporary cessation of hostilities to fight again another day. The previous understandings for a 'ceasefire' were to stop such things and seek diplomatic redress for a permanent change so that both sides could be accommodated. The ceasefire with North Korea has not been broken in long decades, although activities like infiltration of spies, kidnapping and the such do go on along with random acts of violence and some sniping, the overall ceasefire has not been broken although both sides have fully re-armed. And diplomatic interaction *still* seeks a permanent solution to the situation. The 1918 Armistice took some time to fully enact and bring all of the issues of WWI to a close in 1923. The way of the ceasefire is to honorably STOP arming for aggressive warfare and negotiate honestly so as to seek long term solutions. By not approaching a ceasefire in this way the terrorists are undermining the very pathway of legitimate warfare amongst Nations and cause distrust to be sewn throughout the entirety of the world that enemies will not honor agreements.

What rules actually govern these individuals that fly no flag, are not accountable to any Nation, will not honor their word, will not keep to honorable captivity and will not consider themselves to be accountable to their captors?

In the United States the law making body is the Legislature: Congress.

The President of the United States has tried to do what any other President has done and apply the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as set by Congress to these individuals. The Supreme Court did not like this, and no matter how bad their ruling is, that puts the ball squarely in the play of Congress once more to figure out.

Congress may do many things, legally, as the framework of the Geneva Conventions does not *apply* to terrorists. They have a free and open hand here to allow the Armed Forces latitude in how they fight, capture and control such individuals. They can deny such individuals the right to the civil legal system as they are non-accountable combatants who disdain being accountable to ANY form of justice. Congress may set up rules of justice to try such individuals and then set up a penalty system for them. Congress can also say: just hold them until they have perished of old age. Congress may say: put them in the equivalent of a Federal 'SuperMax' facility, but give them no leisure pursuits, no call to prayers, nothing but the minimum food and health inspections necessary to keep them alive.

None of those things are contrary to the law.

Congress is not BOUND by the Geneva Conventions and may clearly state what it considers the actual language of the Geneva Convention to hold for such individuals or NOT. And Congress must also keep in mind its ENTIRE suite of irregular warfighting Powers given to it by We the People in this consideration.

Until someone can invent a veridicator that can actually look into the mind of individuals and find if they are telling the truth, there is no way to establish if any of these individuals can be trusted to change their ways.

Congress may even set up a due process procedure to turn them into slaves as is granted by Amendment XIII. Yes, we need NOT kill them to recognize their inhuman nature and actually make some use of them to any that would dare take that step. It is not uncivilized by the Constitution if due process procedures are set up for same. Such as was done in ancient times with individuals who were uncivilized and not safe, so is still available to the Union to this very day. It was written that way so as to remove *racial* slavery, but a poison pill to the South to leave open due process slavery. And it left open that pathway to punish those too horrible and too inhuman in their crimes that mere death would not sufficiently address.


You tell me.

We can remove their identity as a PERSON via legal means and still fully uphold the Constitution. That can make them a SLAVE.

That is dehumanizing in the most possible way, to make someone who *must* obey on pain of death *anything* they are told to do so long as it does not harm any *person*. Slaves in that instance are not *people*.

Do we have an understanding, now, of where torture falls in the spectrum of what Congress may do?

So, if Congress gives all sorts of nice and legal recourses so that terrorists can stymie our legal system, throw courts into disarray, and otherwise remove any prospect of getting information from them, there is one, final, recourse that all Armed Forces since the beginning of combat have.

It was typified by the Raven Banner of the Vikings, but also held true for many other emblems and banners and insignia of certain kinds of warfare. It is the flag of no surrender to be given or accepted. 'You return with your shield or on it', as the Romans put it. Those that refuse to be held accountable as legitimate soldiers have always had a special designation on the battlefield:


You only capture a spy if you think they have any INTEL value at all. And if Congress eliminates *that*, then there is no value to them whatsoever.

By giving captured terrorists lots of recourse off the battlefield, there is only one effective recourse to them ON the battlefield.

They give us no quarter on or off the battlefield and will attack us at all fronts.

As they ask for, so shall they receive.

No quarter asked for.

None given.

Slavery doesn't look so bad now, does it?

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