Seems that the left is never going to understand what the Geneva Conventions actually say. They’ve got this fantasy that George W. Bush decided to throw them out, and by golly they’re going to stick with it.
Well, the US’s involvement was new. Afghanistan was in about the 20th year of war.
President Bush issued an order [PDF] declaring that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to captured Taliban soldiers on the grounds [PDF] that Afghanistan was a “failed state” and the Taliban was “not a government but a militant, terrorist-like group”.
All of which were perfectly correct statements.
Ah, “Afghan prisoners” were “rendered” to Gitmo and “tortured”. Top marks for maximum use of weasel words.
In reality, suspected Taliban and leaders were taken to Guantanamo and subject to interrogation and detention.
Which makes the US’s current complaint that the Taliban parading a captured US soldier on camera violates international law just a bit rich. Having denied the protection of international law to their opponents, they can hardly claim it for themselves.
Actually, it’s futile but not rich at all. The Taliban are operating as a terrorist group and aren’t (as previously mentioned) protected by international law. The US (believe it or not) does operate within international law in the sense that it’s solders are wearing uniforms that identify them as solders so are entitled to be treated as POW when captured. But since the Taliban don’t respect the law in the first place they’re not about to start following it when they capture someone.
The US has every right to demand their solders rights be respected, and every right to deny those same rights to the Taliban. But whether or not the US grants those rights, the Taliban are going to be as brutal as they want.