- - Thursday, March 27, 2014


Sulaiman Abu Ghaith enjoyed consideration under civil proceedings, but prior legal practice and the Geneva Conventions all regard terrorists and outside civil laws (“Judge bars 9/11 mastermind’s testimony in NYC,” Web, March 18).

According to Article 13 of the First and Second Geneva Conventions and Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, terrorists are not the armed forces, militias, volunteer corps, insurgents or freedom fighters of any country or authority.

They are not organized movements carrying arms openly and having distinctive identifiers. These abominations kill people defined by all Conventions as “Protected Persons,” and thereby, they cannot even be considered prisoners of war.

However, even prisoners of war are excluded from our civil courts by the Constitution. This is a position reinforced by Article 84 of the Third Geneva Convention, which requires that a country expressly permit trial by civil courts.

For that to occur, Congress would first have had to pass a law doing away with the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As precedent, U.S. civil law was never applied to more than 400,000 legitimate Axis prisoners transferred to the United States during World War II.

This miscarriage of justice occurs because the Supreme Court transgressed the exclusive power of the president as commander in chief to conduct military operations, including disposition of captives. The justices created a fantasy world where civil and military courts coexist with the same jurisdictions.


Eugene, Ore.

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