Chiz au courrant about 44 closing down Gitmo brings back an idea that ancient cats have been asking for eons...
A main part of 44’s indictment of Gitmo is the fact — and there is no doubt that it is a fact — that the prison is used in recruitment propaganda by Islamic radicals. Gitmo, like drone strikes, is deeply unpopular among jihadists. There is a reason for that: Drone strikes kill jihadists, and Gitmo keeps them out of the game.
Everything the United States does to defend itself against Islamic supremacists is unpopular with Islamic supremacists — that doesn’t mean that we give them a veto over our national-security policy.
The prisoners held at Gitmo are, for the most part, what is known under international law as “francs-tireurs,” non-uniformed militiamen who conduct sabotage and terrorism operations against occupation forces. Under Article 4 of the Geneva Conventions, fighters eligible for the protections extended to prisoners of war are obliged to meet several criteria, including the wearing of uniforms or fixed insignia and — here’s the rub for the Islamic State et al. — conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
So why not firing squad time?
Non-uniformed militiamen and insurgents sawing the heads off of Wall Street Journal reporters do not qualify for Geneva Convention protections. They are, under the applicable international law, subject to summary execution, as are captured spies, terrorists, and the like.
No doubt executing the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay would send a shock throughout Mohammedist world.
And that may actually be a good thing
By way of comparison to what justice might actually bear, the conditions at Gitmo — three hot halal meals and a Koran — are indeed a powerful testament to American values, though not the sort of values that 44 imagines. Gitmo may not exactly be the “resort” that its defenders sometimes joke that it is, but we could do worse — much worse — with these men and be entirely justified doing it.
If the idea of Gitmo is truly uncool, there are alternatives. May not like those, either.