For those of you who are into the gooey details of law, both Constitutional and International, you won’t want to miss this brief discussion of the Geneva Conventions and the Military Commissions Act. It by no means discusses all issues contained therein, but does a good job of pointing out the differences between the two documents where the all-important term “enemy combatant” is concerned:
By and large, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Third Geneva Convention will pick out the same people as lawful combatants. A U.S. Marine patrolling in Basra or a Russian soldier in Chechnya are both lawful combatants. A person who straps dynamite to his chest and blows up a cafe is not. Other cases, however, are less clear. A member of the Taliban militia, ordered to resist U.S. soldiers when they landed in 2001, would seem to be protected as lawful under the Third Geneva Convention. Under the Military Commissions Act of 2006, he wouldn’t be.