Sunday, August 20, 2006

Do we need a National Secrets Act?

The person above is Kim Philby. Don't know him? He was the inspiration for John LeCarre's novel, Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy. Given all we know about the War on Terror (of which Iraq is a franchise), how do the United States move forward against internal and external enemies?

The ruling ACLU et. al. v. NSA shows again how the Left and the Liberal (the same ones who would purge Sen. Lieberman) would use any means to hinder the intelligence gathering because of their antagonism to President Bush.

Within 3 months, their have been arrests here and over the pond of Muslims who were planning to blow things up. In Florida, they were aiming for the Sears Tower in Chicago; In London, 10 planes over 10 cities.

For all those cheering the ruling (and this means you Ned Lamont), between the release of the SWIFT, the freeing of non-state based prisoners from Guantanamo Bay [Sidebar: Doesn't the Geneva Convention apply to State armies not NGO's?] and the continual complaints about Iraq, how should information be gathered to stop another attack?

The UK has a Official Secrets Act which helped them provide the intelligence to find their bombers. Do we need one here to help us stop the next attack?

Discuss among yourselves....

1 comment:

  1. JSF, an American version of the Secrets Act would be useful especially, in of the disturbing disclosure of Valerie Plame as a covert asset for the Central Intelligence Agency.

    On the subject of the Geneva Convention, I would assert
    that it is possible that the military arm of Hizbollah could fall into the categories of persons protected by the Conventions under Article 4(A)(1)(2)

    A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

    1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

    2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

    a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

    (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

    (c) That of carrying arms openly;

    (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    However, this does not give Prisoners of War an advantage because as Article 82 of the same Convention points out. The prisoners of war and detainees are subject to laws rules and regulations of the Armed Forces of the Detaning Power which allows a wider latitude in the interrogation of detainees.

    Article 82

    A prisoner of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations and orders in force in the armed forces of the Detaining Power; the Detaining Power shall be justified in taking judicial or disciplinary measures in respect of any offence committed by a prisoner of war against such laws, regulations or orders. However, no proceedings or punishments contrary to the provisions of this Chapter shall be allowed.

    In the case of Hizbollah it could possibly be asserted that they are protected from torture as defined in Article 87 of the Convention. However, the answer as to whether they are protected or not is intexricably linked to the question of what conduct by the Armed Forces constitutes torture?

    Article 87

    Prisoners of war may not be sentenced by the military authorities and courts of the Detaining Power to any penalties except those provided for in respect of members of the armed forces of the said Power who have committed the same acts.

    When fixing the penalty, the courts or authorities of the Detaining Power shall take into consideration, to the widest extent possible, the fact that the accused, not being a national of the Detaining Power, is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance, and that he is in its power as the result of circumstances independent of his own will. The said courts or authorities shall be at liberty to reduce the penalty provided for the violation of which the prisoner of war is accused, and shall therefore not be bound to apply the minimum penalty prescribed.

    Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishments, imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any form of torture or cruelty, are forbidden.

    No prisoner of war may be deprived of his rank by the Detaining Power, or prevented from wearing his badges.

    However, in the case of al-Qaida and al-Qaida in Iraq, neither of the groups meets the standard of protection set forth in Article 4. As such neither are entitled to the protections the Geneva Convention affords combatants.


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