January 6, 2010

Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man who blew up Pan Am Flight 103, is still alive and freeing him looks more appalling than ever.

The Daily Beast directs our attention toward an airplane bombing that succeeded:
Fifty-seven-year-old terrorist Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi—handed a life sentence after being found guilty in the Dec. 21, 1988 murders of 259 passengers and crew on Pan Am Flight 103, plus another 11 people on the ground—was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer by unnamed Scottish doctors who erroneously predicted he’d be dead by now....
... The bomber was flown from Scotland on a private jet by Gaddafi’s 37-year-old son, Saif al Islam al Gaddafi, who publicly boasted that he’d played a key role in the negotiating Megrahi’s release in exchange for business and trade considerations....

65 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

So I guess if you have terminal cancer, Libya is the place to go. The healing waters and such.

Big Mike said...

I'm stunned. Just totally stunned.

Not.

rick said...

It appears foreign policy naivete is a communicable disease. It apparently travels from country to country - crossing oceans at lightning speed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But the good news is Francisco Franco is still dead.

traditionalguy said...

Perhaps his diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer was verified by the East Anglia CRU following a generous Libyan Donation towards scientific research. So everyone out there who is not a Scientist should STFU. David Brooks understands that you simple people just hate your better who go by science.

Scott M said...

Absolutely and incredibly predictable. Yet another canary in the mineshaft moment for western democracy.

History is going to wonder just how the hell we managed to last so long being so weak.

Greg Hlatky said...

See how good the National Health Service is?

SteveR said...

The ROI on those "considerations" will have to be pretty good to make up for the utter (and prolonged)disgrace in this circumstance. That doesn't address the wrong done to the families of the victims either.

bearbee said...

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, has demanded that Megrahi be returned forthwith to prison in Scotland.

Or else.....?

Senator Nincompoop heard from.

Time...to...go.

wv: wizoo - seating in vicinity of the senate ny zoo

Hoosier Daddy said...

Come on people what do you expect? The man was diagnosed by the frickin NHS. He was probably really suffering from chlamydia he caught from a passing sheep.

It was in Scotland after all.

JAL said...

Greg Hlatky said...
See how good the National Health Service is?


Yup.

And under Obamacare (Democare?) all terminal prostate cancer sufferers will be sent to Libya.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

Perhaps his diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer was verified by the East Anglia CRU

That diagnosis has since been deleted. Only the value-added diagnosis of "non-terminal prostate cancer" remains.

Freeman Hunt said...

Could some country send people to go shoot him, please? He blew up an airplane. He walks free on this Earth. Does not compute.

edutcher said...

All this says is that, with people like Gordon Brown and Barry Obama in charge, on the next 9/11, the jetliners will hit the Capitol and the White House.

Synova said...

This is something I don't quite *get*.

If someone is in jail for life and they're *dying*... well, they were supposed to die in jail, so what's the problem? The people they killed are still dead. At what point does compassion or justice ignore that fact so thoroughly that we get so twisted as to think that a mass murderer deserves to die comfortably surrounded by family?

I feel similarly about a slightly different situation... hunger strikes.

If someone in prison wants to starve his or herself... let them.

No feeding tubes. No getting accused of torture for the horrible pain involved of shoving the thing down their throat.

Just let them do it. Make an announcement and let them do it. Some political prisoner created a great brouhaha for their cause by refusing to eat and it worked so well that now everyone thinks they can do it and everyone else thinks that they have to keep it from happening. No, they don't.

MadisonMan said...

I will state that it is in Libya's interests to keep this man alive, as it's a big F-U to the west.

It sure makes the Justices who freed him look like morons, too.

former law student said...

The commentariat should now appreciate why terrorists should be treated as criminals. Under the war model, Scotland would have had no choice but to send Megrahi back, under Article 110 of the Third Geneva Convention, as a sick person whom medical opinion has determined will not recover within one year.:

Art 110. The following shall be repatriated direct:

(1) Incurably wounded and sick whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely diminished.
(2) Wounded and sick who, according to medical opinion, are not likely to recover within one year, whose condition requires treatment and whose mental or physical fitness seems to have been gravely diminished.

AprilApple said...

Sounds like a backroom deal the democrats would make.

Tex the Pontificator said...

An example of ONE of the problems of treating terrorism as a criminal justice matter.

Arturius said...

The commentariat should now appreciate why terrorists should be treated as criminals.

Not sure that really supports your argument. Megrahi was treated as a criminal and subsequently released based upon the very same criteria you quote.

Scott M said...

@fls

Under the war model, Scotland would have had no choice but to send Megrahi back

Megrahi would first have to qualify as soldier eligible to receive the benefits of the Convention and, if I'm not mistaken, fight for the established armed forces of a signatory state.

And that's just the first problem I have with your point.

Kylos said...

synova, I think the desire to keep someone from dying as a result of a hunger strike is purely optics. It's much easier to be accused of brutality, even without a basis, if you have a body to explain. When an anti-establishment type tries to turn you into a monster in the court of public opinion, you'd much rather they be alive and causing you grief in jail than they be dead and people calling you a murderer. Conspiracy-theorism is deeply embedded in human nature.

former law student said...

The Scots chose to release the criminal Megrahi on humanitarian grounds -- no law mandated it.

vbspurs said...

Boy, I'll tell you. I'm almost glad for the liberals on Althouse, because as much as many of the commentaries irritate me, they are a well of reason compared to the comments on this story on the Daily Beast.

The conviction of this man was always dubious.

Still, since independent Scottish doctors issued a prognosis after actually examining the patient, Lloyd Grove, who wrote a gossip column for the New York Daily News, should defer to their superior knowledge and return to grovelling in the gutters of New York.


None of these people have heard of the term remission.

Cheers,
Victoria

Arturius said...

The Scots chose to release the criminal Megrahi on humanitarian grounds -- no law mandated it.

So much like granting POW status to terrorists (who don't fit a single criteria set forth in the Convention), its arbitrary.

At least we're clear on that point.

bagoh20 said...

Tell me again why I should not kill a couple hundred infidels the first chance I get, cause I hate them bastards and being a hero in Libya sounds nice. Thank you Scotland. I'm gonna get to work on this right now. - Abdul Muhammad something

Synova said...

Kylos... Hunger strikes work because we let them, because the first time someone tried it she (?) was already a sympathetic figure. What works gets repeated.

There is no "have to explain a body" in this day and age when a prisoner and their behavior and treatment can be recorded every moment of every day. What is there to explain about providing food that someone doesn't eat? There is no reason but habit to perpetuate the cycle of threat and reward involved in the spectacle of self-starvation.

Though, at least one person... that Australian?.. was claiming to have been tortured by having his health destroyed because he got FAT.

bagoh20 said...

The idea that there is even a debate about the freedom of a convicted murderer of hundreds of innocent people (men, women, children) is a despicable sign of our culture. There is no other side to argue. You need to ask yourself: What is it about your experience or education that has left you so wisdom deficient to think there is, and then to go out in public and try to convince others to believe it? Do you really want your children's murderer given such encouragement to go after them? Does it make you complicit? You are either nobody or somebody in our world, but what you do always has an effect on someone.

John Lynch said...

I was always suspicious of the whole thing. Clearly this was a prisoner release deal, with the quid pro quo being British access to Libyan oilfields.

So, it seems to me, they weren't going to let the little matter of the prisoner not being quite dead yet get in the way. Some cancers take a very, very long time to kill people. Prostate cancer is one of those. Sometimes it's left untreated because the patient will probably die of something else in the meantime.

What sealed it for me was the complete horseshit the government tried to pass off as to who allowed the release. There's no way that a municipal government has the power to release a mass murderer to another country. There's no way the Scottish government has the power. It turned out that, yes, indeed, it was the Prime Minister. Huh.

Lies, lies, lies. I guess Brown & Co. figured they were out this year anyway. I wonder how much they got paid off, by either the Libyans or the oil companies. Might want to look into that.

So, here's your blood for oil.

Big Mike said...

I always figured that the last Scotsman with courage died somewhere on Culloden Moor.

Shanna said...

Could some country send people to go shoot him, please? He blew up an airplane. He walks free on this Earth. Does not compute.

This is what we need the death penalty for. No one to set free if they’re dead!

virgil xenophon said...

I sure hope "former law student" measn "former" as in flunked/dropped out. With his powers of analysis I would hate to think he is a practicing member of the bar somewhere. FYI the Pan Am bomber would NOT, as a non-uniformed civilian terrorist under control/orders of NO organized military force, be considered a POW and thus fall TOTALLY outside the ambit of the Geneva Accords except insofar as types like him are subject under the Accords to summary execution on the spot if captured. POW status is accorded only to uniformed members of formal military organizations serving under the flag of the Nations whose representatives signed the accords--and ONLY them.

Big Mike said...

@Virgil, much as it pains me to defend former's analysis, we need to keep in mind that at the time of the bombing of Pan An 103 al Megrahi held an official, quasi-military, position in the Libyan government and therefore the possibility exists that he was acting under orders.

Scott M said...

Even if that were true, conclusively, he wasn't in uniform. I'll google it up here in a sec, but is Libya a signatory?

Scott M said...

It appears that Libya never officially ratified the GC.

Double-tap. Done.

edutcher said...

Big Mike said...

I always figured that the last Scotsman with courage died somewhere on Culloden Moor.

I think the number of graves around places like Louisbourg and Dunkirk might refute that.

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arturius said...

Virgil, much as it pains me to defend former's analysis, we need to keep in mind that at the time of the bombing of Pan An 103 al Megrahi held an official, quasi-military, position in the Libyan government and therefore the possibility exists that he was acting under orders.

Lets for the sake of argument stipulate that he was in fact a military officer carrying out official government orders. Now there exists the possibility of the bombing being an act of war. Furthermore, I'll just take for granted that Megrahi was not wearing a uniform of the Lybian military when he planted the bomb and therefore was indistinguishable from any other civilian which now puts him in the category of a saboteur, or at the very least a spy. Finally, his target had no military value at all and every casualty was a civilian.

So applying the Geneva Conventions to Former's analysis I think we can accurately Scott M's summation of double-tap as the appropriate end result.

QED

Big Mike said...

@edutcher, I attempted to research the British order of battle for Louisbourg (I'm assuming 1758, as the first siege of Louisbourg took place the same year as Culloden so it seems unlikely that there would be many Scottish soldiers in those British forces) but I couldn't find anything quickly. However researching the BEF's order of battle for Dunkirk took me to page 75 of Patrick Wilson's book Dunkirk: From Disaster to Deliverance. Based on what I read on that page and the next I accept your rebuke. I've removed my snarky response at 2:14.

Paddy O. said...

Reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzj_f3Iw6NI

Big Mike, I think the Scots have often shown courage, only to be betrayed by their government. Scots tend to be brave, Scottish leadership, not as much.

A little closer to our own time is this example of a common Scotsman responding to terrorism.

Republican said...

Q: What is the immediate reaction of the US family members after the release of Megrahi by Scotland on "compassionate grounds"?

A: We were surprised that the Scots would release the bomber, outraged that the decision seemed to be motivated by commercial interests, and befuddled with the numerous comments from Col. Gadhafi's son, Saif. We knew there would be a hero's welcome for this murderous, wicked little man, and that is exactly what happened when he returned to Libya. Many victims’ family members were in tears. Nineteen nations had achieved, after many years of investigation and prosecution, the conviction of only one man, Mr. Megrahi, for the largest crime in the history of the United Kingdom. We know there were more involved and this was an act of state sponsored terrorism, and now this one man was being sent home a hero. It was obscene.

Q: How do you feel about the reception Megrahi received when he landed back in his native Libya?

A: It was disgusting and insulting.

http://www.victimsofpanamflight103.org/node/9

edutcher said...

No problem, Mike. No rebuke intended, just a correction.

I was impressed some years ago by an account in a book detailing the development of American military tradition. The 78th Foot (Fraser Highlanders) facing Louisbourg stormed the abatis surrounding it for hours. Frustrated and taking heavy casualties, the Scotsmen finally threw away their muskets and tried hacking at the barricades with their claymores.

Needless to say, that didn't work, either. After the battle, the French commander's wife (who insisted on firing three rounds of artillery personally each day of the siege) and Lord Amherst exchanged gifts. War was a little different back then.

WV "chusn" Those who are habitues of delicatessens; as in chusn people.

David said...

People "outline their prognosis" all the time. That's not the point.

The man perpetrated an appalling crime. The only "compassion" he was entitled to was a lawful trial.

He got his trial and was convicted. He never should have been released, regardless of his health status.

vbspurs said...

I think the number of graves around places like Louisbourg and Dunkirk might refute that.

Edutcher, it was rhetorical flourish! We all love that, every now and again, without holding it against the light of absolute truth. :)

edutcher said...

I wasn't trying to give Mike a hard time, just mention that Scots courage is hard to kill (I say that being of Irish descent).

vbspurs said...

Tangentially, Edutcher, I once saw a documentary on early cinema showing a film with representations of races and ethnicities. The "darkies" such as the Spanish were shown attacking each other with knives at a honky tonk, after a man grabbed one of the other's woman. But the Scots challenged each other to a duel with their noble swords.

A kilt-wearing race of noble warriors! Ahh. It's good to be Scots.

Cheers,
Victoria

edutcher said...

Keep in mind that the companion to the claymore was the dirk, for sliding under a man's ribs when things got up close and that an all metal version of the small highwayman's pistol was known colloquially in Bonnie Scotland as the "cutthroat pistol". A Scotsman was always well-armed.

Are you from there originally, vb, or a native American?

PS The word, darkie, apparently didn't carry quite the sting it does today. Stephen Foster, a staunch Union man, wrote a patriotic song during the Civil War, "A Soldier in the Darky Brigade" , praising the men who served in the Colored regiments.

Big Mike said...

Hey, Victoria and edutcher, my paternal grandmother was a McCullough, so there's Scots blood in my veins too. (Though how much is unknowable -- the Scots and Irish immigrants to what was then "the colonies" intermarried a lot and are called Scots-Irish today.)

So there.

Big Mike said...

Getting back to al Megrahi, it's nice to know that, as far as the UK is concerned, once the US and Canadian tourists are flying back home and you've collected all the money they're going to spend, then whatever happens to them is pretty much okay.

I mean, so they're dead. The people on that Pan Am flight weren't going to spend any more pounds once they returned to North American, so aside from the cost of cleaning up the mess the UK doesn't much care what happened to them. That's pretty much what I take away from all this.

edutcher said...

Big Mike said...

Hey, Victoria and edutcher, my paternal grandmother was a McCullough, so there's Scots blood in my veins too. (Though how much is unknowable -- the Scots and Irish immigrants to what was then "the colonies" intermarried a lot and are called Scots-Irish today.)

Be careful on the whole Scotch-Irish thing (and that's the proper term; Scots-Irish came in with James Webb's book, I believe).

Cromwell imported many Scots Presbyterians into Ireland in the early 17th century in the hope they would intermarry with the Catholics and Hibernia would become a little more manageable.
Needless to say, it didn't work out as planned.

Some stayed forming the backbone of Protestant domination in Ulster. The rest migrated to the US in the early 18th century, becoming the good ol' boys of Appalachia and the southern portion of the Middle Colonies (Pennsylvanian Daniel Boone, for instance). The term Scotch-Irish is semi-derogatory, meaning a Scotsman who was moved to Ireland.

One of the great ironies of American history is that the Irish who emigrated to America in the 1840s faced the Scotch-Irish on the battlefields of the Civil War. In that round, the Scotch-Irish lost.

WV "hipli" How his admirers think Barry Obama does everything.

Big Mike said...

@edutcher, you could be right, but I was taught that Scotch is what you drink and a Scot is who you fight with.

Big Mike said...

And here's perhaps the most famous Irish versus Irish battle of the Civil War.

I appreciate the captioning in this clip, so one can understand the thick Irish brogue being spoken.

(It wouldn't be until Spotsylvania, much later in the war, when a young Union colonel got the bright idea that one should charge entrenched Confederate positions as fast as the troops could run and not stop short, stand upright, and get blown to pieces.)

edutcher said...

Scotch-Irish was the term still in use in the 50s and, as far as I know, was the traditional one in use.

Scots-Irish may predate Webb, so we could end up in the middle somewhere. If memory serves, there was something of an effort to replace Scotch with Scots to refer in general usage to all things from Scotland sometime in the mid-60s.

Fredericksburg was a mess, another Ambrose Burnside production, like the bridge at Antietam and the Crater.

vbspurs said...

Are you from there originally, vb, or a native American?

Nono, I am not Scots. Well, it's complicated. My paternal grandmother was a Scotswoman, but I am English (born/bred). It's just that she belonged to the Queen Mother's generation that never forgot their love of Scotland, but in everything else, including accent and outlook, was English.

You know, today it is HORRIBLY un-PC to call Britain "England" -- it's especially unthinkable amongst Scots. But that's the way she and her generation referred to the country.

vbspurs said...

Re: Scots/Irish. Remember guys that the Picts, the original dark-haired inhabitants of Scotland, were wiped out en masse. The people you know as Scots today are really all Irish.

In Scotland, proper, except in the nationalistic Highlands, there is an easy acceptance of the Irish. Just think that the greatest Scottish import of today, Susan Boyle, is herself the daughter of Irish immigrants (as is almost all of Glasgow).

edutcher said...

I know what you mean about complicated, vb. Irish Catholic, with just the smallest soupcon of German Jewish on one side, English, slightly tinged with German, and Knickerbocker Dutch on the other.

The Dutch go back to the patroons of New Amsterdam, the Irish came over in time for the Gold Rush and refused to get involved in any of the Anglo-Irish unpleasantness (I may have had a forbear at Gettysburg; I know I had one in the Continental Army, no mean feat for someone with roots in New York State). "You're an American", dear old mum always told me.

I know there's still a strong Catholic minority in Scotland, I remember when Ian Paisley tried to save Caledonia from them; didn't know there were that many immigrants - fleeing the Troubles, no doubt. God, that whole support the IRA nonsense made me sick.

Rant out. Sleep well, Mike and vb.

Nice talking to you.

traditionalguy said...

Reading up on the Scots-Irish discussion, I remember that many Scots were from a conquest/settlement expedition from around Bergen Norway that governed the NE'ly quarter of Scotland from around 900 AD to 1300AD. This area's surplus population joined with the SW'ly Scotland's border Scots surplus population were moved in the English Government's offer of lands in Northern Ireland to colonize to established English control of lands in Ireland forfeited to the English King as punishment for certain Irish Catholic/Jacobin revolutionary alliances. But these families were mostly border Scots that lived by their 1000 year tradition of fighting almost never ending wars along the Scots/English contested border. All went well for them in Northern Ireland for 50 years until the English had finished using their fighting skills and then turned upon them legally in every way. Some 200,000 then emigrated to the new world between 1715 until 1765 taking with them a most sincere hatred for the backstabbing English State Church and Aristocracy. Andrew Jackson's family is an example. They were Presbyterians, but in the frontier areas were education was lacking many joined the Baptist church. There is still a band of their settlements from a northerly hub around Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to a southerly hub around Lexington, Virginia. They were as always most valued for a willingness to fight enemies (the Indians this time). Many later left for fighting Mexicans in the Republic of Texas (for example,Sam Houston and Davy Crockett). During The Revolutionary War they made up the largest numbers of the Army/Militias that fought the hated English King. A study of the turning point battle of Kings Mountain shows what the English were up against trying to suppress what the English forces then called "The Scots-Irish Presbyterian Revolt in the Colonies." Some of my ancestors came from County Armagh in Northern Ireland (the Sterritts) and from Germany near Bavaria (the Hazels) on one side and from Scotland (the Donaldsons) on the other side. My male family members seem to have retained an innate desire to fight others in competitive sports and in litigation. Learning when to fight, and learning who is the enemy and learning to make and keep necessary alliances, are important skills to be learned in a Scots-Irish lifestyle that we highly value when we see them in others.

Youngblood said...

FLS wrote:

"The commentariat should now appreciate why terrorists should be treated as criminals. Under the war model, Scotland would have had no choice but to send Megrahi back, under Article 110 of the Third Geneva Convention, as a sick person whom medical opinion has determined will not recover within one year."

Sorry, FLS, you still don't know what you're talking about or how the Geneva Conventions work, in theory or in practice.

Al-Megrahi wouldn't have qualified for the protections offered to POWs under the Third Geneva Convention, so citing one of those protections proves only that you don't know what you're talking about. (Article 4 lays out the criteria.)

Al-Megrahi would have actually defaulted to the fairly minimal protections offered by the Fourth Geneva Convention, and then only until he was tried, found guilty, and handed a sentence.

After that point, the Geneva Conventions wouldn't have applied to him anymore.

In this case, the "war model" would have produced precisely the same effect as the "crime model".

In fact, the process that Al-Megrahi went through was much closer to the "war model" than the "crime model". (He faced a special tribunal on neutral ground, as opposed to a normal criminal trial.)

So, sorry, you're still clueless.

virgil xenophon said...

Hell Youngblood, read your own link! He doesn't even meet the requirements of the 4th. And the POINT IS, the determination as to whether he meets the requirements of the 4th Accord is made by the CAPTURING AUTHORITY, NOT a court. This is what allows for summary execution. No carrying of weapons in the open, no ID card, etc., you're a gone goose. Period. Full Stop.

And there is a philosophical reason behind the reason summary executions are allowed. They are allowed so as to attempt to keep the entire civilian population from coming under suspicion of being terrorists. Because when this happens, the unfortunate result is that authorities, in frustration, take to ham-fisted measures like wide-ranging arrest drag-nets which sweep up many innocents and subjects them to harsh confinement and interrogation techniques needlessly. It puts schools, hospitals and places of worship under suspicion when used as ammunition dumps, plotting or fighting spaces, etc., which encourages their destruction by authorities.

In short, summary executions are allowed--nay encouraged--precisely to serve to inhibit and cowe potential terrorist activity so as to shield the general population from being dragged into conflicts.

And you can comb the Accords all you want, but nowhere in there will you find verbiage which demands that summary judgment be made thru the courts. The tryor of guilt is NOT a court--no such language demanding this be so is to be found. Instead summary judgment is to be made by the same authority as the one meting out summary execution, i.e., the capturing "authority"--which can be nothing more than a squad of soldiers led by a corporal.

former law student said...

This is what allows for summary execution.


The Fourth Geneva Convention does not allow for summary execution. You should try reading it some time. The official commentary points to Article 30 of the regulations of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907: "A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial."

Al-Megrahi wouldn't have qualified for the protections offered to POWs under the Third Geneva Convention

Then he would have been treated as a criminal, which he was.

Michael Follon said...

former law student:

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds in accordance with section 3 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993. Under Scots Law ANY person serving a custodial sentence MAY be released if that release is supported by the police, the prison governor and medical opinion is that the prisoner MAY die in approximately 3 months.

John Lynch writes:

'...There's no way that a municipal government has the power to release a mass murderer to another country. There's no way the Scottish government has the power...'

The Scottish government is NOT a municipal government. Read the Scotland Act 1998.

74. ...By the time of the Union a well-defined and independent system of Scottish law had been established. This was recognised in the Union settlement, which provided for the preservation of the separate code of Scots law and the Scottish judiciary and legal system. Under Article XIX the two highest Scottish courts - the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary - were to continue, and were not to be subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts. These bodies have remained respectively the supreme civil and criminal courts in Scotland, while beneath them there is a completely separate Scottish system of jurisdiction and law courts, with a judiciary, advocates and solicitors, none of whom are interchangeable with their English counterparts...

76. ...Nevertheless the two systems remain separate, and - a unique constitutional phenomenon within a unitary state - stand to this day in the same juridical relationship to one another as they do individually to the system of any foreign country.'

SOURCE: 'ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE CONSTITUTION, 1969-1973', VOLUME I, Cmnd. 5460

Youngblood said...

Virgil wrote:

"Hell Youngblood, read your own link! He doesn't even meet the requirements of the 4th."

I don't follow. I linked to Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention, which lays out the criteria for receiving POW protections under the Third Geneva Convention.

If a detainee or prisoner doesn't meet those requirements, then he is entitled to the protections of the Fourth by default. If there is any doubt as to whether or not he meets them, then his case is to be heard by a competent tribunal. If it is determined that he didn't meet those criteria, then he receives the Protections of the Fourth.

"And the POINT IS, the determination as to whether he meets the requirements of the 4th Accord is made by the CAPTURING AUTHORITY, NOT a court."

No. The Fourth Geneva Convention deals with civilians (broadly speaking), who have minimal protections when compared to POWs under the Third. The Fourth Convention is a catch-all category for everybody who isn't covered under one of the first three conventions. This was reaffirmed as recently as 1998, in the Celebici detainment camp trial.

"This is what allows for summary execution. No carrying of weapons in the open, no ID card, etc., you're a gone goose. Period. Full Stop."

The Geneva Conventions do not allow summary executions. Period. Full stop.

"And you can comb the Accords all you want, but nowhere in there will you find verbiage which demands that summary judgment be made thru the courts."

This is simply untrue. See Article 6 of Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions:

"2. No sentence shall be passed and no penalty shall be executed on a person found guilty of an offence except pursuant to a conviction pronounced by a court offering the essential guarantees of independence and impartiality."

It's right there in plain language.

Youngblood said...

Note:

Virgil, looking at your comment, I realize where the disconnect is.

Each of the Geneva Conventions deals with the treatment that different classes of persons must receive under international law.

The First Geneva Convention deals with the treatment of the sick, injured, and dead on land. The Second Geneva Convention deals with the same at sea. The Third Geneva Convention deals with POWs. The Fourth Deals with everybody else.

As I clearly explained, I was pointing to Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention, which lays out who that convention covers, to illustrate to FLS (and anyone else who cares) that Al-Megrahi wouldn't have been entitled to the protections of that specific convention.

He would have been covered under the Fourth, which deals with civilians (broadly speaking) and provides fairly minimal protections. The "big" protection that it offers is the right to a trial. This is mainly intended to protect the civilian population from imprisonment, summary execution, and other forms of reprisal. This is fairly lenient, and gives the benefit of the doubt to unlawful combatants in the most minimal sense.

The reason for this is that the Geneva Conventions, as we now know them, are very much a product of World War II. During World War II, most of the "unlawful combatants" were on the side of the Allies -- the French resistance, the Partisans in the Balkans, and so on. In addition, the Allies made us of unconventional warfare on a scale never before seen. As a result, these tactics were enshrined within the text of the Geneva Conventions.

Youngblood said...

FLS wrote:

"Then he would have been treated as a criminal, which he was."

Right.

However, you said that under the war model, Al-Megrahi would have been treated as a prisoner of war under the Third Geneva Conventions. I pointed out that you were wrong and that he would have been treated as a war criminal under the provisions of the Fourth.

If you didn't get my point, then I will spell it out for you:

The Geneva Conventions make allowances for dealing with war crimes in a legal fashion. The dichotomy that you present between the "war model" and a presumed "crime model" is not merely a false one, it's complete bullshit.

It is possible to treat terrorists as unlawful combatants under the war model (or unprivileged belligerents, spies, saboteurs, franc-tireurs, or whatever terminology you'd like to use) and try them as such.

Michael Follon said...

This is to clarify part of a previous comment which I submitted and concerns the second sentence in the part of the comment addressed to former law student. The following words should be inserted between the words 'released' and 'is and replaces the words 'if that' in line 4 -

'if an application for release on compassionate grounds has been made and if that application for release on compassionate grounds'

The guidelines for compassionate release are supplied by the Scottish Prison Service. A prisoner released on compassionate grounds remains in the eyes of the law convicted. Such a release is NOT a pardon. In the 10 years since the devolved Scottish Parliament was established there have been 30 applications for release on compassionate grounds, 23 of these have been granted because they satisfied ALL the criteria for such a release.