Friday, May 28, 2004
Geneva Conventions:Human rights organizations, and others, often make the argument that we should follow the Geneva Conventions because if we do not, then our opponents in future wars would use that as an excuse to mistreat American soldiers that they capture. This argument is often applied (bizarrely) by human rights organizations to terrorists who do not qualify for POW status under the Geneva conventions.
America follows the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war for two reasons. First, because we signed the agreement. Second, because humane treatment of prisoners of war is in line with American values.
American troops should be under no illusions, however, that they will ever be treated according to the Geneva Conventions if they are captured.
A soldier initially listed as killed in action while riding in the same doomed convoy as former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch actually had been captured by Iraqi fighters before he was killed, the Oregon National Guard said Thursday.
More than a year after the March 23, 2003, ambush, the military released new details to the family of Sgt. Donald Walters of Salem, Ore.
The Pentagon investigated his death after his mother filed Freedom of Information requests, believing the Army had not given her son credit for actions first attributed to Lynch, such as fighting until his ammunition had run out.
Walters "was held separately from his fellow soldiers and killed while in custody," according to a news release from the National Guard.
"He was executed - shot twice in the back," Guard spokesman Maj. Arnold Strong said in a telephone interview Thursday. "An Iraqi ambulance driver witnessed six fedayeen rebels standing outside a building guarding him while he was still alive. That same witness evacuated his dead body to a hospital."
Defense investigators confirmed the account by matching Walters' DNA to blood splatter on the wall where he was executed, Strong said. He died from two gunshot wounds to the back, fired from more than 20 feet away, according to Strong's account of the investigation findings.
Walters' murder is a war crime.
Don't expect it to get as much press coverage as naked Iraqis in Abu Ghraib.