The Bush administration, called to account by Congress in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling blocking military tribunals, said Tuesday all detainees at Guantanamo Bay and in U.S. military custody everywhere are entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said efforts to spell out more clearly the rights of detainees does not change the president's determination to work with Congress to enable the administration to proceed with the military tribunals, or commissions. "The Supreme Court pretty much said it's over to you guys (the administration and Congress) to figure out how to do this. And that is where this is headed."
Daniel Dell'Orto, principal deputy general counsel at the Pentagon, said, "The military commission set up does provide a right to counsel, a trained military defense counsel and the right to private counsel of the detainee's choice. We see no reason to change that in legislation." Read more.
How do you think the administration should process the Guantanamo detainees, now that they are protected under the Geneva Conventions?
E-mail us at email@example.com and jump into the debate!
Check out what FOX Fans are saying:
"Continuing to hold prisoners while disregarding the Geneva Conventions will cause us to lose standing with the rest of the world. Most countries do not like the U.S. already. Ignoring international agreements and treating our prisoners poorly will just increase this perception. It may be a difficult reality to swallow with suspected terrorists, but we need to treat the Guantanamo detainees with the rights they are granted." — Ken (Orangeburg, NY)
"Since these terrorists didn't care about the rights of the people they killed, we shouldn't care about their rights either. I don't agree that they should be treated in accordance to the Geneva Convention. I believe that if someone acts in terrorism, they lose any rights they once had." — Chris
"Americans speak out of both sides of their mouths. If it were an American being jailed, we say he or she is innocent until proven guilty. The prisoners at Guantanamo have not been found guilty, yet they have been confined for years without any representation. I don't think the founders of our country would agree with this treatment. They may be guilty, but they at least deserve a hearing with proper representation." — HL
"I wasn't aware that the Taliban and Al Qaeda were signatories to the Geneva treaty. I think that the Supreme Court is wrong in this case. These are not soldiers; they represent no government, nor do they wear uniforms. They act contrary to the Geneva Treaty with respect to the prisoners, detainees, and hostages that they take, so why should they be afforded protection under it?" — Phil (Rensselaer, NY)
"We should follow the international guidelines, just as we expect other nations to do so. Our Supreme Court agrees with the international interpretation of the rules with respect to prisoners of war. It's our responsibility to follow the rules, even if the others don't." — John (Sturgis, SD)
"I dislike the possibility of treating the detainees at Guantanamo as if they deserve the rights given under the Geneva Convention. These men would not be in prison if they had followed their responsibilities under the Convention — letting them have the rights they denied others is morally repugnant. It also allows them the possibility of being excused on a technicality." — Robert (Twentynine Palms, CA)
"The Bush administration either needs to charge these people with something, and supply some proof, or else let them go. The very fact that the enemy isn't wearing a uniform on the battlefield makes it problematic to identify actual terrorists versus innocent bystanders." — Randall (Texas)
"We're at war with terrorists. When the war is over, then we can talk about who needs trials and who doesn't. Meanwhile, Gitmo is the place for such captured terrorists. Letting any of them go, to fight another day, is stupid and dangerous." — Dan (Texas)
"The military knows full well its own policies concerning prisoners. On the battlefield, if a U.S. soldier cannot maintain a prisoner, then he can't shoot him — he must release him. Gitmo is a similar situation. The prisoners must either be tried and punished, or released. The Pentagon is stalling for time, knowing it can't detain them forever, but trying to keep the prisoners detained as long as possible while the legal system plays out." — Joe (Martinez, GA)
"Protection under the Geneva Convention for these detainees is ludicrous to say the least. They should be treated as what they are." — WEA (Bismarck, ND)
"Keep them locked up and throw away the key." — Jan (Riverview, FL)
"These are enemy combatants. They need to be tried by military tribunals just like we tried the Nazis after WWII. We should execute the worst and imprison the rest for life. We owe our military the justice of military tribunals for all terrorist detainees." — R.N. (Lansing, MI)
"These detainees have been treated like royalty at Guantanamo. I am very disappointed with our Supreme Court." — Joe (Dana Point, CA)