President Bush signed into law Tuesday new guidelines for interrogating and prosecuting terror suspects, the final step in a process that started after the Supreme Court in June struck down the administration's plan to conduct military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees.
The bill would protect detainees from blatant abuses during questioning — such as rape, torture and "cruel and inhuman" treatment — but does not require that any of them be granted legal counsel. Read more.
FNC wants to know what you think — What is the most important aspect of processing detainees? If you were president, how would you deal with the challenge of "stateless" detainees?
E-mail us at email@example.com to jump into the debate!
Here's what FOX Fans are saying:
"All these people seem to think that everyone we detained is actually a terrorist. All humans have rights, and we should treat terrorists the same way we treat criminals in the U.S. They should not be tortured; they should have counsel and the right to hear the evidence. Sure, it will make it harder to convict them and might even make us more vulnerable to attack. But don't we already treat gangsters and murderers this way and accept the risk? In the long run, won't we win more friends in the world by actually living up to our rhetoric?" — Darren (Texas)
"Providing suspected terrorists — people captured during combat or arrested based upon reasonable evidence — anything above and beyond food and shelter is pure political correctness. A military court is the only jurisdiction that should be allowed to try these suspected terrorists. The findings of the military court should be final with no appeal. Guilty verdicts should result in a sentence of immediate execution. Non-guilty verdicts should result in the deportation of the acquitted terrorist to their home country." — Jeff (Little Rock, AK)
"Keep detainees until the war is over. Of course, we do not rape, torture or treat our captives inhumanely. This is not acceptable. But, these are terrorist and not soldiers defending a country. In war and in conflict, we must prevail. They have no rights under our Constitution. They are not American citizens, and they do not fall under the Geneva Convention." — David
"Terror suspects should not be beaten and tortured, but they need to be dealt with by more than just a warning and a slap on the wrist. This has nothing to do with forgiveness, respect, or rights. This is about protecting people from terrorist organizations who would not hesitate to kill." — Lisa
"I would give them the right to eat, sleep, and live. Other than that, they have no rights. They are not American citizens and they do not represent any foreign government, therefore they do not fall under the Geneva Convention." — Ed (Gulfport, MS)
"I would invest the time and personnel to ensure a fair hearing for each detainee. If the detainees are found to be terrorists, beyond a reasonable doubt, I would do whatever is needed to protect our country." — Craig
"If they were American-born and were now with Al Qaeda, then they should be charged with treason. If they live in the Arab world, or elsewhere, they should be sent back and barred permanently from the U.S. If, by chance, they were to return and were captured again, they would be given a life sentence without parole or the death penalty with no appeal." — Robert
"I would remember the philosophy that made the United States stand out amongst all nations. The very idea that rights are 'afforded' or 'given' to people is abhorrent to the principles of this nation. We, as a nation, do not believe governments grant people rights. Rights pre-exist governments; they are inherent in our very existence as human beings. Nations only offer the security of officially recognizing rights, and when governments refuse to recognize rights or become hostile to their existence, it is our duty as citizens to rebel against such tyranny." — Erik
"Stateless detainees are like pirates on the high seas — they have no rights, and they have this status by choice. When pirates hoisted the Jolly Roger, it instilled fear or 'terror' in their chosen targets. Ships would give up the treasures of their homelands to try and appease the pirates, creating a false sense of security and well-being. When pirates were captured, they were dealt with decisively and sometimes brutally to send a message to those wishing to join their ranks. Rights are not God-given; they are state-given. No state means no rights!" — Bradlee (Tallahassee, FL)
"The terror suspects are just that — suspects. This administration is quite capable of locking up anybody they don't like, including political and religious enemies. These detainees must have access to a lawyer. I hate real terrorists as much as anyone, but human beings deserve basic rights because they are human beings, not because they are American citizens. If our authorities cannot give reasonable proof that a person is potentially dangerous or guilty of a crime, that person must be freed. " — John (Texas)
"If I were president, captured unlawful fighters would be offered the opportunity to provide accurate, actionable intelligence against terrorist targets in exchange for their lives, to be lived out in a military maximum security, low amenity prison camp. Should they decline this offer, they would be subject to immediate execution, or life without the possibility of parole at hard labor inside a military-run maximum security, low amenity prison." — James (El Paso, TX)
"To deny anyone in custody legal counsel is a violation of the Sixth Amendment, be they citizen or not. By denying these ‘battlefield detainees’ (a.k.a. ‘prisoners of war’) their rights under the Geneva Convention, we put ourselves in the same league as the Nazis of WWII. We call ourselves a Christian nation but yet we do not practice forgiveness. The Amish have shown more forgiveness in the past month than this nation has shown in the past 230 years." — Barry
"Human rights: food, shelter, and that's it! No Koran, no Bible, no lawyers. They aren't protected by the Constitution of the United States, nor the Geneva Convention (they're not soldiers, they're terrorists). I would allow the use of psychological and physical torture, provided that it didn't result in disfigurement, permanent disability, or death." — Jeff
"I would offer the terrorists the very basic rights only so that they are kept alive. No legal counsel would be provided, as they would be expected to defend themselves in court. No translator would be available either. Would they provide me a translator if I were arrested in their country? They would be given minimal water and food, and they would be fed pork and alcohol." — Tom (Michigan)
"I’d offer no rights to the detainees and terrorists being held. These people are not citizens of the United States of America and should have no rights that LEGAL citizens of this great country are granted. They should have a trial in a military court and should not be subjected to any rights or privileges from the Constitution." — Tony (Canton, OH)
"International law exempts terrorists from the Geneva Convention. They are afforded no rights, and that is as it should be. If I were president, I would order the vigorous interrogation of terror suspects and the execution of those found guilty. Those found not guilty would be deported back to their native country." — Buck (Georgia)
"If I were president, I would give them the same rights that they give us in their prisons, only with a twist. Since Islam believes that pigs are dirty and you can not get into heaven if you come in contact with them, I would be sure to have my detainees housed near a pig farm. During interrogation, I would bring in the largest pig I could find, and just sit the detainee and the pig together. If the detainee doesn’t cooperate, I would let piggy get a little closer. This doesn't harm the detainee, just scares them a bit, and I bet they would answer the questions." — Constance
"I would offer them some very basic rights, unless there is reasonable evidence to think that they have knowledge of a imminent attack, such as a bomb in a building, or the location of U.S. hostages. Then, they would lose their rights, and I would authorize any and all measures to protect the citizens of our country." — Marc
"I would give them no recognition at all. Terrorists are terrorists, nothing more. We have no incentive to treat them better; they won’t treat us better. We do not have to take any ‘moral high ground’ either. Does anyone actually believe that we would be respected, or treated better, by terrorists for taking the high ground?" — Erik (Atlanta)