Andrew McCarthy writes of the nonsense of giving terrorists POW status.
on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Gonzales. Critics are urging committee Democrats to question the nominee aggressively on the benighted administration policy of no Geneva protections for terrorists whose lives are singularly dedicated to annihilating Americans. Fair game, one supposes, but no senator should be allowed to take up the torch without at least answering a simple question: Do you favor a treaty with al Qaeda?
The inarguable, inconvenient fact is we have no such treaty. Al Qaeda is not and, indeed, cannot be among Geneva's high contracting parties. It is not a country. The U.S. has for over two decades expressly rejected a treaty — the 1977 Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions — that would have vested terrorists with Geneva protections. I hate to spoil the party, but if we're going to have such a treaty with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, it will have to be a new one.
Under Article III of the Constitution, the consent of two thirds of the Senate's membership is required before a treaty can be approved. Although we haven't yet been able to arrange getting President Bush and Emir Zarqawi together for a signing ceremony, getting the senators on record — especially given the caviling over Gonzales — could really get the ball rolling. So let's ask them. All of them. Plain and simple, so the folks back home know just where you stand: Do you favor a treaty with al Qaeda?