This is not a treatment of US soldiers issue either -- no jihadi has or will ever give Geneva Convention rights to US soldiers. The Vietnamese were bound by the Geneva Convention -- and McCain has first-hand knowledge how little that treaty meant to them. Instead, the McCain concerns are a puerile attempt to court favor with Europeans, the media, liberals and to burnish his credentials as a Presidential candidate regardless of the deleterious effect on the US anti-terrorism efforts.
Here's what McCainism would lead to if taken to its natural conclusion, from Brendan Miniter's column in the WSJ:
In setting up terrorist tribunals the administration has two options. It can adopt the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the same body of law used to court-martial soldiers, in its entirety or with certain exceptions. This is the path Sens. Graham and McCain want the administration to take. Or it can write a new set of laws specifically designed to handle unlawful combatants.
Before making up his mind on which direction the administration should take, Mr. Hunter asked military officials testifying before his committee a very simple question: If terrorists apprehended on the battlefield are to be tried under the UCMJ, when will the right to an attorney kick in? The answer, Mr. Hunter learned, is about when soldiers have a suspected al Qaeda operative "spread eagled over the hood" of a HMVEE. It was clear to him then that the legal code for military tribunals "has to be something custom made for the war on terror."
In other words, the logical conclusion of the McCain position would yield preposterous results.
John Hawkins is even more blunt, but no less accurate:
Exactly what protections are our troops being provided by the Geneva Convention? No enemy we've ever fought or are fighting has abided by it. So, in real world terms, the Geneva Convention provides no protection for our troops whatsoever. If we completely withdrew from the Geneva Convention tomorrow, it would have no impact at all on how our troops are treated.
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If the Geneva Convention were actually being properly applied, it wouldn't apply to terrorists. If people, including irresponsible Supreme Court Justices, want to pretend that it actually does apply to terrorists, then the Geneva Convention has outlived its usefulness and should be abandoned.