Maybe letting prisoners have it their way should be an option.
A Guardian story today reports that the UN and World Medical Assembly might prefer to let prisoners die under their own free will than to force feed them to keep them alive.
Under that logic, might the UN take another step and say that prisoners should be asked if they wish to be executed rather than staying on an indefinite course of incarceration?
Let’s reset the situation. The prisoners at Guantanamo were captured as enemy combatants trying to kill Americans on the terrorists’ battlefield. They were not on the battlefield at the request of a host nation. They were there as mercenaries under their own free will.
They could have been shot and killed in battle, but were captured and sent to Guantanamo because they were not classified as prisoners of war with rights under the Geneva convention. Instead, they are treated as a form of terrorist combatants, to be tried in the military court.
Where it gets very complicated is determining what rights they have to due process, and what military due process is for enemy combatants.
Remember always that these individuals are enemies of free people and civil society. They are America’s enemies and will be treated accordingly.
- Ask prisoners’ nations of origin to take them back for disposition as they see fit.
- Strongly urge nations of origin to prosecute them as terrorists. Not doing so makes the host nation complicit in their actions with consequences.
- In the circumstance of known terrorist leaders, expedite their prosecution and convict them to punishment by death.
While there is some criticism that the Obama government is using drones to wipe out terrorists without taking prisoners, if that is a strategy or policy, in many cases it makes sense. In exceptional cases, it may be desirable to capture a suspect and interrogate them and prosecute them in the military court. The possible venues for that include military bases around the world where host nations permit incarceration and trials.
“According to the World Medical Assembly’s Declaration of Malta, in cases involving people on hunger strikes, the duty of medical personnel to act ethically and the principle of respect for individuals’ autonomy, among other principles, must be respected.
Under these principles, it is unjustifiable to engage in forced feeding of individuals contrary to their informed and voluntary refusal of such a measure. Moreover, hunger strikers should be protected from all forms of coercion, even more so when this is done through force and in some cases through physical violence.”