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Web Letter

I am puzzled by the mistaken notion that Dubya "excluded" the Al Qaeda terrorists from the Geneva Convention.

The GC recognized only two categories of people, civilian non-combatants and military personnel. Military is defined by having: unit formations, ranks, pay systems, service numbers, issed weapons, uniforms, service to a government, and several others. Al Qaeda operatives did not fit even a single one of these points, and the Taliban fit only as being more-or-less a government.

What should have happened was to declare them "semi-POWs" and grant them most of the rights of POWs, and then there is legal justification to hold them "for the duration" until AQ and the Taliban surrender.

The whole thing was a needless side issue that clouded up the situation of the continued fight for democracy, as shown by last week's Iraq elections. Too many people got too wrapped up in minor details!

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Feb 4 2009 - 3:56am