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Just had a thought... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Just had a thought... [Jul. 2nd, 2005|05:40 pm]

The military has control of this building, right? Not Abu Ghraib, or anything, just *a building*. Any old building, in any part of the world. But it could be in Iraq... it just doesn't have to be.

They have not, repeat, *HAVE NOT* been given orders to ignore activities of people who are not in the military chain of command. I mean, just anyone not in the chain of command. I don't mean, oh, the CIA, for example. I just mean a bunch of civilians.

These other poeple, who aren't the CIA necessarily, commit acts that are violations of the Geneva Conventions. I don't necessarily mean capturing people, and holding them without word, and maybe torturing them, maybe even to death in some circumstances.

I just mean, the military knows that some definite Geneva Convention no-nos are being performed in *A BUILDING* that is officially under military control. Being performed by non-military personnel. Not the CIA, but, hey, it *could* be. This is, after all, just an example, a f'r instance. But these people *are* Americans.

They know about this. Aren't they supposed to stop these Geneva Convention no-nos?

I mean, if they didn't, would that be rock solid proof that they've been given orders from high up *not* to?

I mean, if they said in official, non-secret military reports that they knew about these things? (Because, see, that means these things are so well known, and so not-a-secret, that they couldn't plead lack of knowledge.)

Because, you see, I've been thinking hard about this. The CIA is not a DOD agency. They're not in the military chain of command. They *can't* order the military around. Not without a higher authority. At least, not as I understand it.

And while the military can't order the CIA around (similar reasons: no chain of command), I thought the military was under an obligation to stop violations of the Geneva Conventions. I mean, sure, if they had something else they *had* to do, they'd have to do that, first. But they had plenty of time for, shall we say, "photo ops", so I think they had time and resources. So, am I right or wrong? They would be under an obligation to stop these violations...

Unless they'd been given orders not to do so.

Does anyone know (I mean *KNOW* - you can point to regs that say so) if I'm right or wrong? Or know if talking to a JAG could set me straight?

Because suddenly, I'm awfully curious.

[User Picture]From: wcg
2005-07-03 01:28 am (UTC)
You knew I'd have to reply to this, didn't you?

The significant terms here are OpCon and AdCon. If we assume that this building is under the Operational Control and Administrative Control of a military officer, then it's a clear cut case of the officer having unequivocal authority in that building *and* under existing law the officer would be required to uphold the laws of the United States and any international agreements that the United States is a party to.

If the building is under the Operational Control of a military officer, but under the Administrative Control of some Other Government Agency, the questions become murkier. They get murkier still if a particular portion of the building has been placed under the Administrative Control of an Other Government Agency. It's even worse if that portion of the building is under both the OpCon and the AdCon of the OGO, while the rest of the building remains under the OpCon and AdCon of the military officer.

(We pause for a moment for me to mention that if *I* am that military officer, I want very clear written orders detailing what the boundaries of my authority are. Because I'm going to make certified true copies of them and mail them back home.)

Troops working in the building who observe an action "within sight or hearing" which is questionable to them would take immediate action to alert the Sergeant of the Guard about the questionable activity. The SoG would then either act on his own initiative to put a stop to the matter, or would bring it to the attention of the Officer of the Day, who would have the immediate authority to enforce all applicable laws and regulations.

In any subsequent investigation of alleged criminal activity, the log books of the SoG and OD would be impounded as evidence.
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