First Article ONE requires:
The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.
Terrorists do not represent a Nation and certainly are not a High Contracting Party.
Article 2 declares:
In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
Terrorists do not accept nor do they apply Geneva Conventions.
But within article 4 is the REAL kicker:
Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.
Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it. Nationals of a neutral State who find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State, and nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic representation in the State in whose hands they are.
The provisions of Part II are, however, wider in application, as defined in Article 13.
Persons protected by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, or by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of August 12, 1949, or by the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, shall not be considered as protected persons within the meaning of the present Convention.
So looking beyond the desperate assertions and bumper sticker talking points, terrorist non-uniformed enemy combatants of no national origin are NOT protected by any Geneva Conventions.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
But again, let’s look at the definition of torture by the United Nations;
Article 1 of the Convention defines torture as:
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
– Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1
Actions which fall short of torture may still constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 16.
Nothing regarding our handling of these specific detainees meets the definition as defined above without desperate and illogical contortions.
Basically, what we have here is a political ideology that argues that political opponents can be impugned in the court of public opinion for purely partisan political purposes; is this the level we want to reduce the politics in this nation to?
Logical and thoughtful people would argue that it is not. But alas, there is nothing that can be considered thoughtful or logical about the current desperate desire to impugn the Bush administration.