Can’t We Put Aside Stupid Agendas And Just Think Department
Bill Safire has his usual well-reported and well-reasoned take on the whole POW/unlawful combatant flap over at the State Department.
The solution is simple: al Qaeda officers are unlawful combatants and may legally be shot out of spite. But no matter how much we’d be in our rights to do so, we should not shoot them — they’re too valuable as intelligence sources. al Qaeda foot soldiers, on the other hand (pun intended) are pretty much like enlisted guys everywhere — powerless, uninformed, just following orders. Treat them as POWs and look nice to the idiots over in Europe.
Officer = unlawful combatant, little guy = POW.