Learning Resources



  • Web Video:Kirk, M. (Writer & Director). (2005, October 18). The torture question [Television series episode]. In M. Kirk & J. Gilmore (Producers), Frontline. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/torture/

    • Chapter 2, "The Afghanistan War Prisoners"
    • Chapter 6, "Abu Ghraib – And Beyon

 Discussion 2 - Week 10COLLAPSETreatment of Detainees

The way detainees are treated largely depends on their designation. For instance, detainees designated as "prisoners of war" (POWs) are protected under the Geneva Conventions and are afforded more rights than detainees designated as "enemy combatants" or "unlawful combatants." Detainees at Guantanamo Bay with ties to terrorist groups, like al Qaeda or the Taliban, were designated as " enemy combatants." Therefore, the U.S. was able to detain them for an undisclosed amount of time. In addition, enemy combatants were not able to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which is a legal action against unlawful detention. Habeas corpus is internationally recognized and is protected under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the readings this week, you explore in further detail the rights related to different designations of detainees. You also consider the humane and inhumane treatment of detainees. With this in mind, you then reflect on your position relating to the treatment of detainees, a controversial issue that has generated heated debates between and among public officials and military personnel.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the online article "Enemy combatants." Consider the definitions and sub-categories of the enemy combatant status. Also, reflect on the rights of citizen and non-citizen detainees designated as enemy combatants.
  • Review the section entitled "War v. Justice" in Chapter 9 in your course text Terrorism in Perspective. Pay particular attention to the criminal cases and treatment of Moussaoui, Lindh, and Reid and the issues related to the "enemy combatant" status.
  • Review the web video segments "The Afghanistan War Prisoners" and "Abu Ghraib – And Beyond." Focus on the arguments related to the treatment of detainees.
  • Based on the learning resources this week, reflect on your thoughts as to how detainees, especially those designated as enemy combatants, should be treated.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 your position on the treatment of detainees. Be sure to reference the enemy combatant status of detainees and explain how you think they should be treated and why. Be specific.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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