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Controversy on Bush's Military Tribunal Plan Essay

Ever since the September 11th attack, the U.S. has been trying to find ways to deal with terrorists. We have increased our security, and become more alert to details that may have seemed trivial prior to the attack. We have also found ways to search for and kill terrorists. We have not yet, however, decided on a way to try the terrorists once they have been caught. President Bush has proposed a plan to try terrorists in military tribunals. However, there is some opposition to his plan, as some people say his plan is unlawful, or just too broad and unclear.
The Geneva Convention is an international policy that specifies the required treatment of a prisoner of war. Some critics in the Congress say that Bush's plan for a military tribunal goes against Geneva Convention standards. In 1949, both the U.S. and Afghanistan ratified the policy, but enforcement of the treaty has not been strict (Wedgwood A11). According to the Geneva Convention, legal combatants must follow the Uniform Military Code of Justice (Ford 1). However, Al Qaeda soldiers do not follow the code, and therefore are illegal combatants. President Bush stated that anyone who fought for the Taliban could not be eli- gible for POW status, making them subject to trial by a military tribunal (Bravin A20). Representative Bob Barr, Representative Maxine Waters, Senator Edward Kennedy, and Senator Patrick Leahy say that Bush's plan needs to be changed to be more lawful. They say that without an off- icial declaration of war, the use of military tribunals is unconstitutional. Barr also adds that Congress needs to pass an act for military tribunal to be lawful. They also point out that Bush and the U.S. government has not met any of these standards. "Georgia Representative Bob Barr said,'Without and official declaration of war or without and act of Congress – the tribunals are unconstitutional' " (Eversley A4). The U.S. government, however, is…

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