On the Humane Treatment of Prisoners

Via Andrew Sullivan, I happened to stumble across this post which is, apparently, not a joke. In reaction to the recent brutal murders of PFCs Menchaca and Tucker, the author appears to have directed his anger not at the perpetrators, which would be logical, but rather the Supreme Court, for demanding that the United States government follow the law.

Our Supreme Court recently decided that the animals who commited those gruesome atrocities against helpless, unarmed prisoners, are entitled to every protection under the Geneva Conventions, including the protections of articles that our legislative branch never ratified, including protection against being “humiliated” in any fashion, “humiliation” to be defined later by our unelected, dictatorial judiciary branch, no doubt.


So keep that in mind. Should we ever make the mistake of capturing any of the perpetrators of the war crime against PFCs Menchaca and Tucker alive, we can forget about interrogating them in order to catch the rest, according to the Supreme Whores. Well, unless they’re willing to give up information if we ask “pretty please?”, since anything other than that has been deemed illegal by those blackrobed tyrants. Are we exaggerating? Try doing anything to those mutilating darlings of the Supremes in order to extract life-saving intel from them, and then wait for the Supreme Whores to decide that you were “humiliating” them in doing so.

You know, sometimes I read the more extreme ends of the right side of the blogosphere and honestly wonder if, under their loud veneer of patriotism, they actually care about this country at all. They certainly don’t seem to care about its history or principles.

In response to the ravings above, I feel compelled to call to light a little bit of American history. During the Revolutionary War, the British Army refused to treat captured American soldiers as legiitmate prisoners of war, for fear that doing so would be a de facto recognition of Independence. As a consequence, American soliders were brutally treated. Indeed, more American soliders died as prisoners than died in every battle of the Revolution. Combined.

How did the Founding Father’s react to such treatment? With decency. George Washington refused to mistreat captive British soldiers. Alexander Hamilton acted to prevent the massacre of a group of British prisoners. The Continental Congress even allowed for prisoners to be paroled and dictated that prisoners be treated with “humanity.”

I can’t help but think that if some elements of the blogosphere were blogging during the Revolution, they would be appalled at the acts of the “unelected” General Washington and “tyrannical” Continental Congress for the temerity to treat prisoners with decency and would not doubt accuse them of being “on the other side.” No doubt the actions of Alexander Hamilton would be regarded as “objectively pro-British.”

I admit I find it rather strange to hear that upholding American principles and traditions is the equivalent of treason. If that’s the case, then I’ll heed the words of Patrick Henry: “If this be treason, make the most of it.”

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Congress, Intelligence, Law and the Courts, National Security, Supreme Court, Terrorism, US Politics, , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Cernig says:


    Regards, C

  2. Herb says:

    Alex Knapp:

    Your words and observations are most eloquent but fail to take many facts of history into consideration:

    First, British Solders did NOT hijack airplanes full of innocent passenger’s and crash them into buildings full of everyday innocent people, killing 3000 of them while they were just doing their everyday jobs.

    Our founding fathers did not have to contend with a radical bunch of religious extremist who did not care who they killed, be they military personal or innocent civilians.

    And, your misguided sense of what is in the best security interest of the American People leaves one to wonder if you would rather see several thousand innocent Americans die or see terrorist treated like they were something “special” deserving every right our founding fathers and thousands of Americans died for preserving.

    The writer of the statements regarding SCOTUS was more right than wrong. The 5 Judges who made that decision are truly “Bastards of America” and do not deserve the right to any protection from those who they protect with their rulings.

  3. Bithead says:

    Herb spaks to the point quite well.

    The enemy we are faced with today is vastly different from the one the founders faced. The Brits, at least for the most part, were disposed to react to decency, in kind. But what you fail, Alex, to reckon with is our current enemy does not. Rather, he regards such things as weaknesses to be exploited in the most violent of ways possible… and repeatedly has demonstated both an ability and an affinity to do so.

    Rules of civilized warfare are a joke to begin with, but it beocmes a particularly dangerous and deadly joke when one side has repeatedly demonstrated they are not civilized, nor are they likely to be so any century soon. In such events there is only one logical response… instead of simply taking the punishment of hell’s kitchen, to win such a war you must simply become part of the hell. If you cannot reconcile yourself to that, you’d best be prepared to lose the war… with all the misery attached to such loss.

  4. Allan says:

    If you’re not familiar with Misha and his idiom, I suggest you either get with the program or ignore the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

    He sells T-shirts that say “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.”

    Needlessly coarse and crude, but hardly more than the Pace salsa commercial that ends with ‘Get a rope!’

    Frisch’s comments were more of an implied threat like ‘nice kid, be a real shame if anything happened to him’. Beyond that, her behavior indicated intense interest in Goldstein and his son. To my knowledge, Misha hasn’t written another word about the Supremes.

    We cannot ban speech we do not like. If the Secret Service really thinks it was a threat to the judiciary, I’m sure they’ll go knocking.

  5. Anderson says:

    I shouldn’t be astonished any more, but still, when I look at the utterly minimal requirements of Common Article 3, and then I see that supposedly decent people like Bithead are enraged at applying even such minimal standards … well, it becomes easier to see how fascism could succeed in this country.

    Osama threatens our lives and property. Bithead threatens our principles and our Constitution. Personally, I’ll take Osama.

  6. Herb says:


    It doesn’t supprise me one bit that “You Choose Osama”. You deserve him and his kind.

    Just one thing though, What would you do when Osama stopped your lunatic liberal writings, like here on OTB, and loped your head off for “offending Islam” or OBL.

  7. Anderson says:

    Herb, I have mostly succeeded in ignoring your comments, or at least in not responding to them. Bithead, being a smarter writer, was a harder case, but I am working up to the challenge.

    Anyway, I found this wonderful bit from a scathing Keynes review of a Trotsky screed, which I suggest stands the test of time. Having quoted some typically evil Trotsky passages, Keynes goes on:

    How few words need changing, let the reader note, to permit the attribution of my anthology to the philo-fisticuffs of the Right. And the reason for this similarity is evident. Trotsky is concerned in these passages with an attitude towards public affairs, not with ultimate aims. He is just exhibiting the temper of the band of brigand-statesmen to whom Action means War, and who are irritated to fury by the atmosphere of sweet reasonableness, of charity, tolerance, and mercy in which, though the wind whistles in the East or in the South, Mr. Baldwin and Lord Oxford and Mr. MacDonald smoke the pipe of peace. “They smoke Peace where there should be no Peace,” Fascists and Bolshevists cry in a chorus, “canting, imbecile emblems of decay, senility, and death, the antithesis of Life and the Life-Force which exist only in the spirit of merciless struggle.” If only it was so easy! If only one could accomplish by roaring, whether roaring like a lion or like any sucking dove!

    As then, so today.

  8. Bithead says:

    Nor does it me, Herb.

    Anderson, you apparently have fallen into the trap that many have over this, and failed to recognize that there’s a major difference between encouraging fair treatment for prisoners and a law demanding it.

    Whereas I will say I certainly encourage humane treatment of prisoners, but only to the extent, in each individual situation, that such treatment does not stand in the way of the goal of winning such wars as are brought against us, I will also say that a blanket rule tying our hands in all situations is flat out foolish, counter -productive… and is in fact a weapon we place in the hands an an enemy who has shown repeatedly he has no respect whatever for such rules, or for those creating such rules.

  9. Bithead says:

    And as to your quote… I await your examples of where the Islamo-Facists have EVER shown anything resembling an “atmosphere of sweet reasonableness”.

  10. Herb says:


    You have chosen your side to be aligned and you can have OBL for all I care. Now everyone here on OTB can see just where all of your super intellect has led you. Right on the side of terrorism, Killing of Innocent Civilians, beheading of helpless prisoners, and the mutilation of our fallen troops who fight and sacriface their lives to see that your sick and sorry soul can have “your freedom”. You really are a “great American”?

    I suggest that you contact your buddy, OBL,and start citing your expert intelligence to him to put a stop to the
    barbarism both you and he seem to be promoting. And don’t forget Anderson, you prefer OBL to Americans.

    And, personally, I don’t give a tinkers damn if you ignore me or not respond to my comments. You see, Anderson, I don’t want a damn thing to do with “Your Kind”.

  11. Auros says:

    One wonders why somebody who doesn’t “want a damn thing to do with ‘Your Kind'” bothers to come write such lunatic screeds in the blog of someone of “Your Kind.”

  12. Bithead says:

    I wasn’t aware Anderson and Joyner were in anything even resembling agreement on this issue.