Mr Downer says to the best of his knowledge the US has always adhered to the convention in the treatment of Guantamo Bay detainees.Is this like 'to the best of my knowledge no-one paid sanction busting bribes?' Let's just pull some random sections out of the Convention on treatment of prisoners of war:
...prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults...
Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
...respect for their persons and their honour...
...all prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions...
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses, military equipment and military documents, shall remain in the possession of prisoners of war...
Except in particular cases which are justified by the interest of the prisoners themselves, they shall not be interned in penitentiaries.
Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted in the same area.
While respecting the individual preferences of every prisoner, the Detaining Power shall encourage the practice of intellectual, educational, and recreational pursuits, sports and games amongst prisoners, and shall take the measures necessary to ensure the exercise thereof by providing them with adequate premises and necessary equipment.
Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise, including sports and games, and for being out of doors. Sufficient open spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps.
And on it goes.Sound a bit soft? It is. The core notion underpinning this is as follows:
You CAN take them out of action until the fighting is
You CAN'T punish them for fighting for the other
Unless you identify a war crime for which they are directly responsible.
It's not rocket science, you'd think the Foreign Minister or his hatchlings could get their minds around it.
Or maybe they have, and are just following the example of their leader in relation to the truth.