An article in today's Washington Post says that Secretary of State Colin Powell is urging the president to classify the captured Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners as "prisoners of war."
The al Qaeda and Taliban fighters that are being held in Afghanistan and Camp X-Ray are currently classified (accurately) as "unlawful combatants." They earned this classification for three reasons: They wear no identifying uniform; they hide in the civilian population; they deliberately target civilians. All of these things are prohibited under the Geneva Convention. But our "allies" in Europe and the far left of American politics.
To say that changing their classification is a bad idea is a gross understatement.
As prisoners of war, the prisoners are only required to reveal their name, rank, serial number and date of birth. As prisoners of war, they are repatriated after hostilities cease. These are dangerous to the security of Americans everywhere. We need to know what they know about future terrorist attacks, their fellow terrorists and we certainly can't let them go free.
The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer lays out an excellent defense for the way we are treating the prisoners. You can read it here.