Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is straightforward and clear. Under Article VI of the Constitution, it forms part of the supreme law of the land.
You personally will be held responsible for all of your actions, in all countries, at all times and places, for the rest of your life. “I was only following orders” is not a defense.
What all this is leading to:
If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, it is your duty to disobey that order. No “clarification,” whether passed by Congress or signed by the president, relieves you of that duty.
If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, this is what to do:
Request that your superior put the order in writing.
If your superior puts the order in writing, inform your superior that you intend to disobey that order.
Request trial by courtmartial.
You will almost certainly face disciplinary action, harassment of various kinds, loss of pay, loss of liberty, discomfort and indignity. America relies on you and your courage to face those challenges.
We, the people, need you to support and defend the Constitution. I am certain that your honor and patriotism are equal to the task.
I’m just curious—is this information given to soldiers as part of basic training? If not, shouldn’t this be printed out and handed to our troops as they are embarking to Iraq and Afghanistan?
Maybe we should send a copy to GW Bush, too. I don’t think he understands it.