If the alleged misconduct was true, would it be a war crime(s) under international law? What law would be violated?
Prisoners of war, as stated in the case, deserve fair treatment from their captors. It could be noted that based from the detailed indication of the complaints from the detainees, the officers who were assigned to give attention to the said station failed to see through their responsibilities thus having the capacity to give care for the needs of the prisoners of war. No officer, whether he is of a higher position or not, is given the liberty to treat prisoners of war with such an unprecedented recount of abuse. May it be verbal or nonverbal, every prisoner of war is expected to be treated with integrity as humans especially in relation to their culture and the religion.
The complaint on the officers throwing the Quran [owned by the detainees] has a strong implication of disrespect to religion therefore imposing the misconduct displayed by the officers looking after the detainees. Along with this, spitting on the cell of a detainee to no regard is a sense of disrespect to the human being and the right to integral treatment that a person deserves.
In consideration with the clauses of the international law referring to the care and treatment of the prisoners of war or POWs, GCII art 5 could be noted to have been disregarded by the officers. This has been assumed expansive in form as nowhere in the case description was it mentioned that the detainees have already been distinguished and proven guilty of any war crimes. In fact, they were just detained because they were assumed to have been involved in specific conflicts during the times of war. Hence, given that no final judgments to any hearing has been effective yet, there is no way that any form of punishment could be applied to any of the detainees yet. This particularly makes the reactions of the officers in charge to be out of the way which calls for reprimand from higher command.
If the alleged misconduct was true, which personnel would be criminally culpable under international law?
Article 5 Tribunal (AR 190-8) defines the fact that in relation to the case stated, there are three matters that shall be questioned during the hearing and investigation of the situation’s actual occurrence. One is directed towards the personnel, another is on the procedures taken and third is on the status determinations, which could be further accounted for based on the statements and testimonies of the detainees.
The highest official in the group, which is the commander in charge, would be the primary personnel to be asked regarding the investigation. It is recognized that it is the commander’s duty to see that his people are doing as properly as told and as noted by the law. If the testimonies from the detainees were true, he would have to answer on the hearing regarding questions on the supposed protection from violence, intimidation and insults (article 13) [coming from either the external or internal forces affecting the detainees] that the officers were supposed to give the POWs as they are detained in the holding facilities established.
If the alleged misconduct was true, what would your responsibilities be under international law?
Being the one responsible for handling further investigation after the case has undergone several points of distinction as based from the details of the case scenario, it should be my focus to go through the details coming from the detainees. Learning these, I should be able to find how such statements relate to the actual results of the physical and psychological tests to be undergone by both the detainees and the officers in charge in the facility.
If proven true [as assumed in this case] that the officers have had particular implications of cruelty and abuse towards the detainees, my office should release a sanction rule whereas the facility shall be put under control of another set of officers. At this point, it should be noted that the new officers be given the chance to adjust and prove that they can handle the care needed to be provided for the detainees at a better pace. If no improvement happens, then the facility itself shall be closed and the detainees shall be moved to another facility in a gradual manner. This option is considered to make sure that the integrity of the treatment that the detainees receive is given higher value hence imposing a great impact on how the officers recognize their responsibility over POWs.
Have the U.S. military actions in this case fulfilled your responsibilities under international law (address both the letter and spirit of the law)?
In accordance to the clauses of the Hague Civilian Protections [in relation to this case], the US military actions was not able to provide proper attention to the responsibility it has over POWs. Hence, this imposes that my position would intend to create a differential approach on handling the case at hand. Hoping to create a better way of handling the needs and the claims of the POWs in concern, it is the utmost desire of a person on my position to put the US military actions in proper alignment. Everything needs to be aligned according to the provisions and guidance of the international laws of war and the matters that protect the rights and provides guidance for the care of the prisoners of war.
This means that the clauses of the Hague Protections and the Geneva Protection requirements need to be given attention to accordingly. Relatively, putting all these matters into serious consideration shall provide the US military force with the proper assumption of their responsibilities especially relating to treating prisoners of war and how their integrity as humans is properly protected under the law of an international captor. All these principles and guidance should be given attention to as they intend to keep both peace and the assumption of security of different nations around the world even in the middle of a chaotic situation relating to war.
Do you take any further action?
Further actions are to be taken if the case requires. In relation to the situation being analyzed at this point, it could be noted that no further action should be taken into consideration especially that the claims and testimonies have been proven untrue several times in two different procedures of investigation. The inconclusive connection of the situation of the case, the testimonies and the physical evidences point out that POW detainees were practically creating a story behind the way that they are actually treated inside the holding facilities. Having strong evidences is very important in this situation. Once the evidences prove that the situation presented by the detainees is real then hearing and application on punishment towards the officers in charge should be pushed through. However, in the account that such situations have not been proven real then there are no further actions that need to be considered accordingly.