First, from our previous discussions on economics, I know that you and I agree on very little, and I am not making any arguments about the politics of the Guantanamo Bay comment you made. Unfortunately, due to the unwillingness to try to understand where the other side is coming from these threads often fall into partisan bitching and bickering without anyone actually getting a better understanding of the issues.
Originally Posted by ScotchAndCigar
Interesting, but I was referring to the legal loophole that exempts it from international law, yes?
International Law is a unbelievably complicated area of the law with grey areas so large it isn't even funny, but I'll take a stab at explaining how it isn't 'exempt' from international law.
If you are referring to how the prisoners are treated, it is 'legal' because they are not classified as Prisoners of War under the Geneva Convention because they do not fight unified, under the flag of a sovereign nation, and are classified as 'Enemy Combatants' of an 'Armed Conflict.' I'm not going to try to debate the legality of this classification of either the combatants or our military action because I don't know the underlying statutes and would rather not try to attack a legal issue that has effectively baffled the best international attorneys in the country.
Not a loophole, per se, but I see what you're getting at...
If you are referring to the actual possession of Guantanamo Bay, there are really three ways to dispute the possession. (Note: I am NOT commenting on what goes on at Guantanamo Bay, just how the possession of the land and associated sovereignty is legal)
1) Assuming the possession of the land is legal as outlined in the aforementioned treaties, as a U.S. Military base, with the associated sovereignties. Therefore the base is required to be in compliance with Federal Law.
2) If you are referring to the Cuban American treaty's legality post-Cuban Revolution- since the post-revolution government cashed a single rent check from the United States, it is viewed under international contract law to ratify the covenants lease — and that ratification by the new government renders moot any questions about violations of sovereignty and illegal military occupation.
3) If you are referring to the original 1903/1934 treaties being imposed under force, and no longer being applicable under modern international law (Violating articles 60-64 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, article 4 of the Law of treaties prohibits retroactive application of articles 60-64 to existing treaties. (1903.1934 treaties were executed prior to the passing of the Law of Treaties).