Rescuing Hostages is Now a ‘War Crime’

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CNN breathlessly reports that the Colombian military committed “war crimes” in their rescue of 15 hostages, because one rescuer may have worn the emblem of the Red Cross: Colombian military used Red Cross emblem in rescue - CNN.com.

BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) — Colombian military intelligence used the Red Cross emblem in a rescue operation in which leftist guerrillas were duped into handing over 15 hostages, according to unpublished photographs and video viewed by CNN.

What seems to be part of a red cross is seen on a bib worn by a man involved in the rescue in this official image.

Photographs of the Colombian military intelligence-led team that spearheaded the rescue, shown to CNN by a confidential military source, show one man wearing a bib with the Red Cross symbol. The military source said the three photos were taken moments before the mission took off to persuade the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels to release the hostages to a supposed international aid group for transport to another rebel area.

Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a “war crime” under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.

“It is clear that the conventions are very strict regarding use of the symbol because of what it represents: impartiality, neutrality. The fear is that any misuse of the symbol would weaken that neutrality and would weaken the [Red Cross],” Ellis said.

“If you use the emblem in a deceitful way, generally the conventions say it would be a breach. [Based on the information as explained to me,] the way that the images show the Red Cross emblem being used could be distinguished as a war crime, ” he added.

Anyone remember the last time CNN wailed about “war crimes” when Palestinian terrorists used Red Cross ambulances to transport weapons, or used schools to hide the launching of rockets into Israel?

Or the last time CNN moaned about “war crimes” when Iraqi terrorists used mosques as weapons depots, or as firing stations for attacks on helpless civilians?

What’s that? Never, you say?

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