The POWs in Guantanamo do get Red Cross visits. As to the rest of their status - in order to receive the full protection of the Geneva Convention as a combatant you have to obey the Law of War. Al Qaida doesn't do that, quite the reverse. Their basic strategy of directly targeting civilian noncombatants constitutes a war crime. They are quite rightly recognized as unlawful combatants. And do note, it isn't that this categorization is unknown internationally, but rather that various advocates refuse to acknowledge that it exists.
The black sites? Last time I looked they were for detention and interrogation.
Now, there are a couple of factors that make these discussions more interesting. First, is the fact that Al Qaida teaches its members to lie about their treatment and not cooperate.
. . . Police in Manchester, England, discovered the manual, which has come to be known as the "Manchester document," in 2000 while searching computer files found in the home of a known al Qaeda member. The contents were introduced as evidence into the 2001 trial of terrorists who bombed the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. . .
The closing chapter teaches al Qaeda operatives how to operate in a prison or detention center. It directs detainees to "insist on proving that torture was inflicted" and to "complain of mistreatment while in prison."
Chapter 17 instructs them to "be careful not to give the enemy any vital information" during interrogations.
Another section of the manual directs commanders to teach their operatives what to say if they're captured, and to explain it "more than once to ensure that they have assimilated it." To reinforce the message, it tells commanders to have operatives "explain it back to the commander."
One consequence of this lying, and international pressure on their behalf, is that committed terrorists have been released who then return to Jihad again, killing who knows how many.
(Reuters) - The proportion of militants released from detention at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay who subsequently were believed to have returned to the battlefield rose slightly over the last year, according to official figures released on Monday.
In a summary report, the office of the Director of National Intelligence said that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in militant activity
Second, as does sometimes happen in war, service members will occasionally exceed their instructions, lose control, or develop a mental illness, and then engage in behavior that constitutes a war crime. Some people want to pretend that those actions are deliberate policy rather than the illegal actions of an individual or particular group. One prime example is the incident at Abu Ghraib. It resulted in a number of American soldiers going to jail, including the infamous Lynndie England. An isolated incident by a small number of soldiers that took an extraordinary number of pictures in a very short time, and gave a black eye to the US military and the United States. The actual events were magnified by the work of the media - the New York Times put stories and/or pictures on the front page 47 times.
Pay? Nobody pays me to post. But I do like to see the discussion occasionally enter the realm of facts even if it aggravates some people.
After all, facts that contradict some political view are "flamebait."