The link is to the UN's own commission on human rights, detailing the Geneva Convention. I would like to draw your attention to Article 4:
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions: (emphasis provided by me)
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
Now, if an enemy combatant does NOT comply with ALL 4 of the criteria, then that individual is NOT protected under the Geneva Convention!
End of discussion!
Not satisfied? Okay, let's look at Al Queda and the various insurgent groups in Iraq:
Point one ...There is no recognizable chain of command
Point two .... They wear no uniforms of any kind, much less uniforms "recognizable at a distance"
Point three... IED's, or Improvised Explosive Devices - home made landmines and roadside bombs concealed in discarded tires, vegetation, empty boxes and other common trash intended to do bodily harm and death to coalition forces - these are the very kinds of weapons the Geneva Convention was made to PROHIBIT!
Point four.... Beheading civilians alive and the televising of those decapitations goes against every law and custom of war!
Paragraph 3 simply states that in order to be protected by the Geneva Convention, you must actually be a signed PARTY to the Convention (which Al Queda and the insurgent factions are not) So, not only do they not fulfill ALL the listed criteria, they don't even fulfill ONE!
Now let me say something that will truly cook your noodle....
WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO TORTURE DETAINEES IN GITMO!
Yes, you read that right! I maybe painting the statement to the extreme side of the concept, but the underlying fact is true.
The Geneva Convention is like any other contract or treaty, it has obligations and incentives that pertain to the signatory parties and to no one else. If you wish to reap the benefits, you sign the document and abide by the criteria, otherwise... TOUGH SHIT!
Recently, the "BIG 3" car companies gave their "employee discount" to anyone and everyone who bought one of their vehicles. At that point, it made the employee discount meaningless... the employees were paying the same for a car everyone was paying.
In the same manner, if any and every enemy combatant is treated in a Geneva Convention style, then what's the POINT of having a Geneva Convention? There will be no incentives for wearing uniforms, no incentives for not beheading innocent civilians, no incentives for conducting a war in a humane and acceptable manner... after all, if the US pampers everyone, there is no incentive to sign or abide by the Geneva Convention Accords.
We therefore, in order to uphold and STRENGTHEN the Geneva Accords, must treat non-signatories and those in non-compliance as harshly as we can stomach! If they want to be treated with respect, honor, and in accordance to the accords, then by God, they can sign them and live by them first... only THEN will they get the protections they afford!