A rose by any other name.
I swear, this does not come from The Onion. Via Glenn Reynolds, Ed Morrssey, Steven Aftergood and Olivier Knox, we learn that the Federation of American Scientists noticed:
When it comes to Department of Defense doctrine on military treatment of detained persons, “unlawful enemy combatants” are a thing of the past. That term has been retired and replaced by “unprivileged enemy belligerents” in a new revision of Joint Publication 3-13 on Detainee Operations, dated November 13, 2014.
But Ed Morrissey looked into the origin of this change in nomenclature, and discovered the DoD is not to blame:
If anyone’s to blame for the blandification of nomenclature … it’s Congress. The new revision to the DoD manual brings the terminology in line with 10 U.S. Code § 948a, which provides definitions for detainee policies rewritten by Congress to refine the military-commission process. It provides a very precise definition of the two classes of belligerents:
(6) Privileged belligerent.— The term “privileged belligerent” means an individual belonging to one of the eight categories enumerated in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
(7) Unprivileged enemy belligerent.— The term “unprivileged enemy belligerent” means an individual (other than a privileged belligerent) who—
(A) has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;
(B) has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
(C) was a part of al Qaeda at the time of the alleged offense under this chapter.