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Interrogation Policies

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The Geneva Conventions:

“The Geneva Conventions are a series of international treaties intended to limit the violence of war and protect civilians, prisoners and wounded soldiers in time of war and civil conflict. For example, wounded soldiers must be cared for regardless of which side they were fighting for. Prisoners of war may not be killed or mistreated. Detainees may not be tortured to extract information from them. Attacks must focus on military targets only. The first Geneva Convention treaty was signed in 1864, and the treaty has been renegotiated and expanded several times since then, most recently in 1949 and 1977.The United States is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, and therefore they have the force of law for U.S. citizens.” [ accessed 21/11/2010]

The Bush administration lawyers were known for creating radical policies when it came to prisoners of the ‘war against terror’. These policies were known for disregarding the Geneva Conventions and other conventions.

John Yoo, being one of those lawyers said that the Justice Department didn’t think that the rules of the Geneva Conventions applied in this case as, for example, the al-Qaeda didn’t sign those Conventions.

Rumsfeld said that those ‘terrorists’ shouldn’t be handled under the Geneva Conventions, as they aren’t prisoners of war but unlawful combatants.

Therefore, there is no way of fighting a civilized war, Rear Admiral John Hutson says, because if there are no set rules “you’re in unlimited warfare”.

Even though Bush declared that the Geneva Conventions didn’t apply in the case of the war against terror, there were still other Conventions, which they had to obay such as the UN Convention Against Torture.

This turned out to be a problem, as this Convention is very vague and doesn’t define many of the terms. For example, it doesn’t define what exactly pain and suffering is.

So, they issued a memo to the White House defining: “physical pain accounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.”

This definition is so narrow that it essentially allows everything that would lead up to ‘imminent’ death in order to be conceived as torture allowing extreme interrogation techniques.

An observer criticized this defenition for being the kind of defenition that would “justify most of what Saddam was doing in his prisons as not being torture.”

In october 2003 the Bush administration changed its mind and decided that iraqi insurgents were covered by the Genea conventions.

[ picture accessed on 21/11/2010]

[ Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, 2007, Rory Kennedy ]


Written by coskufertingercmp

November 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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