Executive Plans and Authorizations to Violate International Law Concerning Treatment and Interrogation of Detainees
Jordan J. Paust
University of Houston Law Center
Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 43, 2005
U of Houston Law Center Paper No. 2006-A-13
In the author's words:
"A common plan to violate customary and treaty-based international law concerning the treatment and interrogation of so-called terrorist and enemy combatant detainees and their supporters captured during the US war in Afghanistan emerged within the Bush Administration in 2002 . . . (the plan) was approved in January 2002 and led to high-level approval and use of unlawful interrogation tactics that year and in 2003 and 2004. A major part of the plan was to deny protections under the customary laws of war and treaties that require humane treatment of all persons who are detained during an armed conflict, regardless of their status and regardless of any claimed necessity to treat human beings inhumanely. The common plan and authorizations have criminal implications, since denials of these protections are violations of the laws of war, which are war crimes."
The author goes on to review the laws of war and human rights, and their applicability to events which took place during the 2001 Afghan War. The author then goes on to detail the memoranda created by the Bush administration that purported to justify the denial and abrogation of these rights. Finally, the author examines the interrogation practices and procedures implemented at Abu Ghraib and similar locations, and their significance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 55
Keywords: Geneva convention, human rights, laws of war, war crimes, United States Afghanistan, Taliban, international law, treaty, interrogation, Gonzales memo, torture , Abu Ghraib, Dunlavey memo, stress positions, Convention Against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
JEL Classification: K00, K14, K33, K42, Z00
Date posted: May 19, 2006