Punishing abuse in Iraq should not return the U.S. to Sept. 10, 2001, in the way it fights al Qaeda, while Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants remain at large and continue to plan attacks.
Category Archive: John Yoo
Under the Geneva Convention, for example, a POW is required only to provide name, rank, and serial number and cannot receive any benefits for cooperating.
This is not to condone torture, which is still prohibited by the Torture Convention and federal criminal law.
Nonetheless, Article 5 makes clear that if an Iraqi civilian who is not a member of the armed forces, has engaged in attacks on Coalition forces, the Geneva Convention permits the use of more coercive interrogation approaches to prevent future attacks.
American soldiers had to guard prisoners on the inside while receiving mortar and weapons fire from the outside. Guantanamo is distant from any battlefield, making it far more secure.
It is important to recognize the differences between the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. The treatment of those detained at Abu Ghraib is governed by the Geneva Conventions, which have been signed by both the U.S. and Iraq.
Al Qaeda operates by launching surprise attacks on civilian targets with the goal of massive casualties. Our only means for preventing future attacks, which could use WMDs, is by acquiring information that allows for pre-emptive action.
The effort to blur the lines between Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib reflects a deep misunderstanding about the different legal regimes that apply to Iraq and the war against al Qaeda.
Without territory, it does not even have the resources to provide detention facilities for prisoners, even if it were interested in holding captured POWs.
The Justices are currently considering a case, argued last month, which seeks to extend the writ of habeas corpus to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Guantanamo.