Technology with attitude

Detainee Policies Reversed (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Geneva Conventions)

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While it’s very easy to say “too little, too late,” I think this has the chance of really turning around the WOT. Not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon…

From the Financial Times:

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that the Pentagon had decided, in a major policy shift, that all detainees held in US military custody around the world are entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions.

The FT has learned that Gordon England, deputy defence secretary, sent a memo to senior defence officials and military officers last Friday, telling them that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions – which prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners and requires certain basic legal rights at trial – would apply to all detainees held in US military custody.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the old policy, but if not…

The White House had argued that Mr Bush, as commander-in-chief, had the authority to convene the military commissions. Critics who rejected this interpretation said the commissions were unjust because, for instance, defendants were unable to see all the evidence levelled against them.

This also heads off Congress making a law that would allow the President to circumvent the Geneva Conventions, a move that would undoubtedly do even more harm still to our already tarnished image as a beacon of truth, justice and all that other stuff.

Good move. Bravo.