Good News/Bad News for U.S. Detainees

By Mark Trodden | July 11, 2006 3:26 pm

From the BBC, it seems that there’s some good news for detainees of the U.S. military (and by association, for those of us who would like to live in a civilized country).

All US military detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are to be treated in line with the minimum standards of the Geneva Conventions.

The White House announced the shift in policy almost two weeks after the US Supreme Court ruled that the conventions applied to detainees.


The Pentagon outlined the new standards to the military in a 7 July memo.

The directive says all military detainees are entitled to humane treatment and to certain basic legal standards when they come to trial, as required by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

How wonderful! All it took was a ruling by the highest court in the land for the Bush administration to understand that it is a good idea to follow international law if you expect others to do so.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that the poor CIA better brace itself for a much heavier workload

The new Pentagon policy applies only to detainees being held by the military, and not to those in CIA custody, such as alleged mastermind of the 11 September attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Human Rights, Politics

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About Mark Trodden

Mark Trodden holds the Fay R. and Eugene L. Langberg Endowed Chair in Physics and is co-director of the Center for Particle Cosmology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a theoretical physicist working on particle physics and gravity— in particular on the roles they play in the evolution and structure of the universe. When asked for a short phrase to describe his research area, he says he is a particle cosmologist.


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