Executive Plans and Authorizations to Violate International Law Concerning Treatment and Interrogation of Detainees

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Not since the Nazi era have so many lawyers been so clearly involved in international crimes concerning the treatment and interrogation of persons detained during war. This Article provides detailed exposition of the types of improprieties abetted by previously secret memos and letters of various lawyers and others within the Bush Administration. The Article demonstrates why several of the claims in such memos were in serious error; what type of illegal orders and authorizations were actually given by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and various military commanders at Guantanamo and in Iraq; what type of other authorizations in support of a common plan to violate the Geneva Conventions and human rights law existed; and what type of illegal interrogation tactics were approved and used at Guantanamo, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and apparently elsewhere by U.S. military personnel, civilians, and the CIA. The Article also provides detailed attention to various laws of war and human rights relevant to interrogation and treatment of detained persons; why relevant rights and duties are absolute and remain so regardless of claims by the President and others to deny full coverage to alleged terrorists and enemy combatants; why there can be leader responsibility for dereliction of duty in addition to responsibility of perpetrators, aiders and abettors, and those who issued illegal orders; and why the President and all within the executive branch are and must continue to be bound by the laws of war and other relevant international laws.