3,277. 1/9/2002

“A forty-two-page draft memorandum circulated on January 9, 2002, by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo concluded that neither group [al-Qaeda and the Taliban] was entitled to prisoner-of-war status or any protection at all under Geneva [Conventions]. Al-Qaeda, Yoo wrote, was a stateless entity with no rights under international law. The Taliban was similarly deemed to be without protection since Afghanistan, although a Geneva signatory, was a ‘failed state’ whose treaty rights [President] Bush could ‘suspend’ at will and ‘restore’ if and when a more suitable government was in place. Since the Geneva Conventions did not apply, Yoo reasoned, neither did the War Crimes Act. The same analysis held true for customary international law, the uncodified agreements governing behavior among states. In any case, Yoo concluded, the president’s constitutionally mandated responsibility to protect the United States during wartime trumped any international obligations. The administration could do whatever it wanted with the detainees.”

 РKaren DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, Page 367

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