3,361. 2/7/2002

On February 7, 2002, President “Bush signed an executive order adopting the ‘new paradigm’ language for the war on terrorism. Based on [Deputy Assistant Attorney General John] Yoo’s Justice Department analysis, the order said, the president had determined that ‘none of the provisions of Geneva’ applied to al-Qaeda. Although the Constitution gave him the authority to suspend the conventions with regard to the Taliban fighters, Bush maintained, he had chosen not to do so ‘at this time.’ The order stipulated that Taliban captives were legally entitled to Geneva protections but added a caveat that made the decision meaningless. Rather than the case-by-case prisoner-of-war determinations the conventions mandated for individuals whose status was disputed, the order made a blanket determination in advance that all captured Taliban were ‘unlawful combatants’ who did not qualify as POWs. ‘Of course,’ it concluded, ‘our values as a Nation, values that we share with many nations in the world, call for us to treat detainees humanely, even those who are not legally entitled to such treatment.’ Reaffirming the instructions [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld had transmitted to military commanders nearly three weeks earlier, Bush said that detainees would be afforded humane treatment ‘consistent with the principles of Geneva.’ ”

 – Karen DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, Page 371

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