3,312. 1/22/2002

In regards to whether the Geneva Conventions were applicable to the treatment of the Taliban and al Qaeda, Vice President Dick “Cheney’s no-holds-barred approach was summarized in a January 22, 2002, memo drafted for presidential counsel Alberto Gonzales by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee. The memo argues that neither domestic law (the War Crimes Act) nor international law (the Geneva Conventions) would constrain the United States in its handling of al Qaeda prisoners. It also asserted that President Bush had constitutional authority to ‘suspend our treaty obligations toward Afghanistan’ because it was a ‘failed state.’ ”

 – Eugene Jarecki, The American Way of War, Page 82

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