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CIA Removing Detainees from Iraq, Violating Geneva

Dana Priest reports that Jack L. Goldsmith, former director of the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote a March 19, 2004 draft opinion allowing "the CIA to take Iraqis out of the country to be interrogated for a 'brief but not indefinite period.'" The legal contortionists in the Office of Legal Counsel were again offering an ex post rationalization for unacceptable on the ground behavior.

Michael Byers, a professor and international law expert at the University of British Columbia, said that creating a legal justification for removing protected persons from Iraq "is extraordinarily disturbing."

"What they are doing is interpreting an exception into an all-encompassing right, in one of the most fundamental treaties in history," Byers said. The Geneva Convention "is as close as you get to protecting human rights in times of chaos. There's no ambiguity here."
This memo is the intersection between the illegal "ghosting" allowed by Rumsfeld and extraordinary rendition.

Update, 10/24/04, 10:48 AM EST: The AP on the reaction to Priest's reporting:

Sen. John McCain said interrogations can help extract crucial information from detainees on plans for attacks against Americans. But international law, including the Geneva Conventions, must be followed, he said.

"These conventions and these rules are in place for a reason because you get on a slippery slope and you don't know where to get off," McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC's "This Week."

"The thing that separates us from the enemy is our respect for human rights," he said.

Update, 10-24-04, 12:29 PM EST: Laura Rozen reacts, fleshing out Jack Goldsmith a bit. It seems he belongs to the same claque of FedSoc anti-International lawyers as Yoo.


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