The Legal Path to Abu Ghraib
While we're considering whether Alberto Gonzales is a wise and moderate choice for AG, let's recall that the White House Counsel's most notable act thus far was his recommendation to the President to declare Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters outside the scope of the Geneva Convention's rules for Prisoners of War. The road to Abu Ghraib was paved with determinations like this one from Mr. Gonzales.
"May 17 - The White House's top lawyer warned more than two years ago that U.S. officials could be prosecuted for 'war crimes' as a result of new and unorthodox measures used by the Bush administration in the war on terrorism, according to an internal White House memo and interviews with participants in the debate over the issue.
The concern about possible future prosecution for war crimes and that it might even apply to Bush adminstration officials themselves is contained in a crucial portion of an internal January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales obtained by NEWSWEEK. It urges President George Bush declare the war in Afghanistan, including the detention of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, exempt from the provisions of the Geneva Convention."
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