After Guantanamo

Those who would recast the laws of war as international human rights norms are distorting sound precedent, and making big trouble.

Issue: Summer 2002

British tabloids blasted the story around the world: The Americans
had removed Al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners to a secret torture camp
in Cuba! Photographs showed prisoners gagged and shackled, and
crammed into cells exposed to the elements. Amnesty International
demanded immediate access to the scene of these abuses. Mary
Robinson, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, chimed in, along with
other prominent human rights advocates and a supporting chorus of
left-wing politicians in Europe. Unwilling to be left behind, the
Inter-national Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), self-declared
"guardian" of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of war
prisoners, weighed in with its own expressions of outrage.

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