Geneva 2.0

Both sides of the debate over the Geneva Conventions have it wrong. It’s unrealistic to expect states to follow the outdated agreement to the letter. Yet America would also benefit from a code of conduct followed by all the relevant actors—even te

Issue: July-Aug 2008

IN JANUARY 2002, then-White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales wrote a memorandum to President Bush in which he argued that "the current paradigm renders quaint" many of the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. This remark set the stage for a series of efforts by the Bush administration to claim that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the global war on terror, that they applied to some detainees but not others or, at a minimum, that the president is entitled to interpret the treaty's "grave breaches" clauses as he pleases.

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