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The War on Terror and the Laws of WarA Military Perspective$
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Geoffrey S. Corn, James A. Schoettler, Jr., Dru Brenner-Beck, Victor M. Hansen, Dick Jackson, Eric Talbot Jensen, and Michael W. Lewis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199941452

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199941452.001.0001

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Interrogation and Treatment of Detainees in the Global War on Terror

Interrogation and Treatment of Detainees in the Global War on Terror

4 Interrogation and Treatment of Detainees in the Global War on Terror
The War on Terror and the Laws of War

Dick Jackson

Oxford University Press

The U.S. practice on interrogation and treatment of detainees has been consistent and extensive since the adoption of the Geneva Conventions, through the war in Vietnam, the foreign internal defense missions in Central America, the first Gulf War, and the peacekeeping operations of the 1990s. U.S. service members were trained to apply the minimum humane treatment standards outlined in common article 3 of the Conventions and usually applied the more extensive provisions applicable to prisoners of war or civilian internees, as a matter of policy, even when the full Conventions did not apply as a matter of law. But U.S. policymakers changed that practice after 9/11, in an effort to free interrogators to apply “harsh interrogation techniques,” tantamount to torture. This chapter describes the arc of change in those policies from elimination of the standards to the congressional and public pressure that ultimately led to their return.

Keywords:   interrogation, treatment, harsh interrogation techniques, torture, Detainee Treatment Act, humane treatment, Hamden v. Rumsfeld

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