Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Is this fair?


Justice Dept. : Geneva Conventions limited in Iraq
From Terry Frieden, CNN Washington Bureau
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Posted: 5:45 PM EDT (2145 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Non-Iraqi prisoners captured by U.S. forces on the Iraq battlefield are not entitled to the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions, according to a recent legal opinion from the Justice Department.

The opinion allows U.S. military forces and CIA operatives to handle the foreign fighters captured in Iraq in the same way they are handling al Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

In confirming the legal opinion first reported in The New York Times, Justice Department officials said the guidance is consistent with their previous position taken regarding battlefield detainees in Afghanistan.

"This administration has made it clear from the outset that members of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups do not necessarily enjoy the protections of the Geneva Conventions," a senior Justice Department official said.

"Al Qaeda members and other foreign terrorists in Iraq illegally would not be entitled to the Geneva Convention protections. That's consistent with our opinion on Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan."
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