Geneva Conventions Apply


If I read this right, even Justice Kennedy is ruling that the Geneva Conventions apply to the War on Terror:

The Court is correct to concentrate on one provision of the law of war that is applicable to our Nation's armed conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and, as a result, to the use of a military commission to try Hamdan. That provision is Common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The provision is part of a treaty the United States has ratified and thus accepted as binding law. By Act of Congress, moreover, violations of Common Article 3 are considered war crimes, punishable as federal offenses, when committed by or against United States nationals and military personnel. There should be no doubt, then, that Common Article 3 is part of the law of war as that term is used in 821.

This is a big, big deal. I cannot imagine, moreover, that Kennedy's reference to "war crimes" is casual here. Perhaps others read this differently, but this seems like Kennedy is firing a major shot across the bow of the Bush administration: Clean up your act on torture, because John Yoo and the rest of the crack legal team that carved out an exception for Al Qaeda detainees don't have a legal leg to stand on.

RS Politics Daily Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.