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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 November 2009

Jordan J. Paust
Affiliation:
University of Houston
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Summary

Within a few months after al Qaeda's unlawful terroristic attacks inside the United States on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration embarked on a “dirty war” response to terrorism involving methods of detention, treatment, and interrogation that Vice President Cheney had generalized as responses on “the dark side.” The “dirty war” would involve at least cruel and inhumane treatment of captured human beings and the forced disappearance of various detained persons, despite the fact that cruel and inhumane treatment and forced disappearance are well-known examples of conduct that is absolutely proscribed under several treaties of the United States and customary international law. In fact, both forms of manifest illegality are among recognized peremptory prohibitions of the highest sort that apply in all contexts without exception.

The “dark side” methods, Cheney had argued, should be “done quietly,” but they were used so widely and for so many years that complete secrecy was not possible. Opposition by various U.S. military, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel contributed to increased public exposure. When pictures of outrageous abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib, Iraq, became widely publicized, the secrecy of Executive plans and authorizations, despite vigorous denial of their existence, began to unravel. Soon a series of classified memos and letters were leaked that demonstrated the role that several lawyers and others had played in attempts to deny international legal protections to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, to reclassify their status, and to subject them to unlawful coercive interrogation tactics with alleged impunity.

Type
Chapter
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Beyond the Law
The Bush Administration's Unlawful Responses in the "War" on Terror
, pp. ix - xii
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • Preface
  • Jordan J. Paust, University of Houston
  • Book: Beyond the Law
  • Online publication: 24 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611322.001
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  • Preface
  • Jordan J. Paust, University of Houston
  • Book: Beyond the Law
  • Online publication: 24 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611322.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Jordan J. Paust, University of Houston
  • Book: Beyond the Law
  • Online publication: 24 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611322.001
Available formats
×