Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Senate Never Approved Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention

See Wall Street Journal Op/Ed article by Douglas J. Feith at

"This month, President Barack Obama declared he has a "legal obligation" to treat wartime detainees according to provisions of a treaty that the United States has never ratified. The maneuver raises a basic question: Who makes law for Americans?

The treaty Mr. Obama cited is Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war. Drafted in the mid-1970s, the Carter administration signed Protocol 1, but President Ronald Reagan, after years of interagency review, concluded that it is "fundamentally and irreconcilably flawed," because it contains provisions that would "undermine humanitarian law and endanger civilians in war."

Reagan noted that one of its provisions would undo the traditional distinction between international and non-international conflicts. Another would grant prisoner-of-war status and other privileges to irregular forces—even if they fight in civilian garb and violate the laws of war by using terrorism."

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