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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

DoD Documents show Commanders had policies at odds with Geneva Convention

Reader tip: Source document links are at the bottom.

Documents show commanders had policies violating laws of war.

Raises substantial questions about credibility in DoD investigation into LtGen Sanchez and raises prospect President fully aware of and endorsed the unlawful conduct, but failed to act to stop the abuses as required by the Geneva Conventions.

Recently released documents raise substantial questions about the President's oversight of combat forces.

Despite Presidential memos asserting standards of conduct, Army documents show that there was no effective program in place to ensure troops were actually required to treat prisoners and civilian detainees according to the Geneva Conventions.

Allegedly, the President drafter a memo in 2003 outlining his decision that the Geneva Convention apply. Despite this 2003 memo, Secretary Rumsfeld did not promulgate DoD Guidance in re War Crimes until 2004.

In the meantime, documents now show that despite the President's "decision" in 2003, by the end of that year commanders in the field still had a policy of treating prisoners not under the Geneva Conventions but as terrorists.

The documents show that despite the Geneva Convention existing, Commanders had a specific policy of treating prisoners in a manner not consistent with the laws of war.

Commanders were quoted to have said that these detainees were not enemy prisoners of war, but were terrorists.

More troubling is that Army documents also show that despite the President stating that the Geneva Conventions applied, military personnel routinely rounded up civilian non-combatants. This was done in an effort to take hostages. Note, once reason for drafting the US constitution was the British habit of abusing civilians and housing British Officers in private homes.

More disturbingly, is that despite the White House publicly asserting in 2005 that there was no abuse, the personnel assigned to the combat units were effectively making things up as they went along. Troops were trained in Interrogation tactics but were not properly trained.

This comes as a surprise. In the wake of the MI6 memo, we now find that the President made the decision to go to war in 2002, and that the actual momentum for war started before 9-11.

This raises some troubling questions in re 5100.77:

  • Why are personnel assigned to interrogation, but they are not trained?

  • Why did the President approve the decision to go to war, despite not having personnel in place that could meet the requirements of combat?

    the answer is that the president chose to go to war using personnel only qualified to treat the enemy as terrorists. There was no plan made to ensure that interrogators were trained to meet the requirements of the Geneva Conventions; and all decisions prior to starting combat operations were wholly directed to support terrorist-fighting methods.

    Indeed, the war was sold as being part of the war on terror; but there is no link between Iraq and 9-11. Thus, it is no surprise why the troops were not ready to follow the Geneva Conventions; nor a surprise why NCIS and JAG personnel were overwhelmed by the number of cases.

    What is more surprising is that despite the clearly promulgated Geneva Conventions, the White House has creatively sold the war as being something that is a moving target. This is to say that the President, despite clearly stating there were WMD, has shifted the argument to "something else."

    Either way, the troops aren't trained to support this moving target. They are required to follow the laws of war. It remains a matter of law whether the President has issued false and misleading statements to the Congress; and suggested that his orders were consistent with the Geneva Conventions.

    It appears the evidence does not support his assertions. Rather, we do have multiple indicators that the President's "position" in 2003 was ignored; and/or the President knowingly drafted a memo he had no intention of enforcing.

    Indeed, the President has a veracity problem. There is a known disconnect between what the President says/puts in writing, versus what he actually does.

    This raises reasonable questions about the timing of the memo after the Gonzalez memo; and raises questions why troops in the field were being told that prisoners were not POWs.

    Regardless of who said what, we do know that non-combatants were being detained; and they were not being treated appropriately. Both of these measures are on their own outrageous, but smack of more of the abuses the British Monarchy inflicted, precipitating the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, and US Constitution with the Bill of Rights.


    There exists factual evidence within the Department of Defense and White House raising substantial questions about the President's leadership in waging and unlawful war, and failing to ensure personnel were properly trained and equipped to conduct combat operations consistent with the laws of war.

    The President appears to have made the decision in 2002 to start combat operations, but his troops were not trained to either effectively conduct the operations, nor were they adequately supervised in their combat and detention responsibilities.

    This duty to lead falls on the President of the United States. He chose the timing of this war. There was no impending problem; and the President had the time to review the status of the troops to ensure that they were adequately trained, equipped, and prepared to conduct combat operations in a manner consistent with the laws.

    There is evidence showing the President failed to ensure the troops were properly trained and prepared for the missions. On the contrary, there is evidence that the President, Secretary of Defense and commanders collectively agreed to treat prisoners in a manner contrary to the Geneva Conventions; and that non-combatant civilians were knowingly detained unlawflly in order to put pressure on Enemy Prisoners of War.

    We allege that the above conduct violated the laws of war and form the basis for a formal inquiry into allegations of War Crimes committed by GEORGE WALKER BUSH, President of the United States.


    Nuremberg Complaint indictment against Goering; finding that civilian leaders are liable for war crimes when they substantially contribute and create a climate causing others to violate the laws of war/violate human rights/mistreat civilians.


  • Geneva Conventions 5100.77 Guidance in place, 1998

  • 5100.77 imposed a duty on commanders to ensure there personnel were trained to avoid war crimes

  • Personnel trained, ordered, encouraged by commanders to treat prisoners in a manner at odds with the Geneva Conventions

  • Geneva Conventions not followed

  • Commanders policies consistent with the President; both the President and Commanders failed to ensure that policies actually were consistent with the laws of war

  • President has a known practice of stating/documenting one thing, but enforcing conduct and standards at odds with Federal Law. [See MI6 Memo, pressure put on Analysts to shape facts; review visits by VP]


  • para 8, line 1, page 75/100 states, "They are not EPWs. They are terrorists and will be treated as such"

  • Para 8, line 14 p75/100, "The gloves are coming off . . . soliciting lists of alternative inerrogation techiques"

  • Commanders involved in decisions when torture against "terrorists" used 73/100:
    "alternative techniques must be authorized by higher echelons on a case by case basis, and then only at certain facilities.
  • Non-combatants were detained in a manner contrary to laws of war 75/100, line 3
    " . . . detainees who are, in essence, hostages. They are normally arrested by Coalition Force becaues they are familiy of indivuals who have been targeted . . . "
  • Gonzales 2003 memo

  • President memo in wake of 2003 Gonzalez; [Not this has yet to be authenticated -- it appears as though this could have been backdated; have yet to cross reference with WH Fileplan]

  • MI6 memo showing the President has a veracity problem: What he says publicly doesn't match what he's actually doing: Facts were shaped to fit the decision.

  • SECDEF Summer, June 2004 memo confirming 5100.77

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