Extract from the thesis:
The atrocities committed by American GIs at Abu Ghraib shocked the collective moral conscience of the U.S. Guilty of inhumane treatment of its prisoners there, Abu Ghraib did immeasurable damage to America’s international credibility and made clear that American detainee policy is off-track and needs to be corrected to comply with objective standards of law, morality, and operational effectiveness. The shock and emotional aftermath of 9/11 created a politically permissive environment within which the bureaucratic and organizational structures of the military were unsuited for the critical tasks assigned to them relative to the context of the Bush Administration’s “new paradigm.”
Two issues sit at the forefront of the political and socio-cultural context of U.S. detainee policy: war powers and human rights. This thesis will utilize a synthesized decision-making model to analyze the President’s decisions leading to the current detainee policy. Potential policy alternatives require smaller corrections to bureaucratic process rather than requiring a major reorganization of bureaucratic structure.
This thesis will provide policy-makers with a moral and legal framework for the categorization and treatment of enemy prisoners. Adoption of the full framework of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including U.S. ratification of Additional Protocols I and II (1977), provides the best available framework to combat transnational insurgency, while retaining the moral and legal high ground required of the world’s champion of liberal democracy.