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Pentagon Lawyers Say Saddam Is a POW

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Pentagon Lawyers Say Saddam Is a POW
Fri Jan 9, 6:23 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Pentagon (news - web sites) lawyers have determined that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) has been a prisoner of war since American forces captured him on Dec. 13, a Defense Department spokesman said Friday.

Despite that determination, Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) told CBS News: "I don't know that he has been formally declared a prisoner of war."

That decision was up to the Pentagon, Powell said.

Whether or not Saddam is a prisoner of war could be key to how he is treated in captivity and eventually put on trial. The Geneva Conventions on treatment of prisoners of war forbid any kind of coercion in POW interrogations, for example.

Powell said, "We are certainly treating everybody in our custody in accordance with basic rights and expectations of international agreements that we have."

A senior British official said Friday Saddam had not given useful information to his interrogators. The senior official, who briefed journalists on condition of anonymity, said U.S. authorities were taking their time questioning Saddam in the hope that he might eventually open up.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday that Saddam and all Iraqi captives are being treated in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. He said Saddam's legal status was being reviewed by several U.S. agencies and no determination had been made.

The general counsel office in the Pentagon — the Defense Department's top civilian lawyers — has determined that Saddam is a prisoner of war because of his status as former commander in chief of Iraq (news - web sites)'s military, spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said Friday. The lawyers determined that no formal declaration of Saddam's status was needed, he said.

U.S. officials have said they plan to turn Saddam over to an Iraqi court for trial. The United States says Saddam's government killed at least 300,000 Iraqis, including thousands of Iraqi Kurds in a poison gas attack in 1988.

But the Geneva Conventions say POWs can be tried only for crimes against humanity by an international tribunal or the occupying power — which in this case is the United States.

Powell said the Bush administration had to decide when to hand Saddam over to Iraqi authorities. "We believe the credibility of the new Iraqi government will be measured by how they handle this horrible dictator," Powell said.

POW status also would entitle Saddam to meet with representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross. No such meeting has happened. Some human rights groups have complained that other top former Iraqi officials in U.S. custody haven't been given access to Red Cross representatives.

Saddam is being held and interrogated by the CIA. Iraqi officials say he is being held in the Baghdad area.

I thought the USA was violating international law just being in Iraq why do they care now how Saddam is treated?!
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
I suppose the only reason they care about how he is being treated is because the whole world is watching. One wrong move on their part could be a public relations disaster. I'm curious to see what type of trial will be held: I'm sure he'll be legally entitled to lawyers but who will represent him? Will he be allowed to take the stand? Will the prosecutors be American, Iraqi or composed of a different body and more importantly if the trial is held in Iraq and Saddam is sentenced by Iraqi judges, what happens if the US doesn't like the verdict, will they be allowed to overturn it? No country has ever been in a complex situation of this type so the way America handles this case will basically set the precedent for other nations (what a scary thought) They have to be careful of the image they're portraying which includes the way they treat Saddam.

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
But isnt the WHOLE war illigal?!?! who gives a fuck how the yanks treat him they shouldnt even have him in the first place. :confused: