<b>Torture of Detainees and Presidential Prerogative Power</b>

Richard M. Pious

in The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217977
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191711541 | DOI:
 Torture of Detainees and Presidential Prerogative Power

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This chapter focuses on the president's use of prerogative powers and the treatment of detainees in the war on terror. President Bush asserted his prerogative power in interpreting and reinterpreting conventions and customary international law obligations, and in interpreting the obligations of government officials to execute faithfully statute law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and various directives. It is argued that officials at the highest levels of government made decisions based on the constitutional authority of the president (as administration lawyers defined it) that left open the probability that detainees would be subjected to inhuman treatment and torture as defined by international law. The chapter explores why the issue of the treatment of prisoners has not risen to the level of an Iran-Contra affair and what the reaction tells us about the politics of prerogative power.

Keywords: Bush Administration; interrogation; prerogative powers; detainees; war on terror; Uniform Code of Military Justice

Chapter.  14577 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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