Accession Number:

ADA508280

Title:

The 'Torture Memos': A Failure of Strategic Leadership

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-05-11

Pagination or Media Count:

37.0

Abstract:

This paper examines the development of U.S. interrogation policy, beginning with initial determinations concerning the application of the Geneva Conventions and continuing through several Department of Justice opinions collectively known as the torture memos. The paper examines the influence of these memos on policy formulation. The memos are reviewed in light of professional standards for attorneys and applicable international treaties, customary rules for prisoner treatment, and constitutional provisions relating to presidential powers. The memos themselves raise issues of professional responsibility, but the use of the memos to reduce strategic matters to legal considerations raises more serious questions about strategic leadership and decision making. The use of the memos also has caused military advice to be disregarded and has damaged civilian-military relations. Recommendations for mitigating this damage and improving future policy development are offered.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE