Special Reports

June 18, 2008

Day 4: Easing of laws that led to detainee abuse hatched in secret

The framework that allowed the abuse of detainees in Afghanistan and Guantanamo wasn't the product of American military policy or the fault of a few rogue soldiers. It was largely the work of five White House, Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers who, following the orders of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, reinterpreted or tossed out the U.S. and international laws that govern the treatment of prisoners in wartime, according to former U.S. defense and Bush administration officials.

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