Why have President Bush and his administration consistently, and publicly, stated their commitment to fully comply with the laws of war protecting civilians while, simultaneously, refusing to fully comply with the laws of war protecting prisoners of war? How do we understand President Bush and his administration’s unquestioning acceptance of the protection of civilians, but the rejection of the same for prisoners of war? Are the strategic and normative costs of each so dissimilar as to justify this difference? Considering the recent exposé of abuses and torture of prisoners of war held in both Iraq and Cuba, the answers to these questions are not merely academic.
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