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Moore [U Va.]: Forgotten POWs, Forgotten Honor
Moore [U Va.]: Forgotten POWs, Forgotten Honor

John Norton Moore, University of Virginia Law School:

"As a matter of national honor we owe a special debt to our prisoners of war. Surely this country also should adhere to treaty obligations that are designed to deter torture of our POWs, including the obligation in the POW convention never to "absolve" a torturing state of "any liability." Indeed, in the aftermath of the detainee abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison, President Bush has reaffirmed our national commitment to this convention. Shockingly, however, while the administration pours billions into Iraq, it continues to stiff the American POWs tortured by Iraq.

During the Persian Gulf War, Iraq brutally tortured U.S. prisoners of war. Saddam Hussein's secret police broke bones; shattered skulls and eardrums; and whipped, burned, shocked, beat, starved and urinated on our POWs. Yet these brave Americans, as did generations of POWs before them, refused to give in to their captors. One extraordinary Marine was knocked unconscious so many times he lost count; he returned home with a fractured skull for refusing his captors' orders to criticize President George H.W. Bush. Because Iraq would not notify families of POWs, spouses did not know whether they were wives or widows. The result was serious and lasting injury to the POWs and their families…." [November 10, 2004; the Washington Post has more]

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