- Pentagon’s New “Law of War” Manual “Reduces Us to the Level of Nazis”
Pentagon Goes Barbarian
The Pentagon’s new Law of War Manual – a 1,200-plus page document issued in June by the Defense Department’s Office of the General Counsel – is barbaric.
The Manual is so bad that one of the leading experts on the law of war (Dr. Francis Boyle) – who wrote the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, and teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign – says :
This Law of War Manual reduces us to the level of Nazis. There’s no other word for it.
Boyle also says the Manual:
Reads like it was written by Hitler’s Ministry of War.
Why is the Manual so bad?
Manual Authorizes Slaughter of Innocent Civilians
Because – according to Boyle – the Manual allows massacres of civilian populations. The most comprehensive previous such document – the 1956 Pentagon field manual – assumed that any deliberate targeting of civilians was illegal and a war crime.
Reporters Can Be Assassinated
And the Manual treats allows reporters to be treated as “unprivileged combatants”, who can be assassinated. Boyle points out that this retroactively legalizes assassination of reporters, such as Al Jazeera reporters during Iraq war. Boyle notes that even a SPY would be treated better, and given a trial.