Bush Tried to Relax Detainee Treaty

Not surprising, but shocking still: The Bush administration tried to soften the language on a treaty that punished “enforced disappearances” between 2003 and 2006, so that officers at the CIA’s secret prisons would not be prosecuted, The Washington Post reports. Documents reveal that in 2004, the administration sought to limit prohibitions on those who placed detainees outside of legal protections. The documents, which were released last week in response to a Freedom of Information Act made by Amnesty International, suggest that the administration’s goal of detaining terror suspects directly contradicted the language of the treaty. A senior Bush official told The Post that Guantanamo was “a complicating factor” in their deliberations on the treaty. Though 81 countries have now signed the treaty, the Bush administration ultimately didn’t endorse it. A White House official said the Obama administration is now reviewing its predecessors’ stance on the treaty.