Memo: the law of reciprocity, but CIA requests exemption
A memorandum from William H. Taft IV, the State Department's legal adviser, to Mr. Gonzales warned that the broad rejection of the Geneva Conventions posed several problems. Of concern was the reciprocity upon which laws of warfare are based.
A decision that the conventions do not apply to the conflict in Afghanistan in which our armed forces are engaged deprives our troops there of any claim to the protection of the conventions in the event they are captured.An attachment to this memorandum, written by a State Department lawyer, showed that most of the administration's senior lawyers agreed that the Geneva Conventions were inapplicable. The attachment noted that C.I.A. lawyers asked for an explicit understanding that the administration's public pledge to abide by the spirit of the conventions did not apply to its operatives.