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US Government Documents

The White House


President Bush's Executive Orders and Memos

Military Order: Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism
13 November 2001
* This Order allows for the detention of non-US citizens anywhere in the world but does not require individuals detained under the Act to be tried. When they are tried, it should be by military commission.

Memo: Humane Treatment of Al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees
7 February 2002
* This memo to Bush's senior staff declares that Al Qaeda members and other 'enemy combatants' in the 'war on terror' are not subject to the Geneva Conventions.

Executive Order 13340: Interpretation of the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 as Applied to a Program of Detention and Interrogation Operated by the Central Intelligence Agency
24 July 2007
* This Order reaffirmed that reaffirmed that members of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces are unlawful enemy combatants who are not entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions.


President Obama's Exective Orders and Memos

On entering office, President Bush issued three Executive Orders concerning the detention and treatment of detainees in the 'War on Terror' (for a full summary, click here):

Executive Order 13491: Ensuring Lawful Interrogations
22 January 2009
* Bans CIA interrogation techniques pending review
* Outlaws use of CIA prisons
* Revokes Bush's Order 13440 which denied protections under Geneva Conventions for detainees

Executive Order 13492: Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained At the Guantnamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities
22 January 2009
* Prohibits referral to Military Commissions, pending review

Executive Order 13493: Review of Detention Policy Options
22 January 2009
* Orders review of US detention policy options



Executive Order 13576: Periodic Review of Individuals Detained at Guantnamo Bay Naval Station Pursuant to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force
7 March 2011
* This Order authorises the Department of Defense to resume the military tribunals of detainees at Guantnamo Bay.




Rendition Research Team - © University of Kent
University of Westminster University of Kent E.S.R.C