Article Title

Making Sense of Camp Delta

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


In the pages that follow, I want to do two things. First, I hope to describe the Administration’s detention policy in general, and Camp Delta in particular, from the Administration’s perspective. I am not part of the crowd of people who believe the President should be impeached; that members of his Administration should be indicted as war criminals; that John Yoo, the author of the infamous “torture memo” should be disbarred from the practice of law; and that the detention policy is itself an inexplicable assault on the rule of law. While I am certainly no defender of the policy (in fact, my colleagues and I have fought it tooth and nail for more than six years), I think it has a rationale which we must endeavor to understand, because we cannot mount a nuanced critique of the policy without first acquiring an equally nuanced grasp of its purpose. And second, having described what the Administration had in mind with Camp Delta, I want to explore some of the assumptions embedded in the Administration’s thinking, so that we may discuss whether, in light of known facts and subsequent events, those assumptions are valid.