US: Saddam is prisoner of war
Pentagon lawyers have determined that Saddam Hussein has been a prisoner of war since American forces captured him on Dec. 13, a Defense Department spokesman said Friday.
Despite that determination, Secretary of State Colin Powell told CBS News: "I don't know that he has been formally declared a prisoner of war." That decision was up to the Pentagon, Powell added.
Powell said, "We are certainly treating everybody in our custody in accordance with basic rights and expectations of international agreements that we have."
The general counsel office in the Pentagon has determined that Saddam is a prisoner of war because of his status as former commander in chief of Iraq's military, spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said Friday, according to The AP. The lawyers determined that no formal declaration of Saddam's status was needed, he said.
POW status would entitle Saddam to meet with representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Since his capture, no such meeting has happened. (Albawaba.com)
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