American soldiers had to guard prisoners on the inside while receiving mortar and weapons fire from the outside. Guantanamo is distant from any battlefield, making it far more secure.
Nonetheless, Article 5 makes clear that if an Iraqi civilian who is not a member of the armed forces, has engaged in attacks on Coalition forces, the Geneva Convention permits the use of more coercive interrogation approaches to prevent future attacks.
This is not to condone torture, which is still prohibited by the Torture Convention and federal criminal law.
Applying different standards to al Qaeda does not abandon Geneva, but only recognizes that the U.S. faces a stateless enemy never contemplated by the Conventions.
Under the Geneva Convention, for example, a POW is required only to provide name, rank, and serial number and cannot receive any benefits for cooperating.
It is important to recognize the differences between the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. The treatment of those detained at Abu Ghraib is governed by the Geneva Conventions, which have been signed by both the U.S. and Iraq.
It urges policy makers and the Supreme Court to make the mistake of curing what could prove to be an isolated problem by disarming the government of its principal weapon to stop future terrorist attacks.
In light of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, critics are arguing that abuses of Iraqi prisoners are being produced by a climate of disregard for the laws of war.
The effort to blur the lines between Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib reflects a deep misunderstanding about the different legal regimes that apply to Iraq and the war against al Qaeda.
We can guess that the unacceptable conduct of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib resulted in part from the dangerous state of affairs on the ground in a theater of war.
A decision by the Supreme Court to subject Guantanamo to judicial review would eliminate these advantages.
While Taliban fighters had an initial claim to protection under the conventions, they lost POW status by failing to obey the standards of conduct for legal combatants: wearing uniforms, a responsible command structure, and obeying the laws of war.
Congress's definition of torture in those laws - the infliction of severe mental or physical pain - leaves room for interrogation methods that go beyond polite conversation.
Without territory, it does not even have the resources to provide detention facilities for prisoners, even if it were interested in holding captured POWs.
Al Qaeda operates by launching surprise attacks on civilian targets with the goal of massive casualties. Our only means for preventing future attacks, which could use WMDs, is by acquiring information that allows for pre-emptive action.
The Justices are currently considering a case, argued last month, which seeks to extend the writ of habeas corpus to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Guantanamo.