Some support for Sontag’s position. The White House rejected Geneva Conventions from at least 2002 on.
White House Gutted Human Rights Law – Center for American Progress: "White House Gutted Human Rights Law
May 19, 2004
White House counsel Alberto Gonzales’s memo from January 2002 urged the Bush administration to make al Qaeda and Taliban detainees exempt from the Geneva Convention’s statutes on the proper and legal treatment of prisoners. Gonzales was aware of the risks in sidestepping international human rights laws, but the Bush administration ignored these warnings and went forward with its unorthodox treatment of prisoners. This cavalier attitude toward human rights eventually set the stage for the abuses at Abu Ghraib and other U.S. detention facilities.
The Bush administration ignored serious warnings about its decision to circumvent the Geneva Conventions and treat prisoners of war inhumanely. Secretary of State Colin Powell directly warned the White House in his own 2002 memo that gutting international law ‘will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva Conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops; it has a high cost in terms of negative international reaction, with immediate adverse consequences for our conduct of foreign policy; it will undermine public support among critical allies, making military cooperation more difficult to sustain; and Europeans and others will likely have legal problems with extradition.’ Powell was ignored by the White House.
The abuse of prisoners in Iraq is a direct result of the Bush administration’s rejection of human rights law early on in the war on terrorism. President Bush set the stage for the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. By downplaying and ignoring at the start of the war on terrorism decades of U.S. support for humane treatment of prisoners, the nation’s Commander in Chief created the context for the reprehensible treatment of prison"