This article recounts the story about how these four individuals intentionally cut off the government's primary experts on the Geneva Conventions, the Torture Convention, and customary international law from the decision making process. In doing so, they presented a one-sided and distorted view of U.S. obligations under international law that led to a widespread government policy and practice of torture. It also reveals how a trio of important Supreme Court precedents disrupted these plans, and ultimately swung the balance back in favor of compliance with international law.


International Law, Torture

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law

Publication Information

The Torture Lawyers


20 Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 389 (2010)


COinS Michael P. Scharf Faculty Bio