The current argument for upending the Geneva Conventions is that the language is "too vague." Let's walk through the process and show how that is not true.
First, the Senate ratifies the Convention Against Torture treaty. That means the U.S. Government agrees to abide by its terms. Then, Congress passes a law that implements the Convention Against Torture, in this case 18 U.S.C. 2340-2340A.
Yes, the language of the Geneva Conventions, and all international legal agreements, are vague on their face. They have to be, considering the number of judicial systems and cultures it must be applicable to. The details have been worked out as to what each provision means in application, however. Or at least as much as can be ahead of time.
So when looking at the Convention Against Torture, look at the law the United States passed to implement it. That is where the details are, and in the cases where U.S. courts have interpreted that law.
- Court interpretation of the Law