New U. S. Army Military manual bans torture of prisoners
The AP reported today that:
WASHINGTON - A new Army manual bans torture and degrading treatment of prisoners, for the first time specifically mentioning forced nakedness, hooding and other procedures that have become infamous during the five-year-old war on terror.
Delayed more than a year amid criticism of the Defense Department’s treatment of prisoners, the new Army Field Manual was being released Wednesday, revising one from 1992.
It also explicitly bans beating prisoners, sexually humiliating them, threatening them with dogs, depriving them of food or water, performing mock executions, shocking them with electricity, burning them, causing other pain and a technique called “water boarding” that simulates drowning, said Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence
Officials said the revisions are based on lessons learned since the U.S. began taking prisoners in the war on terror after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Release of the manual came amid a flurry of announcements about U.S. handling of prisoners, which has drawn criticism from Bush administration critics as well as domestic and international allies.
The Pentagon also announced an overall policy statement on prisoner operations. And President Bush acknowledged the existence of previously secret CIA prisons around the world where terrorist suspects have been held and interrogated, saying 14 such al-Qaida leaders had been transferred to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and will be brought to trial.
Human rights groups and some nations have urged the Bush administration to close the prison at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since not long after it opened in 2002 with prisoners from the campaign against al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Scrutiny of U.S. treatment of prisoners shot to a new level in 2004 with the release of photos showing U.S. troops beating, intimidating and sexually abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq — and then again with news of the secret facilities.
Though defense officials earlier this year debated writing a classified section of the manual to keep some interrogation procedures a secret from potential enemies, Kimmons said Wednesday that there is no secret section.
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