Army Bans Some Interrogation
The Associated Press
Wednesday 06 September 2006
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 US began taking prisoners in the war on terror, started in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America.
An international outcry about prisoner rights began shortly afterward. Human rights groups and some nations have urged the Bush administration to close the prison at the US 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 US treatment of prisoners shot to a new level in 2004 with the release of photos showing US troops beating, intimidating and sexually abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq - and then again with news of secret facilities.