DOD outlines guidelines on treatment of detainees
ARLINGTON, Va. — Defense officials on Wednesday unveiled guidelines on what is and what is not permissible in detainee interrogations.
A new directive outlines a baseline for treatment for all detainees, incorporating about 95 percent of the recommendations made in the 12 Defense Department investigations since the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal, said Cully Stimson, deputy assistant director of defense for detainee affairs.
“All detainees will be respected as human beings,” the directive says. “They will be protected against threats or acts of violence including rape, forced prostitution, assault and theft, public curiosity, bodily injury and reprisals.”
Toward that end, the new Army Field Manual on interrogations specifically prohibits eight procedures that are deemed cruel and degrading treatment, said Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence.
Kimmons outlined these procedures as:
Forcing detainees to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner.Using hoods on detainees or duct tape over their eyes.Inflicting physical pain on detainees to include burning, beating or using electrical shocks on detainees.Waterboarding, a form of mock drowning.Using hypothermia or treatment that will lead to a heat injury.Mock executions.Using dogs as part of interrogations.Depriving detainees of food, water or medical care.Asked if ruling out these techniques would limit what information interrogators can glean from detainees, Kimmons said categorically no.
“No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices,” he said.
The field manual limits interrogation techniques to 19 approved methods, 16 of which come from the last version of the field manual, which was issued in the 1990s, Kimmons said.
In the last three methods, interrogators can run a good cop/bad cop routine on detainees; they can pretend not to be American interrogators; and they can separate unlawful combatants from each other during interrogations, he said.
The last technique can only be performed by certified interrogators and requires authorization from two general officers, one of whom must be a four-star general, Kimmons said.
Kimmons said defense officials had debated whether to make the last three techniques classified but eventually decided against it in order to disseminate the information easily to U.S. troops and coalition partners.
“We also felt that even classified techniques, once you use them on the battlefield over time become increasingly known to your enemies, some of whom are going to be released in due course,” he said.