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American Forces Press Service

New DoD Directive Sets Detainee Interrogation Policy

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2005 The Defense Department has a new policy in regard to detainee interrogations.

DoD Directive 3115.09, "DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning," takes the lessons learned in the global war on terrorism and consolidates them into one overarching document, officials said.

The bottom line, according to the document, is that "all intelligence interrogations, debriefings, or tactical questioning to gain intelligence from captured or detained personnel shall be conducted humanely."

"Acts of physical or mental torture are prohibited," the directive states.

The policy also requires all non-DoD personnel conducting briefings of detainees under DoD control to abide by the department's policies, said a senior defense official, speaking on background.

"This is the overarching policy from which doctrine and procedures come," said the official. Officials began writing the directive in December 2004. Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England signed the directive Nov. 3. It is the first formal DoD directive on this policy.

Those who wrote the policy, the official said, did it fully knowing the importance interrogation plays in the ongoing war on terrorism. The official said the need for intelligence against terror groups is critical, and "even more important now than in past conflicts."

The Army is the executive agent for developing doctrine military and civilian members of the department will use. The revision of Field Manual 2-22.3, "Human Intelligence Collector Operations," will be in full compliance with the policies outlined by the new directive. Guidance from the policy will also be part of Joint Publication 2-01.2, "Joint Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Counterintelligence Support to Operations."

The nine-page directive also establishes requirements for reporting violations of the policy, and stresses that interrogations will be done in accordance with applicable law and policy. The document defines applicable law and policy, including the "law of war, relevant international law, U.S. law, and applicable directives."

The directive lays out a number of specifics learned through experience. DoD personnel responsible for detainee operations -- military police and their counterparts - are responsible for the health and safety of those they guard. "They shall not directly participate in the conduct of interrogations," the directive states.

The directive also forbids the use of dogs in any interrogation.

DoD's undersecretary for intelligence has policy oversight for the directive. The Amy, Navy and Air Force will ensure training for interrogators complies with the directive. Combatant commanders will ensure that all policies in their organizations comply with the directive, and that offenses are investigated and reported to the proper authorities, officials said.

The directive references DoD Directive 2310.01, "DoD Detainee Program," which is being rewritten - again with an eye to capture lessons learned. The senior defense official said the detainee program directive is going through policy coordination.

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