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American Forces Press Service

New Documents Outline Detention, Interrogation Policies

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2006 – A new policy directive and field manual released today establish crystal-clear guidelines on U.S. military detention and interrogation policies and further the Defense Department’s longstanding policy of humane treatment for all detainees, defense officials told Pentagon reporters today.

DoD released two new documents today: DoD Directive 2310.01E, which provides overarching guidance on DoD’s detainee operations worldwide, and Army Field Manual 2-22.3, which lays out specific guidelines for those directly involved in detention and interrogation efforts.

The new DoD directive, “The Department of Defense Detainee Program,” describes core policies critical to ensuring detainees are treated humanely and within the law, regardless of whether they’re involved in a traditional or nontraditional conflict such as the war on terror, explained Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs.

Also, for the first time in DoD history, the directorate provides a minimum standard in how all detainees in DoD custody are treated, regardless of their status, he said. That includes the extension of Geneva Conventions protections to unconventional forces that don’t qualify as enemy prisoners of war as defined by the Geneva Conventions.

“It sets out policy guidance for all DoD detention operations that is necessary and appropriate to ensure the safe, secure and humane detention of any combatants, both lawful and unlawful, regardless of the nature of the conflict,” Stimson said. “The standard of humane treatment articulated in this directive reflects U.S. law and policy and provides detainees protections that reflect our values as Americans.”

In addition to providing a single, humane standard for all detainees, the new directive explicitly prohibits specific activities that violate these standards, including cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, torture, mutilation, execution without a trial by a proper authority, threats or acts of violence and sensory deprivation.

It also reinforces the requirement to account for detainees and requires anyone involved in or aware of detainee operations to report suspected or alleged violations, Stimson said.

Army Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, said the directive and updated Army field manual, “Human Intelligence Collector Operations,” give practical guidance to those involved in detainee operations, as well as more than 500 interrogators deployed around the world.

The new field manual is broader in scope than the 1992 manual it replaces and incorporates “hard-won wartime lessons learned since 9/11” in user-friendly language, he said.

“We have used straightforward language in the field manual for use by soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. It is not written for lawyers,” he said.

The field manual lays out 19 acceptable interrogation approaches, most taken directly from the previous manual. Two additional approaches, based on battlefield lessons learned, authorize use of the so-called “Mutt and Jeff” or “good cop-bad cop” technique or allow interrogations to portray themselves as “someone other than an American interrogator,” Kimmons said.

An additional new approach -- one allowed only when dealing with unlawful enemy combatants and with strict authorizations, guidelines and oversight -- allows interrogators to physically separate detainees. “This allows interrogators to keep unlawful enemy combatants apart from each other … so they can’t coordinate their stories and so we can compare answers to questions that interrogators have posed,” Kimmons explained. “It’s the same reason that police keep murder suspects separated while they are questioning them.”

The new field manual is unclassified, so it can be shared with coalition partners and is completely transparent to scrutiny, he said.

Stimson said the new directive consolidates lessons learned in the global war on terror and incorporate key policy changes recommended in the 12 major investigations conducted during the past two years. “In fact, by publishing this document and the Army field manual, we will have addressed over 95 percent of the recommendations from those 12 major investigations since (the) Abu Ghraib (prison scandal),” he said.

The new directive and field manual were reviewed extensively within DoD, where it was endorsed by every combatant commander, the service secretaries and chiefs, the Joint Staff and service general counsels, as well as within the Justice Department.

“This directive … represents the culmination of over a year of discussion and debate within the department and the U.S. government in developing a solid foundation upon which to build future detention operations policy,” Stimson said. “It represents the concerted effort of many people in the United States government and the various components of the Defense Department.”

The revision “took time, and it took time because it was important to get it right,” he said. “And we did get it right.”

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