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American Forces Press Service

New Detention Policies Hold Troops Accountable for Enforcement

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2006 – In addition to ensuring humane treatment of all detainees, a new policy directive and field manual released yesterday hold all servicemembers involved in or familiar with detainee operations accountable to ensure they are enforced.

DoD Directive 2310.01E, “The Department of Defense Detainee Program,” describes core policies critical to ensuring that all detainees -- lawful and unlawful enemy combatants alike -- are treated humanely and within the law, explained Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, during a Pentagon briefing yesterday.

But the policy also provides safeguards to ensure these standards are enforced, throughout the chain of command and from the time of capture, throughout the detention period. “It requires that all persons subject to this directive report possible, suspected or alleged violations of the law of war or our detention operations laws, regulations or policy,” Stimson said.

“DoD has and … will continue to hold accountable those who violate the law or our detention policies,” he said.

Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence, told reporters the Army is more than doubling the size of its human-intelligence force and is ensuring these troops have the guidance and training required to do the job.

Combat training centers incorporate foreign role players in realistic training exercises and rehearsals to prepare troops for combat operations in tough, complex environments, he said. Courses of instruction on detention, interrogation and human intelligence offered at the Army’s military intelligence, military police and judge advocate general schools incorporate lessons learned from battlefield experiences.

With more than four-fifths of the 500-plus interrogators deployed worldwide coming from the Army’s ranks, no service has a bigger stake in ensuring a strong intelligence-gathering effort that generates actionable intelligence of practical, tactical relevance to combat commanders, Kimmons said.

“The work which our interrogators do … saves lives, … U.S. lives, coalition lives and innocent civilian lives,” he said. “And we’re immensely proud of the accomplishments of our interrogator workforce.”

Kimmons said the new Army Field Manual 2-22.3, “Human Intelligence Collector Operations,” provides specific guidelines for those directly involved in detention and interrogation efforts in straightforward language.

It applies to everyone involved in detainee operations and interrogations, including battlefield interrogations at the point of capture, he said.

The field manual outlines 19 acceptable interrogation approaches, and includes examples of correct usage of these techniques. “It tries to leave as little to the imagination as possible without being overly prescriptive, and we think we’ve done a good job,” Kimmons said.

The manual also lists specific unauthorized behaviors and clarifies the difference between military intelligence and military police roles. Although these roles are complementary, military police don’t participate in interrogations and don’t set up conditions or “soften” detainees, Kimmons said.

The manual also defines the roles and functions of healthcare providers, limiting their involvement in the interrogation effort to normal precautionary medical inspection and care and emergency services.

In addition, one of the field manual’s most significant features is its clear assignment of responsibility for detainee treatment. “The field manual makes clear that commanders of forces which conduct detention operations or interrogation operations are directly accountable and responsible for humane detainee treatment in addition to their other command responsibilities,” he said. Violations of the manual are punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

But accountability doesn’t stop there. “It emphasizes the responsibility of every servicemember to report observed, suspected or alleged detainee abuse, and it tells them how to do it,” Kimmons said. “It also gives them guidance on how to report it if they suspect their chain of command is complicit.”

Kimmons said the new field manual gives servicemembers the tools they need for a difficult mission. “Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines need it to get this tough work done,” he said, “and we need to put it into their hands without further delay.”

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