Army Stresses Waterboarding Ban In Military




 
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Army Stresses Waterboarding Ban In Military
 
November 14th, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Army Stresses Waterboarding Ban In Military


Army Stresses Waterboarding Ban In Military
Washington Times
November 14, 2007
Pg. 6
Aims to eliminate confusion
By Associated Press
The Army has sent out a message to its leaders repeating that waterboarding is prohibited in the military as an interrogation technique.
The service issued the Nov. 6 message "to eliminate any confusion that may have arisen as a result of recent public discourse on the subject." The discourse was on Capitol Hill before Congress approved a new attorney general who refused to describe the technique as torture.
The U.S. military formally banned waterboarding as an interrogation technique in September 2006.
However, at Senate confirmation hearings last month, then-nominee Michael B. Mukasey repeatedly refused to say whether he considers waterboarding a form of torture, as claimed by some.
The service issued a "strategic communication hot topic" alert to its senior leaders just days before the Senate confirmed Mr. Mukasey, asking them to make sure every soldier, family member and Army civilian employee understands the ban on waterboarding. Mr. Mukasey was sworn in Friday. The formal ceremony is scheduled today.
"The U.S. Army strictly prohibits the use of waterboarding during intelligence investigations by any of its members. It is specifically prohibited by Field Manual 2-22.3 and is not a sanctioned interrogation technique in any training manual or any instructions to soldiers in the field," the statement says.
Waterboarding involves strapping down a prisoner, covering his mouth with plastic or cloth and pouring water over his face. The prisoner quickly begins to inhale water, causing the sensation of drowning.
Mr. Mukasey's refusal to define waterboarding as torture came in response to senators' questions about the CIA's purported use of the technique. It is thought the CIA used the technique on three prisoners, the last time in 2003. CIA Director Michael V. Hayden prohibited the use of waterboarding in CIA interrogations last year.
If Mr. Mukasey confirmed that waterboarding is torture, it could put the CIA interrogators and possibly the chain of command above them in legal peril. Torture is illegal both under U.S. and international law.
As Mr. Mukasey equivocated on Capitol Hill, saying he would have to know the specific details surrounding the interrogation to judge whether it was torture, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reiterated the military ban at a press conference on Nov. 1.
"The fact is it's not a permitted technique under the Army Field Manual, and therefore, no member of the U.S. military is allowed to do it, period," he said.
Mr. Gates would not say whether he thinks the banned technique amounts to torture.
"I am not going to wander into that legal thicket," he said.
 


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