WASHINGTON (AP) – A new Army manual bans torture and degrading treatment of prisoners, for the first time specifically mentioning forced nakedness, hooding and other infamous procedures used during the five-year-old fight against terrorism.
Delayed more than a year amid criticism of the Defense Department’s treatment of prisoners, the revised Army Field Manual released yesterday updates a 1992 version.
It also explicitly bans beating prisoners, sexually humiliating them, threatening them with dogs, depriving them of food or water, performing mock executions, shocking them with electricity, burning them, causing other pain and a technique called “water boarding” that simulates drowning, said Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.
Officials said the revisions are based on lessons learned since the U.S. began taking prisoners after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Release of the manual came amid a flurry of announcements about U.S. handling of prisoners, which has drawn criticism from Bush administration critics as well as domestic and international allies.
The Pentagon also announced an overall policy statement on prisoner operations. President Bush acknowledged the existence of previously secret CIA prisons around the world where terrorist suspects have been held and interrogated.