Pentagon to release long-await manual with prison interrogation techniques


WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 ó A new Army manual bans some prisoner interrogation techniques made infamous during the 5-year-old war on terror and adds others the Pentagon thinks are necessary, officials said Wednesday.
Delayed more than a year amid criticism of the Defense Department's treatment of prisoners, the new Army Field Manual was set to be released later Wednesday.

It spells out appropriate conduct and procedures on a wide range of military issues and applies to all the armed services, not just the Army. It doesn't cover the CIA, which also has come under investigation for mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan and for allegedly keeping suspects in secret prisons elsewhere around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The new Army manual specifically forbids intimidating prisoners with military dogs, putting hoods over their heads and simulating the sensation of drowning with a procedure called ''water boarding,'' one defense official said on condition of anonymity because the manual had not yet been released.
Sixteen of the manual's 19 interrogation techniques were covered in the old manual and three new ones were added on the basis of lessons learned in the counter-terror war, the official said, adding only that the techniques are ''not more aggressive'' than those in the pre-Sept. 11 manual.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said from the start of the war that prisoners are treated humanely and in a manner ''consistent with Geneva Conventions.''
But President Bush decided shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks that since this is not a conventional war, ''enemy combatants'' captured in the fight against al-Qaida would not be considered POWs and thus would not be afforded the protections of the convention.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Wednesday that the new Army manual ''reflects the department's continued commitment to humane, professional and effective detention operations and builds on lessons learned and a review of detention operations.''
Human rights groups and some nations also have urged the Bush administration to close the prison at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since not long after it opened in 2002.

Why donít we just apply the golden rule: we do to them as they have done to us?