The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Thursday to require the administration to provide a legal opinion on how it is complying with — and thus interprets — a ban on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners.
The administration has been fiercely protective of its policies governing the treatment of detainees in the war on terrorism. The Republican-run Congress approved the ban last year on prisoner mistreatment, despite months of White House opposition.
One thing struck me odd about this article:
Congressional aides say the provision also reflects a bipartisan concern that U.S. troops still don't have clear guidelines about what they can and cannot do when trying to extract information from captured enemies.
The release of an updated version of the Army Field Manual, by which service members must abide under the 2005 law, has been delayed for months.
The Pentagon and the Army have been reviewing a draft of it — including a classified annex — for more than a year.
Several senators privately cautioned the Pentagon last week that keeping parts of the manual secret could raise suspicions that the United States was violating international and U.S. laws and rules governing detainee treatment.
That has touched off a fresh debate over what parts, if any, should be kept secret.
In a time when the U.S. military is being accused of prisoner abuse and torture, I would think that they wouldn’t want to keep these aspects secret. We need to take every step possible to show the world that these allegations are not true, and that we are not a country of abuse and torture.