By Joe Kay:
US military moves to condone “humiliating and degrading” treatment of prisoners
6 June 2006
The US military is preparing a new version of the Army Field Manual that will eliminate language prohibiting “humiliating and degrading treatment” of prisoners held in US custody, according to a report published Monday by the Los Angeles Times.
The new manual would be a further step in the repudiation of international law and the codification of torture as a component of US interrogation policy.
Summarizing the essence of the discussions, the Times quotes an individual described as being familiar with the debates in the Pentagon as saying: “The overall thinking is that they need the flexibility to apply cruel techniques if military necessity requires it.”
By altering the language of the Field Manual, which is the standard of conduct for all US soldiers on the ground, the Pentagon is sending a signal to the military as a whole: prisoner abuse will continue to be tolerated and encouraged.