The good news is that the Bush administration is slowing eschewing 19th century methods of war.
A new Army manual bans torture and degrading treatment of prisoners, for the first time specifically mentioning forced nakedness, hooding and other procedures that have become infamous during the five-year-old war on terror.
Delayed more than a year amid criticism of the Defense Department’s treatment of prisoners, the new Army Field Manual was being released Wednesday, revising one from 1992.
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 .
The bad news is some prisoners don’t fall under the provisions of this manual.
President Bush on Wednesday acknowledged the existence of previously secret CIA prisons around the world and said 14 high-value terrorism suspects — including the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks — have been transferred from the system to Guantanamo Bay for trials.
He said the “small number” of detainees that have been kept in CIA custody include people responsible for the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 in Yemen and the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in addition to the 2001 attacks.
…The president said the 14 key terrorist leaders, including Mohammed, Binalshibh, and Zubaydah, that have been transferred to the U.S. military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay would be afforded legal some protections consistent with the Geneva conventions.
That’s some assurance, isn’t it.