Senators working on bill to define rules for wartime prisoners

[JURIST] Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Warner (R-VA) [official websites] are drafting a bill which would provide clear and uniform rules [JURIST report] for detention, interrogation and prosecution of prisoners during wartime, according to a new report in Newsweek magazine. The bill would follow international anti-torture laws and treaties, and revisions are being proposed for Army Field Manual 34-52 [text], which was the primary source on guidelines for prisoner interrogation prior to changes made by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [White House profile]. The senators' efforts would remove control over such matters from Rumsfeld and the Pentagon is attempting to head off the potential bill by working with the Defense Department to revise the manual first. News of the bill came after McCain denounced the treatment of Gitmo detainees at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing [witness list, executive summary] last week to question Army General Bantz Craddock, head of the US Southern Command which oversees the naval base. Craddock refused to follow recommendations [JURIST report] from a Southern Command report [PDF] to reprimand former Guantanamo commander Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller [Wikipedia profile] for the abusive interrogation of a detainee. The senators' bill may be proposed this coming week. Newsweek has more.



 

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