US Army memo reconfirms ban on waterboarding as interrogation technique

[JURIST] The US Army [official website] has issued a statement to top personnel reiterating the Army's ban on waterboarding [JURIST news archive] as an interrogation technique, AP reported Tuesday. The Army officially banned the use of waterboarding in September 2006 with the release of the interrogation guide Field Manual 2-22.3 [PDF text; press release], which deemed it a "prohibited action." The November 6 "strategic communication hot topic" was released to top Army officers "to eliminate any confusion that may have arisen as a result of recent public discourse on the subject" and to ensure that the army's stance against waterboarding was clear. AP has more.

Waterboarding became a key issue in the confirmation of newly appointed US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [WH profile; JURIST news archive] when he refused to say that the practice constitutes torture. Much of the opposition to Mukasey's nomination [JURIST report] centered on this stance. Last week, a former Navy interrogation instructor and counter-terrorism intelligence specialist told a US House of Representatives subcommittee that waterboarding "is torture and should be banned" [JURIST report].

 

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