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Top US commander in Iraq authorized extreme interrogation tactics

[JURIST] Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, once the top US commander in Iraq, authorized harsh prisoner interrogation tactics, according to a 2003 memo obtained and released by the ACLU [ACLU press release] under its ongoing Freedom of Information Act requests for government documents on torture [document list]. In his September 2003 memo [text, via ACLU], Sanchez authorizes 29 interrogation techniques, including the presence of military working dogs because it "exploits Arab fear of dogs." Several of the authorized interrogation techniques go beyond the scope of the Army's field manual, which is designed to adhere to Geneva Convention [ICRC backgrounder] rules. The Sanchez memo does note that the Geneva Conventions "are applicable" and that detainees should be treated humanely. A subsequent October 2003 Sanchez memo [text, via ACLU] describing interrogation policies has also been released. Reuters has more.

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