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Defense Department delays release of new Army interrogation manual

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] has delayed the release of a new US Army [official website] manual on interrogation of detainees aimed at eliminating harsh procedures that came to light at Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] prison in Iraq. The manual was scheduled to be released Wednesday, and sources said the delay in release was "open-ended." Pentagon officials said that the White House felt the manual was too vague as to what interrogation tactics were appropriate and sought further review by top US military commanders. The manual requires compliance with the Geneva Conventions [text] and other treaties on humane treatment of detainees, and it bars certain tactics like sleep deprivation, stripping prisoners and using dogs during interrogations. A White House spokeswoman denied that the delay in the release was ordered by the Bush administration. The White House has been battling with Congress over the interrogation issue. Sen. John McCain [official website] introduced a measure [JURIST document] that would adopt the proposed Army manual as US policy. The bill was approved in the Senate [JURIST report], but the White House has threatened to veto it [JURIST report; White House policy statement, PDF]. The Chicago Tribune has more.

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