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Pentagon issues new rules governing terror detainee interrogations

[JURIST] The Pentagon on Tuesday announced [press release] it has issued a new directive restricting interrogation practices of suspected terrorists. Department of Defense Directive 3115.09 [PDF text; NYT report] establishes the broad requirement that all intelligence interrogations of detained individuals be conducted in a humane manner. Although the directive was intended to set general policy rather than specific rules, it specifically prohibits the use of dogs to intimidate or harass detainees during interrogation procedures. This new directive is the latest step taken by the Pentagon to curtail abuse during detainee interrogations. Earlier this month, the Pentagon issued an updated version of Department of Defense Directive 2310.1 [1994 text], which included language from the Geneva Conventions and sparked a debate [JURIST report] within the Bush Administration. Advocates of that directive believed that bringing interrogation policies in line with the Geneva Conventions would help prevent further abuses, but critics argued that the directive's language was overly vague and would restrict the government's ability to wage an effective war on terror. AP has more on today's announcement.

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