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US House votes to prohibit contractors from interrogating detainees

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Wednesday approved by voice vote a ban prohibiting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] from allowing private contractors to interrogate detainees. The ban is part of a bill [HR 5959 materials] authorizing intelligence expenditures for the 2009 fiscal year. US President George W. Bush has threatened to veto the legislation, objecting to provisions that would require the administration to disclose certain national security information to Congress and to appoint an inspector general for each of the 16 US intelligence agencies. Reuters has more.

In May, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] approved [JURIST report] a similar measure intended to prevent intelligence agencies from holding "ghost detainees" [JURIST news archive], prisoners who are held in secret without record or communication. That bill also contains a provision that restricts CIA interrogators [JURIST report] to techniques included in the 2006 Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations [PDF text; press release]. In March, Bush vetoed [JURIST report] the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008 [HR 2082 materials], which included a similar provision limiting CIA interrogators to interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual, and an attempt to override the veto failed [JURIST report].

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