[JURIST] High-level military attorneys have told Congress that some interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] are not consistent with guidelines in the Army Field Manual [interrogation manual; additional manuals]. In a written response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee [official website], lawyers from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps wrote that certain tactics used to interrogate terrorism suspect Mohamed al-Qahtani [TIME report], the so-called "20th hijacker", could be considered violations of policy because they were humiliating or degrading. Interrogators forced al-Qahtani to wear women's undergarments, called him a homosexual and implied that others knew he was a homosexual, forced him to perform dog tricks, and forced him to stand naked in the presence of female soldiers. The lawyers said these methods do not follow policy.
Last July, a Pentagon report [PDF text; JURIST report] by two generals concluded that although the tactics as a whole may be degrading, each was individually authorized by the manual:
Despite the fact that the AR 15-6 concluded that every technique employed against the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan was legally permissible under the existing guidance, the AR 15-6 finds that the creative, aggressive, and persistent interrogation of the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan resulted in the cumulative effect being degrading and abusive treatment.
The Army is working on a new version of the manual to iron out such inconsistencies, but internal debate has delayed its publication several times. The Washington Post has more.