Bush Confirms Power of CIA in Detainee Interrogations

Oh, who to believe? Reuters leads with "Bush puts CIA prisons under Geneva Conventions" while Human Rights Watch calls Bush's latest executive order confirming the power of the CIA to interrogate detainees using harsh methods a violation of international law.

Of course, the procedures Bush is authorizing are classified. It's his opinion they don't constitute torture. Hardly a guarantee you can take to the bank. The New York Times reports:

A new executive order signed by President Bush does not authorize the full set of harsh interrogation methods used by the C.I.A. since the program began in 2002. But government officials said the rules would still allow some techniques more severe than those used in interrogations by military personnel in places like the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

....In a conference call with reporters on Friday, a senior administration official indicated that another technique now forbidden would be exposure to temperature extremes, and the executive order itself states that detainees must be protected “from extremes of heat and cold.” It is unclear whether sleep deprivation, another technique used in past C.I.A. interrogations, is authorized.

And why not let the Red Cross visit the detainees?


According to the senior administration official, the C.I.A. will bar the International Committee of the Red Cross from visiting detainees in agency hands, a prohibition it has enforced in the past.

As Human Rights Watch notes,

It is well documented that holding detainees in prolonged incommunicado detention, without judicial or other independent oversight, is an invitation to torture and other abuse. Human Rights Watch pointed out that even the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been allowed to visit detainees in CIA custody.

This has all the earmarks of an order designed to continue rather than limit CIA abusive interrogation techniques.

As for the Administration's claim the U.S. does not engage in torture, let's go to some of the photos.

Do Bush's classified new interrogation procedures prohibit this?

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  • Display: Sort:
    They released it late on Friday, so it can't be (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lilybart on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 07:26:41 AM EST
    good news for detainees.

    If it were new rules for actual humane treatment, why bury it on a Friday afternoon? I would think he would highlight it, say "I said we don't torture or abuse and now it's in writing."

    But noooooo

    Sunlight (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 11:05:19 AM EST
    Is the best disinfectant. 'Trust me' is the wrong answer. If that was all it took to insure abiding by the law we wouldn't need the Geneva Conventions.

    More obvious lies from a very dark and sadistic WH.

    what got me ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Sailor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 11:16:42 PM EST
    the legislation said the
    can "interpret the meaning and application" of international standards set by
    the Geneva Conventions
    when authorizing less severe interrogation procedures.
    He just issued a signing statement on the GenCons.