Global detention system: Stopping the Torture
In an attempt to still increasing criticism regarding the abuse of prisoners held within the global detention system, on November 8, 2005, the Department of Defense announced the release of DoD Directive 3115.09, "DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning." The Directive, begun in December 2004, was signed November 3, 2005, by Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England.
The new Directive "takes the lessons learned in the global war on terrorism and consolidates them into one overarching document," Department of Defense officials said November 8, 2005. "The bottom line, according to the document, is that 'all intelligence interrogations, debriefings, or tactical questioning to gain intelligence from captured or detained personnel shall be conducted humanely'." "Acts of physical or mental torture are prohibited," as is "the use of dogs in any interrogation." 
"The nine-page directive also establishes requirements for reporting violations of the policy, and stresses that interrogations will be done in accordance with applicable law and policy. The document defines applicable law and policy, including the 'law of war, relevant international law, U.S. law, and applicable directives.'" The directive also "references DoD Directive 2310.01, 'DoD Detainee Program,' which is being rewritten ... [and is currently] going through policy coordination." 
- Jim Garamone, News Release: "New DoD Directive Sets Detainee Interrogation Policy," Armed Forces Press Service, November 8, 2005.
- Merle L. Kellerhals, Jr., News Release: "Pentagon Adopts New Detainee Interrogation Policy. Policy prohibits physical or mental torture," U.S. Department of State, November 8, 2005.
- Eric Schmitt and Tim Golden, "Pentagon Plans Tighter Control of Interrogation," New York Times, November 8, 2005.
- Greg Sampson, "Pentagon issues new rules governing terror detainee interrogations," Jurist, November 8, 2005.
- Josh White, "Defense Document Bans Detainee Torture," Washington Post, November 9, 2005.
- Two British Torture Memos (.pdf) regarding information obtained via torture in Uzbekistan being used by the US and UK released in the blogosphere December 29, 2005.
"We do not torture"
On November 7, 2005, President George W. Bush, while in Panama, told reporters "'There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again, ... So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law.'" Bush declared "We do not torture."
"'Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people,' Bush said. 'Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture.'"
In a November 21, 2005, USA Today interview, Porter Goss, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said that CIA "interrogators use 'unique' methods to obtain 'vital' information from prisoners, but strictly obey laws against torture."
"'This agency does not do torture. Torture does not work, ... We use lawful capabilities to collect vital information and we do it in a variety of unique and innovative ways, all of which are legal and none of which are torture,' Goss told the newspaper."
- "US does not torture, Bush insists," BBC, November 7, 2005.
- Leonard Pitts, Jr., "A betrayal of our most precious values," Buffalo News, November 12, 2005.
- Frank Rich, "'We Do Not Torture' and Other Funny Stories," New York Times (TruthOut), November 13, 2005.
- Worldwide Prisoner Abuse Watch website.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Bodies - Mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights
- International Committee of the Red Cross, The Geneva Conventions: the core of international humanitarian law
Prisoner Data Base
The names of prisoners detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is posted on the Washington Post website, with the most recent update November 7, 2005.
Links Specific to Prisoner Abuse
- Tom Engelhardt, "A Torture System (redux)," Progressive News, 2004.
- Jane Mayer, "Outsourcing Torture. The secret history of America’s 'extraordinary rendition' program," The New Yorker, February 14, 2004 (issue).
- Thomas Blanton and Peter Kornbluh, "Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past. Cheney Warned in 1992," CounterPunch, May 11, 2004. (emphasis added)
- David Johnston and Tim Golden, "Rumsfeld Backed Harsh Tactics, Article Says," New York Times, May 16, 2004.
- Mark Rothschild, "Pentagon Lied to Reporters About Interrogations," Antiwar.com, May 20, 2004.
- John Barry, Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff, "The Roots of Torture. The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war," Newsweek (MSNBC), May 24, 2004.
- "Democrat says memo justifies prisoner torture. 'This memo is shocking,' congresswoman says of Justice Dept. paper," Associated Press (MSNBC), June 9, 2004.
- Michael Hirsh, John Barry and Daniel Klaidman,"A Tortured Debate," Newsweek, June 21, 2004 (issue): "Amid feuding and turf battles, lawyers in the White House discussed specific terror-interrogation techniques like 'water-boarding' and 'mock burials'."
- Bill Van Auken, "Rumsfeld, Rice tied to torture in Iraq," Axis of Logic, June 22, 2004.
- William Fisher, "Trickle of Prison Abuse Reports Becoming A Torrent," Inter Press News Service, January 6, 2005.
- Dana Priest, "CIA Avoids Scrutiny of Detainee Treatment. Afghan's Death Took Two Years to Come to Light; Agency Says Abuse Claims Are Probed Fully," Washington Post, March 3, 2005.
- Editorial: "Abuse in Secret," Washington Post (TruthOut), March 5, 2005.
- "U.S.: License to Abuse Would Put CIA Above the Law. Congress Should Reject Proposed Exemption From Ban on Inhumane Treatment," Human Rights Watch, October 26, 2005.
- "Former Powell aide links Cheney's office to abuse directives," Agence France Presse (International Herald Tribune), November 3, 2005.
- "More Fodder for Press: Wilkerson Charges Cheney Responsible for Prisoner Abuse," Editor & Publisher, November 4, 2005.
- Dana Priest and Robin Wright, "Cheney Fights for Detainee Policy. As Pressure Mounts to Limit Handling Of Terror Suspects, He Holds Hard Line," Washington Post, November 7, 2005.
- Douglas Jehl, "Classified Report Warned on C.I.A.'s Tactics in Interrogation," New York Times, November 9, 2005.
- "Frist concerned more about leaks than secret prisons," Associated Press (CNN), November 10, 2005: "Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he is more concerned about the leak of information regarding secret CIA detention centers than activity in the prisons themselves."
- "Former CIA director accuses Cheney of overseeing torture," Agence France Presse, November 18, 2005: "Admiral Stansfield Turner, a former CIA director, accused US Vice President Dick Cheney of overseeing policies of torturing terrorist suspects and damaging the nation's reputation, in a television interview."
- "Powell aide: Torture 'guidance' from VP. Former staff chief says Cheney's 'flexibility' helped lead to abuse," CNN, November 20, 2005.
- Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith, "Ban Torture or Protect Torturers?" The Nation (Common Dreams), December 4, 2005.
- Chris Mullin, "America Must Tell Us The Truth About its Gulag," Independent (UK) (Common Dreams), December 4, 2005.
- Glenn Kessler, "Rice Defends Tactics Used Against Suspects. Europe Aware of Operations, She Implies," Washington Post, December 5, 2005.
- Walter Pincus, "Waterboarding Historically Controversial. In 1947, the U.S. Called It a War Crime; in 1968, It Reportedly Caused an Investigation," Washington Post, October 5, 2006.
- Jonathan Marcus, "Heated debate over use of torture," BBC, October 19, 2006: "Can the so-called 'ticking bomb' defence - the argument that using some degree of torture may save lives - ever be a justification for mistreating suspects?"
- "Interrogation method's use confirmed," McClatchy-Tribune (Baltimore Sun), October 26, 2006.
- Jonathan Schell, "The Torture Election," The Nation, October 26, 2006 (posted); November 13, 2006 (issue). re U.S. congressional elections in 2006
- "Bush enters Cheney 'torture row'," BBC, October 28, 2006: "US President George Bush has reiterated his position that the US administration does not condone torture, following comments by Vice-President Dick Cheney."
- Dan Eggen, "CIA Acknowledges 2 Interrogation Memos. Papers Called Too Sensitive for Release," Washington Post, November 14, 2006.