Senate-House Conference Votes to Make “Army Field Manual” Interrogation and Detainee Provisions the “Law of the Land”

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Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner & Annie steve clemons small.jpg
So many have asked for a new picture of Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner and Annie the kid sister that I have this about to share. (Here is a slightly larger photo for the real fan club members)
Thanks to all for the sensible, thoughtful commentary below on Comments. I think we are all collectively on the right track. I very much appreciate the spirit folks are demonstrating in making the comment something a collective responsibility for mutual learning and quality discourse.
I plan to write more tomorrow — on the powerful and disturbing film Taxi to the Dark Side and the discussion we had this evening with director Alex Gibney, former FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan, former Abu Ghraib and Bergram military intelligence interrogator Damian Corsetti, and former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson. I’d write something now — but am pretty “whacked” as my British friends would say and just can’t pull it together until tomorrow.
Also, important Supreme Court hearings were held today on two Guantanamo related cases — and that will deserve some review.
But most importantly, I learned something this evening that may be significant and which AP also just reported. Today, the Senate-House Intelligence Conference voted today to make the Army Field Manual the standard for all detainee issues in interrogation and detention methods — or “the law of the land” as my source told me. That means for the CIA and all branches of the national security, military, and intelligence establishment.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

12 comments on “Senate-House Conference Votes to Make “Army Field Manual” Interrogation and Detainee Provisions the “Law of the Land”

  1. Tom Parrish says:

    The proposed law also will give an opportunity to those in the Administration who authorized and participated in our torture policy to argue they cannot be prosecuted. They could argue that enhanced interrogation techniques were not clearly illegal until this law was passed, and therefore to apply the law to their actions would be illegal under the ex post facto prohibition of the U.S. Constitution.
    Why create a legal defense for those buggers when the law is already clear to everyone but John Yoo and those who allegedly relied on his opinions?

    Reply

  2. Tom Parrish says:

    The proposed law also will give an opportunity to those in the Administration who authorized and participated in our torture policy to argue they cannot be prosecuted. They could argue that enhanced interrogation techniques were not clearly illegal until this law was passed, and therefore to apply the law to their actions would be illegal under the ex post facto prohibition of the U.S. Constitution.
    Why create a legal defense for those buggers when the law is already clear to everyone but John Yoo and those who allegedly relied on his opinions?

    Reply

  3. Ian Kaplan says:

    The wonderful dog pictures are a big improvement over apologias for retiring Bush water carriers and Senators who talk a good line but lack the spine to actually vote against Bush. I think that the human race would be better if we lived up to what our dogs think of us.
    Ian

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  4. ckrantz says:

    I’m usually one of the silent readers of the blog but for once I thought I would make a comment.
    Personally I read Steve’s blog because of its Washington content. American decision makers and the ‘Washington agenda’ matters very much to us living on the other of the Atlantic. Insights into both the people and the issues are invaluable. Germany, France, England and even my country Sweden are today involved in Afghanistan with troops through Nato. And Sweden alone expects to receive around 40000 refuges from Iraq this year. A stabilization of the ME region is vital to Europe. And much of that will be decided by what route a future administration takes.
    Not really on topic but and interesting photo essay with some of the iraqi refugees in Sweden.
    http://www.viiphoto.com/showstory.php?nID=576
    Keep up the good work.

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  5. jp says:

    ..so we simply change how we identify those taken in the GWOT from “Detainee” to something else, declare that the AFM doesn’t apply, and we can get back to the waterboarding without delay.
    If we can do it with Habeus Corpus, which has been around since the 1200’s, we sure can do it with the AFM.

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  6. Carroll says:

    Are there puppies in the picture for Annie and Oakely one day? Must have puppies!

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  7. liz says:

    I still love the dog pics Steve. Thanks for sharing.
    About your ” rant”…. sometimes people make comments that are pointed towards other things that events play on. Hope you are trying to stifle opening your mind.
    I enjoy your perspectives but sometimes see things a different way since I am out in tv land…..

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  8. gregariousred says:

    I try to limit my comments to doggy pictures…thank you for the new pics! Your dogs are beautiful!

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  9. jhm says:

    Would this mean that future changes to the AFM would be binding on US personnel? or only the current iteration? Who would adjudicate adherence?

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  10. jon says:

    Anything that brings US practices on foreign territory into alignment with either domestic legal standards or the Geneva Conventions is to be applauded. Small, somewhat late steps in the right direction.

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  11. Steve Clemons says:

    Serge — many thanks for the note. “Knackered” would be a good word to describe where I wss last night, but my British-Israeli colleague Daniel Levy, who works really long hours, is always saying “I’m whacked.” It’s affected my language….so maybe we ae starting something new?
    Best — and thanks for your supportive comment of TWN.
    best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  12. serge says:

    Whacked…? Shouldn’t that be “knackered?” In all seriousness, while I read your blog daily, I rarely feel qualified to comment. While I’m here, I’ll just say that yours is the best foreign policy blog out there IMHO.
    Serge

    Reply

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