For Immediate Release: August 24, 2009
Washington, DC – Retired military leaders are praising today’s Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies conclusion that the Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations (FM) 2-22.3 should continue to serve as the single standard for humane interrogation and that no additional or different guidance beyond the Manual is necessary. The leaders note that the announcement marks a return to American values that were largely abandoned in the years following the 9/11 attacks when the most basic protections of the Geneva Conventions were brushed aside.
“Implementation of the Task Force’s recommendation to maintain a single standard of humane interrogation for all U.S. agencies will be essential to the safety of our troops and to the success of our counterinsurgency efforts,” stated General Charles Krulak, who served as Commandant of the Marine Corps. “By unanimously concluding that no agency need go beyond the Army’s manual on interrogation, Task Force members across the relevant agencies have rejected the use of cruelty that violates the Geneva Conventions and is counterproductive to our national security interests.”
President Barack Obama has also approved adoption of the Task Force’s recommendation to establish a High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) that will further develop interagency guidance on best practices for effective, humane interrogations.
“The Task Force’s recommendation on interrogation policy provides interrogators in the field with the clarity they need to carry out their responsibilities effectively and humanely,” stated General Joseph P. Hoar, who served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command. “Any further guidance on best interrogation practices should be rooted in the understanding that we must only use interrogation practices that we would find acceptable if used against Americans.”
General Krulak and General Hoar chair a group of retired Generals and Admirals convened by Human Rights First. The group advocates for a single standard for interrogation and detainment across agencies, and for policies that reflect our nation’s values and security interests. Sixteen members of the group stood with President Obama in the Oval Office when he signed the Executive Orders on January 22 to end the use of cruel interrogation techniques, to establish the Special Task Forces, and to close the Guantanamo prison facility.