- Jul 13, 2006
- Reaction score
- Suburban Chicago
Looks like President Bush finally has realized that torture doesn't work, but I still don't think he's obligated to give the POWs Geneva Convention protections.High-Value Detainees Will Be Given Prisoner-of-War Status
President Bush Expected to Announce Major Reversal in Handling of Terror Suspects
By JONATHAN KARL
Sept. 6, 2006 - ABC News has learned that President Bush will announce that high-value detainees now being held at secret CIA prisons will be transferred to the Department of Defense and granted protections under the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It will be the first time the Administration publicly acknowledges the existence of the prisons.
A source familiar with the president's announcement says it will apply to all prisoners now being held by the CIA, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept.11 attacks, and senior al Qaeda leader Ramzi Binalshibh.
The source says there are "about a dozen" prisoners now being held by the CIA.
Until now, the U.S. government has not officially acknowledged the existence of CIA prisons.
The Bush administration has come under harsh criticism for its handling of detainees captured in the U.S.-led military campaign to root out al Qaeda terror cells abroad.
Many detainees have been given the legal status of "enemy combatant," which includes both lawful enemy combatants and unlawful enemy combatants.
In an afternoon address, President Bush defended the aim of the secret program without specifically addressing controversial interrogation techniques first reported in November 2005 by ABC News' chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross. The administration has c come under criticism not only for the secret detentions, but for the alleged psychological and physical stresses used on prisoners during interrogations.
While the prisoners were detained they were exposed to "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 . The techniques were used on 14 top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques, which include slapping and scare tactics.
One of the techniques, "water-boarding," involved pouring water over the victim to make them feel as if they were drowning, a maneuver that often resulted in a confession within a few seconds. "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.
In Dec. 2005, CIA closed prisons in Poland and Romania had been closed due to Human Rights Watch reports. Since then, the locations of the prisons have been secret and the government has all but denied their existence.
The prisoners will be transferred to Guantanamo Bay Base, where they will receive the rights guaranteed them under international law through the Geneva Conventions. In late June, the Supreme Court issued a decision blocking military tribunals for detainees. A major rebuke to the Bush administration, the justices ruled that the president first needed the approval of Congress before ordering prisoners to be tried for war crimes.
The decision forced the administration to reconsider the legal battle against the prisoners, and made their future uncertain. The recently acknowledged al Qaeda prisoners recently transferred and held in the custody of the Department of Defense will be covered by this ruling as well.
As soon as Congress approves his request, the men suspected of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Towers in 2001 will be prosecuted.