Magazine article Newsweek

The Military: A Move for Clear Rules for Gitmo

Magazine article Newsweek

The Military: A Move for Clear Rules for Gitmo

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Hirsh

John McCain learned about interrogation abuses as a POW in Vietnam. And since the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal broke, the Arizona senator has grown increasingly angry over the Pentagon's failure to state clearly what its rules of interrogation are, especially at Guantanamo Bay. McCain got tough last week with Army Gen. Bentz Craddock, the head of U.S. Southern Command (under which Gitmo falls). After questioning Craddock at a Senate hearing, McCain said U.S. policy on the treatment of prisoners was still a "morass."

Now McCain and fellow Senate Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, with the help of Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner, are drafting a bill that would take matters out of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's hands and create clear rules for wartime detention, interrogation and prosecution. McCain, says spokeswoman Andrea Jones, "plans to introduce legislation that will set uniform standards for detainees." He is discussing legal language that would make a revised Army Field Manual 34-52-- the main guide for interrogations before Rumsfeld authorized new approaches--the rulebook. Such an approach would conform with anti-torture laws and treaties. Graham, a former Air Force prosecutor, wants to clarify rules for Gitmo tribunals, says spokesman Kevin Bishop. No one at Gitmo has yet been charged, and Graham "wants to see people prosecuted," says Bishop. The bill could be brought up as early as this week.

McCain and Graham, both of whom are said to have presidential ambitions, are trying to draft the bill quietly. …

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