Saturday, November 29, 2014

UNCAT: US Army Field Manual Appendix M Encourages Sleep Deprivation, Sensory Deprivation

Jeff Kaye at FDL's The Dissenter reports:
The United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) has released their “Concluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports of United States of America” in regards to US adherence to the prohibitions against torture and cruel, inhumane, and degrading forms of treatment of prisoners.

Within the context of the world of diplomacy, the UNCAT findings belie the US insistence that it abides by the Convention Against Torture treaty (CAT), or that it is an adequate model for humane treatment of prisoners.

In particular, the committee took aim at the presence of ill-treatment and torture within the Army Field Manual’s Appendix M, which purports to describe a “restricted interrogation technique” called “Separation.” In a victory for those who oppose government-sanctioned torture and abuse of prisoners, the UNCAT called for the US “to review Appendix M of the Army Field Manual (AFM) in light of its obligations under the Convention.”

More specifically, UNCAT identified the “minimal” sleep regulations in the manual as actually a form of sleep deprivation — “a form of ill-treatment” — and called for adherence to humane norms. In addition, the committee called for the elimination of sensory deprivation in the “field expedient” section of Appendix M, as such sensory deprivation can “create a state of psychosis with the detainee.”

[bolds mine - SB]
(NOTE: the "Army Field Manual" above apparently refers to Human Intelligence Collector Operations, FM 2-22.3 (FM 34-52) (.pdf), one of more than 500 things called "Army Field Manual.")

The nation which, during and immediately after W.W. II, protected the world from egregious torture is now itself the world's primary purveyor of techniques that are effectively torture. I grieve for my country: America is no longer the America I grew up loving and admiring.

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