DETAINEE OPS UPDATE

Thursday September 29, 2005

- The Army is committed to ensuring that all of its Soldiers live up to the Army Values and the Law of War regardless of the environment or circumstances, and the Army is equally committed to ensuring that those responsible for detainee abuse are held appropriately accountable.

- The Army is committed to ensuring all Soldiers live up to the Army Values and the Law of War regardless of the environment or circumstance.

- The Army does not tolerate detainee abuse. All allegations of detainee abuse are aggressively investigated and individuals convicted of abuse are held appropriately accountable.

- Army policy requires that all detainees are treated humanely.

- The Army has been committed to the continual improvement of detainee and interrogation operations, have ensured strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and have perpetually informed the Congress and the American people of the progress that's been made.

- Army detention operations and processes are transparent, open for scrutiny by other parts of the United States government, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the media.

In June 2005, the Department of Defense released guidance to to the military services and commands reiterating policies regarding the care and handling of enemy prisoners of war, detainees, retained persons and civilian internees.
DoD Memo

New guidelines set forth in August 2005, will bring the proceedings closer to the traditional judge-and-jury system in the American courts.

UNDER THE NEW RULES:

- Only the presiding officer will rule on questions of law. And the presiding officer will not be present for deliberations, nor will he have a vote in deciding guilt or innocence or in sentencing.

- A minimum number of officers are set who can sit on the panel for both capital and noncapital cases. Noncapital cases now require a minimum of three officers in addition to the presiding officer, while seven panel members and a presiding officer must now hear capital cases.

- Wording concerning defendants' access to the proceedings is strengthened. Under previous rules, a defendant "may be present to the extent consistent with the need to protect classified information and other national security interests."

- The defendant "shall" be present, but with the same caveats on protecting classified information and national security interests. An addition to the rules states that such protected information will be excluded from a trial if "its admission would result in denial of a full and fair trial".

- The Military Commissions Review Panel is allowed to take up to 75 days from the date it receives the official transcript to review each case. Previous rules allowed the review panel 30 days from the date a case was completed to finalize a review.

Source-AFIS: Officials Announce Changes to Military Commissions Procedures

NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • Stryker proves its worth to the Army (ND)
  • Stryker brigade preparing to put boots on the ground (ND)
  • Army transformation modeled after Stryker units (ND)
  • Pennsylvania National Guard ensure road safety in Iraq (PI | EB)
  • No evidence found in inquiry of graphic photographs (NYT/EB)
  • Inquiry into web photos yields insufficient evidence to pursue charges (WP | EB)
  • Parents of slain Soldier feud over payments (PBP | EB)
  • Army demonstrates Future Combat Systems (ARNEWS)
  • Army depot employees save $90 million (ARNEWS)
  • Army re-enlistment bonus to expire (Army Times)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • Saddam Hussein's defense is in turmoil (LAT | EB)
  • Escalation of violence expected (WP | EB)
  • Top U.S. commander backs away from previous prediction (PI | EB)
  • Sudden attack from insurgents on border town (SFC | EB)
  • This time Sunnis are organized (USAT/EB)
  • Attacks by gunmen left at least six people dead (CNN)
  • NG: shortages worsened by hurricanes' demand (MSNBC)
  • Decision on reimbursements to Soldiers for body armor looms (AJC)
  • Myers holds final news conference as Chairman (AFIS)

OF INTEREST

  • First all-female crew flies combat mission (DA)
  • 43 contestants battle for a spot in unmanned military vehicles race (MH)
  • Turkish women's rights group confront Hughes (WP | EB)
  • Military, lawmakers debate disaster relief role (Army Times)
  • Experts attempt to indentify bomber (SPI)
  • Bolton warns U.N. momentum to reform will stall (WT)
  • has a new commander (MH | EB)
  • Germany increases troops in Afghanistan (LFT/EB)
  • Plan to deal with mobile military children in works (NVP/EB)

WORLD VIEW

  • Japan considers pulling its 600 troops out of Iraq (Reuters | story)
  • Insurgents in Iraq will step up their attacks (BBC News | story)
  • Reuters international news agency makes official complaint (Aljazeera | story)
  • U.N. sets curfew for staff in Kabul (Swissinfo | story)
  • Security tightened in France after terror allegations (The Scotsman | story)
  • Insurgents importing Iraqi-style tactics into Afghanistan (The Guardian | story)
  • Opinion: 'Troops aren't answer in Afghanistan' (Deutsche Welle | story)
  • Opinion: 'If U.S. wasn't hurricane-ready, what about a terrorist attack?' (Gulf News | story)

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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

The Soldiers who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan reflect the very best of what America has to offer. They are motivated by an unwavering belief that they are serving for what is good, right and just, and that they will be victorious. (SASC Testimony, 30 Jun 2005)

Peter J.Schoomaker
Chief of Staff, United States Army

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