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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 216-05
March 01, 2005

DoD Comment on ACLU and Human Rights First Lawsuit

There are 4 civil complaints under review within this Department and at the Justice Department.

 

We vigorously dispute any assertion or implication that the Department of Defense approved of, sanctioned, or condoned as a matter of policy detainee abuse.

 

No policies or procedures approved by the Secretary of Defense were intended as, or could conceivably have been interpreted as, a policy of abuse, or as condoning abuse.

 

There have been multiple investigations into the various aspects of detainee abuse.

 

None has concluded that there was a policy of abuse.

 

The Department of Defense has demonstrated a record that credible allegations of illegal conduct by U.S. military personnel are taken seriously and investigated.

 

- There have been 8 major reviews, inspections, and investigations; three more are in progress.

 

- To date, more than 100 individuals have undergone, or are undergoing, disciplinary proceedings. We anticipate there may be additional proceedings against additional individuals.

 

U.S. policy as expressed in relevant Defense Department orders, techniques, and procedures requires that detainees be treated humanely and in accordance with the law.

 

- The Geneva Conventions apply to the conflict in Iraq.

 

- The Al Qaeda and Taliban are unlawful enemy combatants who fail to comply with the laws of war.

 

- The President has ordered and Defense Department policy emphasizes that Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees be treated humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.

 

 

 

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