The November 9 editorial (“Torture’s Enablers”) claims that “the Department of Defense has authorized waterboarding for use by U.S. personnel.”
In fact, the opposite is true. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 states, “No person in the custody or under effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.” No Army Field Manual, including the current one, has ever authorized waterboarding.
And in public testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on August 6, 2006, the senior uniformed lawyers of the Air Force, the Army, the Marine Corps, and the Navy all testified that waterboarding is illegal, inhumane, inconsistent with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, inconsistent with the Army Field Manual, and that its use by enemy forces against U.S. prisoners of war would violate international or U.S. law.
ALBERT C. PIERCE Alexandria, Va. The writer is University Professor of Ethics and National Security at the National Defense University.