Interrogators Ask US to Drop 'Abusive' Techniques
'Appendix M' also limits more humane method
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2010 3:17 PM CST
In this photo reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee holds on to a fence inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility, Tuesday April 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michelle Shephard, Pool)

(Newser) – More than a dozen expert interrogators have written an open letter urging defense chief Robert Gates to scrap a section of the Army Field Manual because it endorses methods they consider "abusive" and "counterproductive," reports Harper's. "The use of sensory deprivation techniques, extreme isolation and stress positions is likely to lead to false information, facilitate enemy recruitment, and further erode the reputation of the United States,” they write of the manual's Appendix M.

A key problem is that the appendix seems to confuse the more brutal "isolation"—this calls for trying to break detainees by, for example, forcing them to wear black goggles for 12-hour stretches—with the more humane "separation." The latter simply involves keeping detainees in separate quarters so they're comfortable giving up information. Grouping it with the other methods in Appendix M limits its use. The short recommendation: Scrap Appendix M but keep "separation."