Pentagon Tells Red Cross Who's in Secret Prisons

Military grants group access to prisoners
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2009 2:40 PM CDT
The military is now notifying the Red Cross of the identities of militants who were being held in secret camps.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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(Newser) – After years of refusing the Red Cross information about terror suspects held in two secret camps in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has quietly reversed course, the New York Times reports. The military has begun providing the identities of prisoners at the sites in Balad, Iraq, and Bagram, Afghanstan. Under the new rules, the information must come within two weeks of capture, allowing the agency to keep track of the prisoners.

Officials attribute the change in part to a new climate engendered by the Obama administration, and the news comes as the CIA is set to release a scathing report on detainee abuse perpetrated at the agency’s secret prisons. The two camps in question are not part of the CIA operation but are instead run by the military. The Iraq site has held up to about 40 foreigners at a time, with the Bagram number probably smaller.