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Thread: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

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    U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees - CNN.com

    A controversial policy that gives U.S. forces in Afghanistan four days to question detainees is being changed to give soldiers more time to interrogate the captives, Gen. David Petraeus said Tuesday. Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that American troops will now be able to hold detainees for up to 14 days before either releasing them or turning them over to the Afghan government. In some cases, longer detention will be an option, he said. Currently, U.S. troops have 96 hours to question people picked up in the field before they must either release them or hand them over to Afghan authorities. The rule is designed to give the Afghan government control over detainees and avoid abuses.
    This is interesting enough by itself, but the incident that prompted this change is what really intrigued me:

    CNN began examining the 96-hour rule with the case of Roger Hill, a former Army captain, who received a general discharge for his role in the questioning of 12 detainees. Those men, including one who was his trusted interpreter, had worked on his base in Afghanistan. Hill was the U.S. commander in Wardak Province, in eastern Afghanistan, for much of 2008, and said he feared the enemy was tracking his every move. He suspected an inside threat. "Out of a 90-man company, we had 30 wounded, to include two killed in action," he said. He said his headquarters sent a team to the base to detect possible spies. The team screened cell phone activity to find out which Afghan civilians working on the base were really working for the Taliban -- and his interpreter was one of them.

    Angry and frustrated that the interpreter might be the one sabotaging missions, Hill detained all 12 men in a small building on the base. That's when the 96-hour rule went into effect. Hill said the rule does not work, and many times dangerous suspects are released because there's not enough time to gather evidence. As the clock ticked toward the 96-hour NATO deadline, Hill made a decision that would cost him his military career. "I decided that I needed to break protocol and interrogate them myself," he said. "I took three gentlemen outside, sat them down, walked away, and fired my weapon into the ground three times, hoping that the men inside, left to their own imagination, would think that they really needed to talk." Hill walked back inside. "And sure enough, some of the detainees started to talk," he said.

    What the detainees told him was enough to persuade the Afghans to take all 12 men into custody, including Hill's interpreter. Hill said he felt he had made the correct decision to protect his soldiers, but the Army charged him with detainee abuse, leading to his discharge from the military. The 12 men were released, despite the confession, according to Army investigators. No one knows where they are now and what's they're doing.
    That surprised the living hell out of me. Thoughts?
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    What is so surprising about the scenario? Threatening murder would obviously invalidate any confession given and failure to follow military protocol would obviously result in dismissal. The only thing I'd consider surprising is that we aren't still keeping tabs on them. I think the 96 hour limit is too short and the 14 day limit reasonable given the circumstances, but that still doesn't excuse the man's actions.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    I'm honestly all over the place with this one. I can see the good and bad. I want to see what more people have to say before I actually decide. It's shocking, that much I'll say.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I'm honestly all over the place with this one. I can see the good and bad. I want to see what more people have to say before I actually decide. It's shocking, that much I'll say.
    I'm with you. If considering a case where the person detained is actually guilty, I support longer holding to collect evidence to be used for prosecution. However if the person being detained is not actually guilty, holding them for 2 weeks can not only have negative effects on the person's feelings towards troops but can also take the person away from what ever job them may have and in turn harm the person's family they are likely trying to support. Not to mention it would violate the civil liberties that we in America enjoy and would hope to spread to the rest of the world.

    It all depends on the case I guess. I could not comment on any specific case as I am not there to judge the validity of the detainment. I would like to trust the judgment of the troops on the ground how ever.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Makes me sick when people halfway around the world in an air-conditioned room sipping on a Diet Coke make judgments on a guy in a situation like this.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    What is so surprising about the scenario? Threatening murder would obviously invalidate any confession given
    The detainees in question weren't being tried in a civilian court, so I don't know why it would. I don't know of any rule that would have prevented the military from using that information as evidence to render them as enemy combatants or to turn them over to the afghans for prosecution.

    and failure to follow military protocol would obviously result in dismissal.
    I don't think it can be disputed that what he did violated existing military protocol and thus probably warranted his punishment, but I think it raises questions about the application of the protocol at issue. From my perspective, this situation is like the smaller, less imminent cousin of the ticking time bomb.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    Makes me sick when people halfway around the world in an air-conditioned room sipping on a Diet Coke make judgments on a guy in a situation like this.
    God damn right.

    That Solider did the right thing. Screw the PC bed-wetters who say otherwise...

    I salute you, sir!!!


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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    What is so surprising about the scenario?
    The fact that our military is being ham-stringed by nonsensical PC rules.

    Threatening murder would obviously invalidate any confession given...
    Invalidate it in what way? They're in a war-zone, you know...

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    i think the soldier was in the right, in a situation that has, and could cause loss of life, a threat like that is justified.
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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    God damn right.

    That Solider did the right thing. Screw the PC bed-wetters who say otherwise...

    I salute you, sir!!!

    Let's say it turns out he was wrong. Nobody knew anything. It was just some clever tracking by the enemy.

    Still doing the right thing?
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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