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Senate panel approves measure banning CIA use of contractors for interrogations

[JURIST] The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] voted Thursday to approve a ban prohibiting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] from allowing private contractors to interrogate detainees. The ban is part of a bill authorizing intelligence expenditures for the 2009 fiscal year which would also require intelligence agencies to give the International Committee of the Red Cross [official website] access to all intelligence prisoners. The measure is intended to prevent the agencies from holding "ghost detainees" [JURIST news archive], prisoners who are held in secret without record or communication.

The bill also contains a provision, added earlier this week, that restricts CIA interrogators [JURIST report] to techniques included in the 2006 Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations [PDF text; press release]. That measure would effectively prevent the CIA from using waterboarding [JURIST news archive] during interrogations. If passed, the bill would also create an inspector general for each of the 16 US intelligence agencies. In March, President George W. Bush vetoed [JURIST report] the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008 [HR 2082 materials], which included a similar provision limiting CIA interrogators to interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual, and an attempt to override the veto failed [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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