Many harsh interrogation techniques that have been repudiated by the Pentagon could be made lawful by legislation put forward the same day by the Bush administration, says the New York Times. The courts would be forbidden from intervening. Experts say the proposal is an apparently unique interpretation of the Geneva Conventions that could allow C.I.A. operatives and others to use techniques including stress positions, sleep deprivation, and extreme temperatures. So-called high-value detainees held by the CIA have been subjected to tough interrogation in secret prisons around the world.
Law Prof. John Yoo of the University of California, Berkeley, a former Justice Department official who helped develop the administration's early response to the terrorist threat, said the bill would provide people on the front lines with important tools. The proposed legislation says “the Geneva Conventions are not a source of judicially enforceable individual rights.” Though lawsuits will likely challenge the bill should it become law, most experts said Congress probably had the power to restrict the courts' jurisdiction.