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TITLE VIII--ACQUISITION POLICY, ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT, AND RELATED MATTERS

Subtitle G Governmentwide Acquisition Improvements

DHNDAA Section

Senate Armed Services Report 110-335

SEC. 1057. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON INTERROGATION OF DETAINEES BY CONTRACTOR PERSONNEL.

It is the sense of Congress that--

(1) the interrogation of enemy prisoners of war, civilian internees, retained persons, other detainees, terrorists, and criminals when captured, transferred, confined, or detained during or in the aftermath of hostilities is an inherently governmental function and cannot appropriately be transferred to private sector contractors;

(2) not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense should develop the resources needed to ensure that interrogations described in paragraph (1) can be conducted by government personnel and not by private sector contractors; and

(3) properly trained and cleared contractors may appropriately be used as linguists, interpreters, report writers, information technology technicians, and other employees filling ancillary positions, if the private sector contractors are subject to the same rules, procedures, policies, and laws pertaining to detainee operations and interrogations that govern the execution of these positions by government personnel.

Prohibition on interrogation of detainees by contractor personnel (sec. 1036)

The committee recommends a provision that would provide that the interrogation of detainees during or in the aftermath of hostilities is an inherently governmental function that cannot be transferred to private sector contractors. The provision would become effective 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, to provide the Department of Defense (DOD) time to comply.

DOD guidance documents in effect through 2005 provided that `How enemy prisoners of war (POWs), terrorists, and criminals are treated when captured, in transit, confined, and interrogated during or in the aftermath of hostilities entails the discretionary exercise of government authority' and `cannot be transferred to the private sector.' In 2006, however, this guidance was revised to expressly authorize the use of contractors to perform interrogations.

According to reports of investigations conducted by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and Major General George R. Fay, contract interrogators are alleged to have participated in some of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison 4 years ago. At that time, the Acting Secretary of the Army testified that the Army was planning `to build additional force structure so that operational and theater level intelligence functions will be performed in-house in the future.' Four years later, the Department of Defense still has almost 100 contractor employees conducting interrogations of detainees.

The interrogation of detainees during or in the aftermath of hostilities entails the exercise of substantial discretion in applying government authority and is likely to have a significant impact on the life and liberty of the individuals questioned. The committee concludes that the conduct of such interrogations is an inherently governmental function that should be performed exclusively by military or civilian employees of the Department.

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