Not even a valid intelligence requirement can be used to justify cruel treatment of a detained enemy combatant, according to Defense Department doctrine on “detainee operations” (pdf).
The Joint Chiefs of Staff last week issued a slightly revised version of that DoD doctrine on detainees (the second revision this year).
The document reaffirms that all detainees must be treated humanely.
“Inhumane treatment of detainees is prohibited by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, domestic and international law, and DOD policy. There is no exception to this humane treatment requirement.”
“Accordingly, the stress of combat operations, the need for intelligence, or deep provocation by captured and/or detained personnel does not justify deviation from this obligation.”
See Joint Publication 3-63, “Detainee Operations,” 30 May 2008.