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Talks continue on detainee treatment

Published July 14, 2006

WASHINGTON - Negotiations on how to treat enemies captured in President Bush's war on terror spilled into the open Thursday as administration officials indicated a willingness to look at new protections for detainees in CIA and Pentagon custody.

But, officials said, these "enemy combatants" must not be granted rights that would expose classified information or hinder interrogations.

The Supreme Court on June 29 ruled that the Pentagon's military tribunal system was not authorized by Congress and violates international law. The decision prompted a Pentagon memo acknowledging that military detainees must be afforded basic protections under the Geneva Conventions.

The CIA has not acknowledged that it holds any members of al-Qaida. However, administration officials have been meetings since the court's decision to determine how it applies to all detainees, including the most dangerous followers of Osama bin Laden.

"The court made a ruling that Common Article 3 applies to our conflict with al-Qaida," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said, referring to an article of the Geneva Conventions dealing with the treatment for prisoners of war.


SECURITY SPENDING: The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to bolster security at U.S. borders by pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into more patrols, surveillance flights and sensors to catch illegal immigrants. Senators approved the $32.7-billion budget for Homeland Security Department by a vote of 100-0.

HASTERT ILLNESS: House Speaker Dennis Hastert was admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital on Thursday because of a leg infection. Hastert is suffering from cellulitis, a skin infection, on his lower left leg, his press secretary said.

[Last modified July 14, 2006, 02:49:50]

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