U.S. hiding prisoner from Red Cross

The U.S. military has been improperly holding a suspected Iraqi terrorist in a prison near Baghdad for more than seven months without informing the Red Cross, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Defense officials confirmed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered military officials to hold the suspected member of the Ansar al-Islam guerrilla group last November at the request of then-CIA Director George Tenet without telling the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Reuters the United States was now moving to end the shadowy status of the man, who was not identified, and allow access to him by the ICRC.

Both assigning a prisoner number and notifying the Red Cross are required under the Geneva Conventions and other international humanitarian laws.


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