MRE as Punishment for Detainees

WaPo — MRE as Punishment for Detainees

In the controversy over Pentagon interrogation techniques, little notice has been given to one approved in Category II, the harsher techniques for use in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Some of the methods approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in December 2002 — using dogs, making prisoners stand for four hours, “hooding during transportation & interrogation” and “removal of clothing” — apparently were not used initially.

But others, such as “forced grooming” (shaving) and light deprivation, were approved and used, as was perhaps the harshest punishment of all: “switching detainee from hot meal to MRE” — the Meals Ready to Eat rations that all the troops have out in the field.

This was a form of punishment for uncooperative detainees? Certainly a violation of the Geneva Conventions.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. dcthrowback says:

    I heard it was nothing more than taking their Happy Meals away from them and making them eat Mc-Salads instead…I could be wrong.