25 December, 2008

US torture - Bush arrested by Senate in 2009??

The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney - by Andy Worthington

Journalist and author of "The Guantanamo Files"

Posted December 24, 2008 | 08:16 PM (EST)

On December 11, the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a compelling report into the torture and abuse of prisoners in US custody (PDF), based on a detailed analysis of how Chinese torture techniques, which are used in US military schools to train personnel to resist interrogation if captured, were reverse engineered and applied to prisoners captured in the "War on Terror."

The techniques, taught as part of the SERE programs (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) include sleep deprivation, the prolonged use of stress positions, forced nudity, hooding, exposure to extreme temperatures, subjecting prisoners to loud music and flashing lights, "treating them like animals," and, in some cases, the ancient torture technique known as waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning that the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition called "tortura del agua."

The report rejected the conclusions of over a dozen investigations, conducted since the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004, which identified problems concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo, but which were not authorized to gaze up the chain of command to blame senior officials for approving the use of torture by US forces, and for instigating abusive policies.

This enabled the administration to maintain, as it did with Abu Ghraib, that any abuse was the result of the rogue activities of "a few bad apples," but the Senate Committee report comprehensively demolished this defense. The authors wrote:

The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of "a few bad apples" acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.

Those singled out for blame include President George W. Bush (for stripping prisoners of the protections of the Geneva Conventions in February 2002, which paved the way for all the abuse that followed), former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney's former legal counsel (and now chief of staff) David Addington, former Pentagon general counsel William J. Haynes II, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers, former White House general counsel (and later US Attorney General) Alberto Gonzales, former White House deputy counsel Timothy Flanigan, former Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee, former Justice Department legal adviser John Yoo, former Guantánamo commanders Maj. Gen. Michael Dunlavey and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of coalition forces in Iraq.

The one senior official who was not mentioned -- presumably because of the talent for remaining behind the scenes that once earned him the secret service nickname "Backseat" -- was Dick Cheney. However, just four days later, as if to make up for his omission from the report, Cheney was interviewed by ABC News, and took the opportunity to present a detailed defense of the administration's national security policies, throwing down a very public gauntlet to critics of torture, Guantánamo, illegal wiretapping and the invasion of Iraq, and raising fears that he was only doing so because a Presidential pardon is just around the corner.

Cheney's most significant remark was his first admission in public that he was involved in approving the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks (who, it should be noted, claimed responsibility for the attacks before he was captured by US forces). However, the entire interview is worth looking at, as Cheney's version of the truth does not stand up to scrutiny, and features ten lies that should not be allowed to pass without further comment and analysis.

1) On the supposed legality of unauthorized wiretapping

Asked what he thought about suggestions from Barack Obama's transition team that the Bush administration's homeland security policy "has basically been torture and illegal wiretapping, and that they want to undo the central tenets of your anti-terrorist policy," Cheney replied, "They're wrong. On the question of terrorist surveillance, this was always a policy to intercept communications between terrorists, or known terrorists, or so-called 'dirty numbers,' and folks inside the United States, to capture those international communications. It's worked. It's been successful. It's now embodied in the FISA statute that we passed last year, and that Barack Obama voted for, which I think was a good decision on his part. It's a very, very important capability. It is legal. It was legal from the very beginning. It is constitutional, and to claim that it isn't I think is just wrong."

THE LIE: Although the Bush administration secured Congressional approval for the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the week after the 9/11 attacks (the founding document of the "War on Terror," which granted the President seemingly open-ended powers "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001"), the approval for the warrantless surveillance of communications to and from the United States that followed on September 25 was neither "legal" nor "constitutional."

In a series on Dick Cheney in the Washington Post last summer, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker explained how, on the day of the 9/11 attacks, Cheney and David Addington swiftly assembled a team that included Timothy Flanigan and John Yoo to begin "contemplating the founding question of the legal revolution to come: What extraordinary powers will the President need for his response?" Gellman and Becker described how Flanigan, with advice from Yoo, drafted the AUMF, and Yoo explained that "they used the broadest possible language because 'this war was so different, you can't predict what might come up'."

In fact, as the authors point out, they "knew very well what would come next: the interception -- without a warrant -- of communications to and from the United States." Although warrantless communications intercepts had been forbidden by federal law since 1978, the administration claimed that they were "justified, in secret, as 'incident to' the authority Congress had just granted" the President, in a memorandum that Yoo finalized on 25 September. Far from being "legal" and "constitutional," therefore, the secret memorandum was the first brazen attempt by the key policy-makers (in the Office of the Vice President and the Pentagon) to use the AUMF as cover for an unprecedented expansion of presidential power that was intended to cut Congress, the judiciary, and all other government departments out of the loop.

2) On the definition of torture

Moving on to the allegations of torture, Cheney said, "On the question of so-called 'torture,' we don't do torture, we never have. It's not something that this administration subscribes to. Again, we proceeded very cautiously; we checked, we had the Justice Department issue the requisite opinions in order to know where the bright lines were that you could not cross. The professionals involved in that program were very, very cautious, very careful, wouldn't do anything without making certain it was authorized and that it was legal. And any suggestion to the contrary is just wrong."

THE LIE: The claim, "we don't do torture," which President Bush has also peddled on numerous occasions, is an outright lie. The definition of torture, as laid down in the UN Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, is "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person." However, in the summer of 2002 (obviously with Cheney's knowledge), John Yoo, with input from Addington, Gonzales and Flanigan, drafted another secret memorandum, issued on August 1 (PDF), which has become known as the "Torture Memo." This extraordinary document -- one of the most legally manipulative in the whole of the "War on Terror" -- drew creatively on historical rulings about torture in countries including Northern Ireland and Bosnia, and attempted to claim that, for the pain inflicted to count as torture, it "must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

Last summer, Yoo confirmed that Addington was responsible for another of the memo's radical claims -- that, as Commander in Chief, the President could authorize torture if he felt that it was necessary -- and also confirmed that a second opinion was signed off on August 1, 2002, which, unlike the first (leaked after the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004) has never been made public. An unnamed source cited by Gellman and Becker explained that this second memo contained a long list of techniques approved for use by the CIA, which included waterboarding, but apparently drew the line at threatening to bury a prisoner alive.

As a result, all Cheney's talk of "careful" and "cautious" legal advice is nothing more than a failed attempt to justify redefining torture. Outside of the White House and the Pentagon, it has always been abundantly clear that the SERE techniques (let alone the more extreme methods approved for use by the CIA) are torture, pure and simple, and the Senate Committee's recent report quotes extensively from a number of bodies -- the Air Force, the Defense Department's Criminal Investigative Task Force, the Army's International and Operational Law Division, the Navy and the Marine Corps -- who were opposed to their implementation for this very reason. Others, who took their complaints to the highest levels, were Alberto J. Mora, the head of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the FBI.

3) On intelligence obtained through torture

Following his defense of the interrogation techniques authorized by the administration, Cheney continued: "Did it produce the desired results? I think it did. I think, for example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the number three man in al-Qaeda, the man who planned the attacks of 9/11, provided us with a wealth of information. There was a period of time there, three or four years ago, when about half of everything we knew about al-Qaeda came from that one source."

THE LIE: With exquisite timing, Cheney's bombastic pronouncements about the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and its supposed value coincided with the publication, in Vanity Fair, of an article by David Rose, in which a number of senior officials from both the FBI and the CIA directly refuted Cheney's claims. The article, which is worth reading in its entirety, focused primarily on the torture of Abu Zubaydah, Binyam Mohamed and Jose Padilla (which I have discussed at length before), but there were also key insights into the torture of KSM. Although President Bush claimed that KSM had provided "many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans," a former senior CIA official, who read all the interrogation reports from KSM's torture in secret CIA custody, explained that "90 percent of it was total fucking bullshit," and a former Pentagon analyst added, "KSM produced no actionable intelligence. He was trying to tell us how stupid we were."

In addition, Cheney's claims about KSM were directly contradicted by Jack Cloonan, a senior FBI operative whose torture-free interrogation of al-Qaeda operatives in the years before 9/11 provides an object lesson in how the administration should have operated afterwards. Disputing the unspecified claims that, as Cheney put it, the interrogation of KSM had produced "a wealth of information," Cloonan said, "The proponents of torture say, 'Look at the body of information that has been obtained by these methods.' But if KSM and Abu Zubaydah did give up stuff, we would have heard the details." Rose added that a former CIA officer asked, "Why can't they say what the good stuff from Abu Zubaydah or KSM is? It's not as if this is sensitive material from a secret, vulnerable source. You're not blowing your source but validating your program. They say they can't do this, even though five or six years have passed, because it's a 'continuing operation.' But has it really taken so long to check it all out?"

However, what was probably the most damning opinion was offered by FBI director Robert Mueller:

I ask Mueller: So far as he is aware, have any attacks on America been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through what the administration still calls "enhanced techniques"?

"I'm really reluctant to answer that," Mueller says. He pauses, looks at an aide, and then says quietly, declining to elaborate: "I don't believe that has been the case."

4) On approval for the use of torture on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

The key elements of Cheney's admission that waterboarding was used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and that Cheney believed that this was "appropriate," are as follows:

Jonathan Karl: Did you authorize the tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Dick Cheney: I was aware of the program certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency, in effect, came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do, and I supported it. Jonathan Karl: In hindsight, do you think any of those tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others went too far? Dick Cheney: I don't. Jonathan Karl: And on KSM, one of those tactics, of course, widely reported was waterboarding, and that seems to be a tactic we no longer use. Even that you think was appropriate? Dick Cheney: I do.

THE LIE: Cheney's explanation of how he came to "support" the CIA program that was responsible for the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (and numerous other "high-value detainees") suggests that he was little more than an adviser for a preconceived project. Yet again, nothing could be further from the truth.

To understand why, it is necessary to examine how the "Torture Memos" of August 2002 came about, by looking at the events of November 13, 2001, when, under the cover of his regular weekly meeting with the President, Cheney played the leading role in circulating and gaining approval for a presidential order that authorized the President to seize "terror suspects" anywhere in the world and imprison them as "enemy combatants" without charge or trial, (or, if required, to try them in Military Commissions, which were empowered to accept secret evidence and evidence obtained through torture).

Approved within an hour by only two other figures in the White House -- associate counsel Bradford Berenson, and deputy staff secretary Stuart Bowen, whose objections that it had to be seen by other presidential advisors were only dropped after "rapid, urgent persuasion" that the President "was standing by to sign and that the order was too sensitive to delay" -- the order was the first move in a deliberate ploy to strip prisoners of rights, so that they could be interrogated as the administration saw fit.

This was confirmed the following day, when Cheney told the US Chamber of Commerce that terrorists do not "deserve to be treated as prisoners of war." It took him another ten weeks to persuade the President to agree with him, but in the meantime the pressure to approve the use of torture increased when, shortly after Guantánamo opened, a CIA delegation came to the White House to explain, as John Yoo described it, that they were "going to have some real difficulties getting actionable intelligence from detainees," if interrogators were obliged to confine themselves to treatment permitted by the Geneva Conventions.

While this timeline confirms that CIA representatives pressed for removing the protections of the Geneva Conventions in mid-January 2002, it's also clear that Cheney had a similar plan in mind at least two months earlier. After the CIA visit, Addington wrote another notorious memorandum -- to which the rather less articulate Alberto Gonzales put his name -- in which the Conventions' "strict limits on questioning of enemy prisoners" were seen as hindering attempts "to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists."

This was issued on January 25, and on February 6 Addington provided the President with the words for his next presidential order, which, as Cheney had signaled on November 14, stated that the protections of the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners seized in the "War on Terror." The final development came after the capture of Abu Zubaydah on March 28, 2002, when, as John Yoo explained, CIA officials returned to the White House to ask "what the legal limits on interrogation are." As described above, this led to the "Torture Memos" of August 2002, even though the torture of Zubaydah began four months before the memos were issued.

In conclusion, then, although the CIA had some input, the development of the entire program, from November 13, 2001 to August 1, 2002, in which prisoners were defined as "enemy combatants," stripped of all rights so that they could be interrogated, and then set up for torture, was driven not by the CIA but by Cheney and his close advisers.

In Part Two, Andy examines Cheney's lies about Guantánamo and the invasion of Ir




Executive Summary

.What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight. is how we behave. In
everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we
treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are
warriors, we are also all human beings.
-- General David Petraeus
May 10, 2007

(U) The collection of timely and accurate intelligence is critical to the safety of U.S.
personnel deployed abroad and to the security of the American people here at home. The
methods by which we elicit intelligence information from detainees in our custody affect not
only the reliability of that information, but our broader efforts to win hearts and minds and attract
allies to our side.
(U) Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are taught to expect Americans to abuse them. They
are recruited based on false propaganda that says the United States is out to destroy Islam.
Treating detainees harshly only reinforces that distorted view, increases resistance to
cooperation, and creates new enemies. In fact, the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate
.Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States. cited .pervasive anti U.S.
sentiment among most Muslims. as an underlying factor fueling the spread of the global jihadist
movement. Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora testified to the Senate Armed Services
Committee in June 2008 that .there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first
and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq . as judged by their effectiveness in
recruiting insurgent fighters into combat . are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib and
(U) The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of
.a few bad apples. acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States
government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to
create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those efforts
damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand
of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority. This report is a product of the
Committee.s inquiry into how those unfortunate results came about.

Presidential Order Opens the Door to Considering Aggressive Techniques (U)
(U) On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the Third
Geneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and concluding that Taliban
detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the Third
Geneva Convention. The President.s order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the
Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, to
al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. While the President.s order stated that, as .a matter of policy, the
United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent
appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of
the Geneva Conventions,. the decision to replace well established military doctrine, i.e., legal
compliance with the Geneva Conventions, with a policy subject to interpretation, impacted the
treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.
(U) In December 2001, more than a month before the President signed his memorandum,
the Department of Defense (DoD) General Counsel.s Office had already solicited information on
detainee .exploitation. from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), an agency whose
expertise was in training American personnel to withstand interrogation techniques considered
illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
(U) JPRA is the DoD agency that oversees military Survival Evasion Resistance and
Escape (SERE) training. During the resistance phase of SERE training, U.S. military personnel
are exposed to physical and psychological pressures (SERE techniques) designed to simulate
conditions to which they might be subject if taken prisoner by enemies that did not abide by the
Geneva Conventions. As one JPRA instructor explained, SERE training is .based on illegal
exploitation (under the rules listed in the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of
Prisoners of War) of prisoners over the last 50 years.. The techniques used in SERE school,
based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false
confessions, include stripping students of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting
hoods over their heads, disrupting their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud
music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. It can also include face
and body slaps and until recently, for some who attended the Navy.s SERE school, it included
(U) Typically, those who play the part of interrogators in SERE school neither are trained
interrogators nor are they qualified to be. These role players are not trained to obtain reliable
intelligence information from detainees. Their job is to train our personnel to resist providing
reliable information to our enemies. As the Deputy Commander for the Joint Forces Command
(JFCOM), JPRA.s higher headquarters, put it: .the expertise of JPRA lies in training personnel
how to respond and resist interrogations . not in how to conduct interrogations.. Given JPRA.s
role and expertise, the request from the DoD General Counsel.s office was unusual. In fact, the
Committee is not aware of any similar request prior to December 2001. But while it may have
been the first, that was not the last time that a senior government official contacted JPRA for
advice on using SERE methods offensively. In fact, the call from the DoD General Counsel.s
office marked just the beginning of JPRA.s support of U.S. government interrogation efforts.

Senior Officials Seek SERE Techniques and Discuss Detainee Interrogations (U)
(U) Beginning in the spring of 2002 and extending for the next two years, JPRA
supported U.S. government efforts to interrogate detainees. During that same period, senior
government officials solicited JPRA.s knowledge and its direct support for interrogations. While
much of the information relating to JPRA.s offensive activities and the influence of SERE
techniques on interrogation policies remains classified, unclassified information provides a
window into the extent of those activities.
(U) JPRA.s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Baumgartner testified that in late
2001 or early 2002, JPRA conducted briefings of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) personnel
on detainee resistance, techniques, and information on detainee exploitation.
(U) On April 16, 2002, Dr. Bruce Jessen, the senior SERE psychologist at JPRA,
circulated a draft exploitation plan to JPRA Commander Colonel Randy Moulton and other
senior officials at the agency. The contents of that plan remain classified but Dr. Jessen.s
initiative is indicative of the interest of JPRA.s senior leadership in expanding the agency.s role.
(U) One opportunity came in July 2002. That month, DoD Deputy General Counsel for
intelligence Richard Shiffrin contacted JPRA seeking information on SERE physical pressures
and interrogation techniques that had been used against Americans. Mr. Shiffrin called JPRA
after discussions with William .Jim. Haynes II, the DoD General Counsel.
(U) In late July, JPRA provided the General Counsel.s office with several documents,
including excerpts from SERE instructor lesson plans, a list of physical and psychological
pressures used in SERE resistance training, and a memo from a SERE psychologist assessing the
long-term psychological effects of SERE resistance training on students and the effects of
waterboarding. The list of SERE techniques included such methods as sensory deprivation,
sleep disruption, stress positions, waterboarding, and slapping. It also made reference to a
section of the JPRA instructor manual that discusses .coercive pressures,. such as keeping the
lights on at all times, and treating a person like an animal. JPRA.s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant
Colonel Daniel Baumgartner, who spoke with Mr. Shiffrin at the time, thought the General
Counsel.s office was asking for the information on exploitation and physical pressures to use
them in interrogations and he said that JFCOM gave approval to provide the agency the
information. Mr. Shiffrin, the DoD Deputy General Counsel for Intelligence, confirmed that a
purpose of the request was to .reverse engineer. the techniques. Mr. Haynes could not recall
what he did with the information provided by JPRA.
(U) Memos from Lieutenant Colonel Baumgartner to the Office of Secretary of Defense
General Counsel stated that JPRA would .continue to offer exploitation assistance to those
government organizations charged with the mission of gleaning intelligence from enemy
detainees.. Lieutenant Colonel Baumgartner testified that he provided another government
agency the same information he sent to the DoD General Counsel.s office.

(U) Mr. Haynes was not the only senior official considering new interrogation techniques
for use against detainees. Members of the President.s Cabinet and other senior officials attended
meetings in the White House where specific interrogation techniques were discussed. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice, who was then the National Security Advisor, said that, .in the spring
of 2002, CIA sought policy approval from the National Security Council (NSC) to begin an
interrogation program for high-level al-Qaida terrorists.. Secretary Rice said that she asked
Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet to brief NSC Principals on the program and asked
the Attorney General John Ashcroft .personally to review and confirm the legal advice prepared
by the Office of Legal Counsel.. She also said that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
participated in the NSC review of CIA.s program.
(U) Asked whether she attended meetings where SERE training was discussed, Secretary
Rice stated that she recalled being told that U.S. military personnel were subjected in training to
.certain physical and psychological interrogation techniques.. National Security Council (NSC)
Legal Advisor, John Bellinger, said that he was present in meetings .at which SERE training was
Department of Justice Redefines Torture (U)
(U) On August 1, 2002, just a week after JPRA provided the DoD General Counsel.s
office the list of SERE techniques and the memo on the psychological effects of SERE training,
the Department of Justice.s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued two legal opinions. The
opinions were issued after consultation with senior Administration attorneys, including then-
White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and then-Counsel to the Vice President David
Addington. Both memos were signed by then-Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal
Counsel Jay Bybee. One opinion, commonly known as the first Bybee memo, was addressed to
Judge Gonzales and provided OLC.s opinion on standards of conduct in interrogation required
under the federal torture statute. That memo concluded:
[F]or an act to constitute torture as defined in [the federal torture statute], it must
inflict pain that is difficult to endure. Physical pain amounting to torture must be
equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as
organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death. For purely mental
pain or suffering to amount to torture under [the federal torture statute], it must
result in significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for
months or even years.
(U) In his book The Terror Presidency, Jack Goldsmith, the former Assistant Attorney
General of the OLC who succeeded Mr. Bybee in that job, described the memo.s conclusions:
Violent acts aren.t necessarily torture; if you do torture, you probably have a
defense; and even if you don.t have a defense, the torture law doesn.t apply if you
act under the color of presidential authority.

(U) The other OLC opinion issued on August 1, 2002 is known commonly as the Second
Bybee memo. That opinion, which responded to a request from the CIA, addressed the legality
of specific interrogation tactics. While the full list of techniques remains classified, a publicly
released CIA document indicates that waterboarding was among those analyzed and approved.
CIA Director General Michael Hayden stated in public testimony before the Senate Intelligence
Committee on February 5, 2008 that waterboarding was used by the CIA. And Steven Bradbury,
the current Assistant Attorney General of the OLC, testified before the House Judiciary
Committee on February 14, 2008 that the CIA.s use of waterboarding was .adapted from the
SERE training program..
(U) Before drafting the opinions, Mr. Yoo, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the
OLC, had met with Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to the President, and David Addington, Counsel
to the Vice President, to discuss the subjects he intended to address in the opinions. In testimony
before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Yoo refused to say whether or not he ever discussed
or received information about SERE techniques as the memos were being drafted. When asked
whether he had discussed SERE techniques with Judge Gonzales, Mr. Addington, Mr. Yoo, Mr.
Rizzo or other senior administration lawyers, DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes testified that he
.did discuss SERE techniques with other people in the administration.. NSC Legal Advisor
John Bellinger said that .some of the legal analyses of proposed interrogation techniques that
were prepared by the Department of Justice. did refer to the psychological effects of resistance
(U) In fact, Jay Bybee the Assistant Attorney General who signed the two OLC legal
opinions said that he saw an assessment of the psychological effects of military resistance
training in July 2002 in meetings in his office with John Yoo and two other OLC attorneys.
Judge Bybee said that he used that assessment to inform the August 1, 2002 OLC legal opinion
that has yet to be publicly released. Judge Bybee also recalled discussing detainee interrogations
in a meeting with Attorney General John Ashcroft and John Yoo in late July 2002, prior to
signing the OLC opinions. Mr. Bellinger, the NSC Legal Advisor, said that .the NSC.s
Principals reviewed CIA.s proposed program on several occasions in 2002 and 2003. and that he
.expressed concern that the proposed CIA interrogation techniques comply with applicable U.S.
law, including our international obligations..
JPRA and CIA Influence Department of Defense Interrogation Policies (U)
(U) As senior government lawyers were preparing to redefine torture, JPRA . responding
to a request from U.S. Southern Command.s Joint Task Force 170 (JTF-170) at Guantanamo Bay
(GTMO) . was finalizing plans to train JTF-170 personnel. During the week of September 16,
2002, a group of interrogators and behavioral scientists from GTMO travelled to Fort Bragg,
North Carolina and attended training conducted by instructors from JPRA.s SERE school. On
September 25, 2002, just days after GTMO staff returned from that training, a delegation of
senior Administration lawyers, including Mr. Haynes, Mr. Rizzo, and Mr. Addington, visited

(U) A week after the visit from those senior lawyers, two GTMO behavioral scientists
who had attended the JPRA-led training at Fort Bragg drafted a memo proposing new
interrogation techniques for use at GTMO. According to one of those two behavioral scientists,
by early October 2002, there was .increasing pressure to get .tougher. with detainee
interrogations.. He added that if the interrogation policy memo did not contain coercive
techniques, then it .wasn.t going to go very far..
(U) JPRA was not the only outside organization that provided advice to GTMO on
aggressive techniques. On October 2, 2002, Jonathan Fredman, who was chief counsel to the
CIA.s CounterTerrorist Center, attended a meeting of GTMO staff. Minutes of that meeting
indicate that it was dominated by a discussion of aggressive interrogation techniques including
sleep deprivation, death threats, and waterboarding, which was discussed in relation to its use in
SERE training. Mr. Fredman.s advice to GTMO on applicable legal obligations was similar to
the analysis of those obligations in OLC.s first Bybee memo. According to the meeting minutes,
Mr. Fredman said that .the language of the statutes is written vaguely. Severe physical pain
described as anything causing permanent damage to major organs or body parts. Mental torture
[is] described as anything leading to permanent, profound damage to the senses or personality..
Mr. Fredman said simply .It is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies you.re doing
it wrong..
(U) On October 11, 2002, Major General Michael Dunlavey, the Commander of JTF-170
at Guantanamo Bay, sent a memo to General James Hill, the Commander of U.S. Southern
Command (SOUTHCOM) requesting authority to use aggressive interrogation techniques.
Several of the techniques requested were similar to techniques used by JPRA and the military
services in SERE training, including stress positions, exploitation of detainee fears (such as fear
of dogs), removal of clothing, hooding, deprivation of light and sound, and the so-called wet
towel treatment or the waterboard. Some of the techniques were even referred to as .those used
in U.S. military interrogation resistance training.. Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver, GTMO.s
Staff Judge Advocate wrote an analysis justifying the legality of the techniques, though she
expected that a broader legal review conducted at more senior levels would follow her own. On
October 25, 2002, General Hill forwarded the GTMO request from Major General Dunlavey to
General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Days later, the Joint Staff
solicited the views of the military services on the request.
(U) Plans to use aggressive interrogation techniques generated concerns by some at
GTMO. The Deputy Commander of the Department of Defense.s Criminal Investigative Task
Force (CITF) at GTMO told the Committee that SERE techniques were .developed to better
prepare U.S. military personnel to resist interrogations and not as a means of obtaining reliable
information. and that .CITF was troubled with the rationale that techniques used to harden
resistance to interrogations would be the basis for the utilization of techniques to obtain
information.. Concerns were not limited to the effectiveness of the techniques in obtaining
reliable information; GTMO.s request gave rise to significant legal concerns as well.

Military Lawyers Raise Red Flags and Joint Staff Review Quashed (U)
(U) In early November 2002, in a series of memos responding to the Joint Staff.s call for
comments on GTMO.s request, the military services identified serious legal concerns about the
techniques and called for additional analysis.
(U) The Air Force cited .serious concerns regarding the legality of many of the proposed
techniques. and stated that .techniques described may be subject to challenge as failing to meet
the requirements outlined in the military order to treat detainees humanely.. The Air Force
also called for an in depth legal review of the request.
(U) CITF.s Chief Legal Advisor wrote that certain techniques in GTMO.s October 11,
2002 request .may subject service members to punitive articles of the [Uniform Code of Military
Justice],. called .the utility and legality of applying certain techniques. in the request
.questionable,. and stated that he could not .advocate any action, interrogation or otherwise, that
is predicated upon the principle that all is well if the ends justify the means and others are not
aware of how we conduct our business..
(U) The Chief of the Army.s International and Operational Law Division wrote that
techniques like stress positions, deprivation of light and auditory stimuli, and use of phobias to
induce stress .crosses the line of .humane. treatment,. would .likely be considered
maltreatment. under the UCMJ, and .may violate the torture statute.. The Army labeled
GTMO.s request .legally insufficient. and called for additional review.
(U) The Navy recommended a .more detailed interagency legal and policy review. of the
request. And the Marine Corps expressed strong reservations, stating that several techniques in
the request .arguably violate federal law, and would expose our service members to possible
prosecution.. The Marine Corps also said the request was not .legally sufficient,. and like the
other services, called for .a more thorough legal and policy review..
(U) Then-Captain (now Rear Admiral) Jane Dalton, Legal Counsel to the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that her staff discussed the military services. concerns with the
DoD General Counsel.s Office at the time and that the DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes was
aware of the services. concerns. Mr. Haynes, on the other hand, testified that he did not know
that the memos from the military services existed (a statement he later qualified by stating that he
was not sure he knew they existed). Eliana Davidson, the DoD Associate Deputy General
Counsel for International Affairs, said that she told the General Counsel that the GTMO request
needed further assessment. Mr. Haynes did not recall Ms. Davidson telling him that.
(U) Captain Dalton, who was the Chairman.s Legal Counsel, said that she had her own
concerns with the GTMO request and directed her staff to initiate a thorough legal and policy
review of the techniques. That review, however, was cut short. Captain Dalton said that General
Myers returned from a meeting and advised her that Mr. Haynes wanted her to stop her review,
in part because of concerns that people were going to see the GTMO request and the military
services. analysis of it. Neither General Myers nor Mr. Haynes recalled cutting short the Dalton

review, though neither has challenged Captain Dalton.s recollection. Captain Dalton testified
that this occasion marked the only time she had ever been told to stop analyzing a request that
came to her for review.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Approves Aggressive Techniques (U)
(U) With respect to GTMO.s October 11, 2002 request to use aggressive interrogation
techniques, Mr. Haynes said that .there was a sense by the DoD Leadership that this decision
was taking too long. and that Secretary Rumsfeld told his senior advisors .I need a
recommendation.. On November 27, 2002, the Secretary got one. Notwithstanding the serious
legal concerns raised by the military services, Mr. Haynes sent a one page memo to the
Secretary, recommending that he approve all but three of the eighteen techniques in the GTMO
request. Techniques such as stress positions, removal of clothing, use of phobias (such as fear of
dogs), and deprivation of light and auditory stimuli were all recommended for approval.
(U) Mr. Haynes.s memo indicated that he had discussed the issue with Deputy Secretary
of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, and General
Myers and that he believed they concurred in his recommendation. When asked what he relied
on to make his recommendation that the aggressive techniques be approved, the only written
legal opinion Mr. Haynes cited was Lieutenant Colonel Beaver.s legal analysis, which senior
military lawyers had considered .legally insufficient. and .woefully inadequate,. and which
LTC Beaver herself had expected would be supplemented with a review by persons with greater
experience than her own.
(U) On December 2, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld signed Mr. Haynes.s recommendation,
adding a handwritten note that referred to limits proposed in the memo on the use of stress
positions: .I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?.
(U) SERE school techniques are designed to simulate abusive tactics used by our
enemies. There are fundamental differences between a SERE school exercise and a real world
interrogation. At SERE school, students are subject to an extensive medical and psychological
pre-screening prior to being subjected to physical and psychological pressures. The schools
impose strict limits on the frequency, duration, and/or intensity of certain techniques.
Psychologists are present throughout SERE training to intervene should the need arise and to
help students cope with associated stress. And SERE school is voluntary; students are even
given a special phrase they can use to immediately stop the techniques from being used against
(U) Neither those differences, nor the serious legal concerns that had been registered,
stopped the Secretary of Defense from approving the use of the aggressive techniques against
detainees. Moreover, Secretary Rumsfeld authorized the techniques without apparently
providing any written guidance as to how they should be administered.

SERE Techniques at GTMO (U)
(U) Following the Secretary.s December 2, 2002 authorization, senior staff at GTMO
began drafting a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) specifically for the use of SERE
techniques in interrogations. The draft SOP itself stated that .The premise behind this is that the
interrogation tactics used at U.S. military SERE schools are appropriate for use in real-world
interrogations. These tactics and techniques are used at SERE school to .break. SERE detainees.
The same tactics and techniques can be used to break real detainees during interrogation.. The
draft .GTMO SERE SOP. described how to slap, strip, and place detainees in stress positions. It
also described other SERE techniques, such as .hooding,. .manhandling,. and .walling.
(U) On December 30, 2002, two instructors from the Navy SERE school arrived at
GTMO. The next day, in a session with approximately 24 interrogation personnel, the two
SERE instructors demonstrated how to administer stress positions, and various slapping
techniques. According to two interrogators, those who attended the training even broke off into
pairs to practice the techniques.
(U) Exemplifying the disturbing nature and substance of the training, the SERE
instructors explained .Biderman.s Principles. . which were based on coercive methods used by
the Chinese Communist dictatorship to elicit false confessions from U.S. POWs during the
Korean War . and left with GTMO personnel a chart of those coercive techniques. Three days
after they conducted the training, the SERE instructors met with GTMO.s Commander, Major
General Geoffrey Miller. According to some who attended that meeting, Major General Miller
stated that he did not want his interrogators using the techniques that the Navy SERE instructors
had demonstrated. That conversation, however, took place after the training had already
occurred and not all of the interrogators who attended the training got the message.
(U) At about the same time, a dispute over the use of aggressive techniques was raging at
GTMO over the interrogation of Mohammed al-Khatani, a high value detainee. Personnel from
CITF and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) had registered strong opposition, to
interrogation techniques proposed for use on Khatani and made those concerns known to the
DoD General Counsel.s office. Despite those objections, an interrogation plan that included
aggressive techniques was approved. The interrogation itself, which actually began on
November 23, 2002, a week before the Secretary.s December 2, 2002 grant of blanket authority
for the use of aggressive techniques, continued through December and into mid-January 2003.
(U) NSC Legal Advisor John Bellinger said that, on several occasions, Deputy Assistant
Attorney General Bruce Swartz raised concerns with him about allegations of detainee abuse at
GTMO. Mr. Bellinger said that, in turn, he raised these concerns .on several occasions with
DoD officials and was told that the allegations were being investigated by the Naval Criminal
Investigative Service.. Then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said that Mr.
Bellinger also advised her .on a regular basis regarding concerns and issues relating to DoD
detention policies and practices at Guantanamo.. She said that as a result she convened a .series

of meetings of NSC Principals in 2002 and 2003 to discuss various issues and concerns relating
to detainees in the custody of the Department of Defense..
(U) Between mid-December 2002 and mid-January 2003, Navy General Counsel Alberto
Mora spoke with the DoD General Counsel three times to express his concerns about
interrogation techniques at GTMO, at one point telling Mr. Haynes that he thought techniques
that had been authorized by the Secretary of Defense .could rise to the level of torture.. On
January 15, 2003, having received no word that the Secretary.s authority would be withdrawn,
Mr. Mora went so far as to deliver a draft memo to Mr. Haynes.s office memorializing his legal
concerns about the techniques. In a subsequent phone call, Mr. Mora told Mr. Haynes he would
sign his memo later that day unless he heard definitively that the use of the techniques was
suspended. In a meeting that same day, Mr. Haynes told Mr. Mora that the Secretary would
rescind the techniques. Secretary Rumsfeld signed a memo rescinding authority for the
techniques on January 15, 2003.
(U) That same day, GTMO suspended its use of aggressive techniques on Khatani.
While key documents relating to the interrogation remain classified, published accounts indicate
that military working dogs had been used against Khatani. He had also been deprived of
adequate sleep for weeks on end, stripped naked, subjected to loud music, and made to wear a
leash and perform dog tricks. In a June 3, 2004 press briefing, SOUTHCOM Commander
General James Hill traced the source of techniques used on Khatani back to SERE, stating: .The
staff at Guantanamo working with behavioral scientists, having gone up to our SERE school and
developed a list of techniques which our lawyers decided and looked at, said were OK.. General
Hill said .we began to use a few of those techniques . on this individual....
(U) On May 13, 2008, the Pentagon announced in a written statement that the Convening
Authority for military commissions .dismissed without prejudice the sworn charges against
Mohamed al Khatani.. The statement does not indicate the role his treatment may have played
in that decision.
DoD Working Group Ignores Military Lawyers and Relies on OLC (U)
(U) On January 15, 2003, the same day he rescinded authority for GTMO to use
aggressive techniques, Secretary Rumsfeld directed the establishment of a .Working Group. to
review interrogation techniques. For the next few months senior military and civilian lawyers
tried, without success, to have their concerns about the legality of aggressive techniques reflected
in the Working Group.s report. Their arguments were rejected in favor of a legal opinion from
the Department of Justice.s Office of Legal Counsel.s (OLC) John Yoo. Mr. Yoo.s opinion, the
final version of which was dated March 14, 2003, had been requested by Mr. Haynes at the
initiation of the Working Group process, and repeated much of what the first Bybee memo had
said six months earlier.
(U) The first Bybee memo, dated August 1, 2002, had concluded that, to violate the
federal torture statute, physical pain that resulted from an act would have to be .equivalent in
intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of

bodily function, or even death.. Mr. Yoo.s March 14, 2003 memo stated that criminal laws,
such as the federal torture statute, would not apply to certain military interrogations, and that
interrogators could not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for using interrogation methods
that would otherwise violate the law.
(U) Though the final Working Group report does not specifically mention SERE, the list
of interrogation techniques it evaluated and recommended for approval suggest the influence of
SERE. Removal of clothing, prolonged standing, sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation,
hooding, increasing anxiety through the use of a detainee.s aversions like dogs, and face and
stomach slaps were all recommended for approval.
(U) On April 16, 2003, less than two weeks after the Working Group completed its
report, the Secretary authorized the use of 24 specific interrogation techniques for use at GTMO.
While the authorization included such techniques as dietary manipulation, environmental
manipulation, and sleep adjustment, it was silent on many of the techniques in the Working
Group report. Secretary Rumsfeld.s memo said, however, that .If, in your view, you require
additional interrogation techniques for a particular detainee, you should provide me, via the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a written request describing the proposed technique,
recommended safeguards, and the rationale for applying it with an identified detainee..
(U) Just a few months later, one such request for .additional interrogation techniques.
arrived on Secretary Rumsfeld.s desk. The detainee was Mohamedou Ould Slahi. While
documents relating to the interrogation plan for Slahi remain classified, a May 2008 report from
the Department of Justice Inspector General includes declassified information suggesting the
plan included hooding Slahi and subjecting him to sensory deprivation and .sleep adjustment..
The Inspector General.s report says that an FBI agent who saw a draft of the interrogation plan
said it was similar to Khatani.s interrogation plan. Secretary Rumsfeld approved the Slahi plan
on August 13, 2003.
Aggressive Techniques Authorized in Afghanistan and Iraq (U)
(U) Shortly after Secretary Rumsfeld.s December 2, 2002 approval of his General
Counsel.s recommendation to authorize aggressive interrogation techniques, the techniques .
and the fact the Secretary had authorized them . became known to interrogators in Afghanistan.
A copy of the Secretary.s memo was sent from GTMO to Afghanistan. Captain Carolyn Wood,
the Officer in Charge of the Intelligence Section at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, said that in
January 2003 she saw a power point presentation listing the aggressive techniques that had been
authorized by the Secretary.
(U) Despite the Secretary.s January 15, 2003 rescission of authority for GTMO to use
aggressive techniques, his initial approval six weeks earlier continued to influence interrogation
(U) On January 24, 2003, nine days after Secretary Rumsfeld rescinded authority for the
techniques at GTMO, the Staff Judge Advocate for Combined Joint Task Force 180 (CJTF-180),

U.S. Central Command.s (CENTCOM) conventional forces in Afghanistan, produced an
.Interrogation techniques. memo. While that memo remains classified, unclassified portions of
a report by Major General George Fay stated that the memo .recommended removal of clothing
. a technique that had been in the Secretary.s December 2 authorization. and discussed
.exploiting the Arab fear of dogs. another technique approved by the Secretary on December 2,
(U) From Afghanistan, the techniques made their way to Iraq. According to the
Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG), at the beginning of the Iraq war, special
mission unit forces in Iraq .used a January 2003 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which had
been developed for operations in Afghanistan.. According to the DoD IG, the Afghanistan SOP
had been:
[I]nfluenced by the counterresistance memorandum that the Secretary of Defense
approved on December 2, 2002 and incorporated techniques designed for
detainees who were identified as unlawful combatants. Subsequent battlefield
interrogation SOPs included techniques such as yelling, loud music, and light
control, environmental manipulation, sleep deprivation/adjustment, stress
positions, 20-hour interrogations, and controlled fear (muzzled dogs).
(U) Techniques approved by the Secretary of Defense in December 2002 reflect the
influence of SERE. And not only did those techniques make their way into official interrogation
policies in Iraq, but instructors from the JPRA SERE school followed. The DoD IG reported that
in September 2003, at the request of the Commander of the Special Mission Unit Task Force,
JPRA deployed a team to Iraq to assist interrogation operations. During that trip, which was
explicitly approved by U.S. Joint Forces Command, JPRA.s higher headquarters, SERE
instructors were authorized to participate in the interrogation of detainees in U.S. military
custody using SERE techniques.
(U) In September 2008 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Colonel
Steven Kleinman, an Air Force Reservist who was a member of the interrogation support team
sent by JPRA to the Special Mission Unit Task Force in Iraq, described abusive interrogations he
witnessed, and intervened to stop, during that trip. Colonel Kleinman said that one of those
interrogations, which took place in a room painted all in black with a spotlight on the detainee,
the interrogator repeatedly slapped a detainee who was kneeling on the floor in front of the
interrogator. In another interrogation Colonel Kleinman said the two other members of the
JPRA team took a hooded detainee to a bunker at the Task Force facility, forcibly stripped him
naked and left him, shackled by the wrist and ankles, to stand for 12 hours.
(U) Interrogation techniques used by the Special Mission Unit Task Force eventually
made their way into Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued for all U.S. forces in Iraq. In
the summer of 2003, Captain Wood, who by that time was the Interrogation Officer in Charge at
Abu Ghraib, obtained a copy of the Special Mission Unit interrogation policy and submitted it,
virtually unchanged, to her chain of command as proposed policy.

(U) Captain Wood submitted her proposed policy around the same time that a message
was being conveyed that interrogators should be more aggressive with detainees. In mid-August
2003, an email from staff at Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7) headquarters in Iraq
requested that subordinate units provide input for a .wish list. of interrogation techniques, stated
that .the gloves are coming off,. and said .we want these detainees broken.. At the end of
August 2003, Major General Geoffrey Miller, the GTMO Commander, led a team to Iraq to
assess interrogation and detention operations. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the Commander of the
Military Intelligence Brigade, who met with Major General Miller during that visit, said
that the tenor of the discussion was that .we had to get tougher with the detainees.. A Chief
Warrant Officer with the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) said that during Major General Miller.s tour
of the ISG.s facility, Major General Miller said the ISG was .running a country club. for
(U) On September 14, 2003 the Commander of CJTF-7, Lieutenant General Ricardo
Sanchez, issued the first CJTF-7 interrogation SOP. That SOP authorized interrogators in Iraq to
use stress positions, environmental manipulation, sleep management, and military working dogs
in interrogations. Lieutenant General Sanchez issued the September 14, 2003 policy with the
knowledge that there were ongoing discussions about the legality of some of the approved
techniques. Responding to legal concerns from CENTCOM lawyers about those techniques,
Lieutenant General Sanchez issued a new policy on October 12, 2003, eliminating many of the
previously authorized aggressive techniques. The new policy, however, contained ambiguities
with respect to certain techniques, such as the use of dogs in interrogations, and led to confusion
about which techniques were permitted.
(U) In his report of his investigation into Abu Ghraib, Major General George Fay said
that interrogation techniques developed for GTMO became .confused. and were implemented at
Abu Ghraib. For example, Major General Fay said that removal of clothing, while not included
in CJTF-7.s SOP, was .imported. to Abu Ghraib, could be .traced through Afghanistan and
GTMO,. and contributed to an environment at Abu Ghraib that appeared .to condone depravity
and degradation rather than humane treatment of detainees.. Major General Fay said that the
policy approved by the Secretary of Defense on December 2, 2002 contributed to the use of
aggressive interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib in late 2003.

OLC Withdraws Legal Opinion - JFCOM Issues Guidance on JPRA .Offensive.
Support (U)
(U) As the events at Abu Ghraib were unfolding, Jack Goldsmith, the new Assistant
Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel was presented with a .short stack. of OLC
opinions that were described to him as problematic. Included in that short stack were the Bybee
memos of August 1, 2002 and Mr. Yoo.s memo of March 2003. After reviewing the memos,
Mr. Goldsmith decided to rescind both the so-called first Bybee memo and Mr. Yoo.s memo. In
late December 2003, Mr. Goldsmith notified Mr. Haynes that DoD could no longer rely on Mr.
Yoo.s memo in determining the lawfulness of interrogation techniques. The change in OLC

guidance, however, did not keep JPRA from making plans to continue their support to
interrogation operations. In fact, it is not clear that the agency was even aware of the change.
(U) In 2004, JPRA and CENTCOM took steps to send a JPRA training team to
Afghanistan to assist in detainee interrogations there. In the wake of the public disclosure of
detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, however, that trip was cancelled and JFCOM subsequently issued
policy guidance limiting JPRA.s support to interrogations.
(U) On September 29, 2004 Major General James Soligan, JFCOM.s Chief of Staff,
issued a memorandum referencing JPRA.s support to interrogation operations. Major General
Soligan wrote:
Recent requests from [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] and the Combatant
Commands have solicited JPRA support based on knowledge and information
gained through the debriefing of former U.S. POWs and detainees and their
application to U.S. Strategic debriefing and interrogation techniques. These
requests, which can be characterized as .offensive. support, go beyond the
chartered responsibilities of JPRA. The use of resistance to interrogation
knowledge for .offensive. purposes lies outside the roles and responsibilities of
(U) Lieutenant General Robert Wagner, the Deputy Commander of JFCOM, later called
requests for JPRA interrogation support .inconsistent with the unit.s charter. and said that such
requests .might create conditions which tasked JPRA to engage in offensive operational
activities outside of JPRA.s defensive mission..
(U) Interrogation policies endorsed by senior military and civilian officials authorizing
the use of harsh interrogation techniques were a major cause of the abuse of detainees in U.S.
custody. The impact of those abuses has been significant. In a 2007 international BBC poll,
only 29 percent of people around the world said the United States is a generally positive
influence in the world. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have a lot to do with that perception. The
fact that America is seen in a negative light by so many complicates our ability to attract allies to
our side, strengthens the hand of our enemies, and reduces our ability to collect intelligence that
can save lives.
(U) It is particularly troubling that senior officials approved the use of interrogation
techniques that were originally designed to simulate abusive tactics used by our enemies against
our own soldiers and that were modeled, in part, on tactics used by the Communist Chinese to
elicit false confessions from U.S. military personnel. While some argue that the brutality and
disregard for human life shown by al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists justifies us treating them
harshly, General David Petraeus explained why that view is misguided. In a May 2007 letter to
his troops, General Petraeus said .Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect
human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our values
distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must
understand that we - not our enemies - occupy the moral high ground..

Senate Armed Services Committee Conclusions
Conclusion 1: On February 7, 2002, President George W. Bush made a written determination
that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum
standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. Following the
President.s determination, techniques such as waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions, used in
SERE training to simulate tactics used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions,
were authorized for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody.
Conclusion 2: Members of the President.s Cabinet and other senior officials participated in
meetings inside the White House in 2002 and 2003 where specific interrogation techniques were
discussed. National Security Council Principals reviewed the CIA.s interrogation program
during that period.

Conclusions on SERE Training Techniques and Interrogations

Conclusion 3: The use of techniques similar to those used in SERE resistance training . such
as stripping students of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their
heads, and treating them like animals . was at odds with the commitment to humane treatment of
detainees in U.S. custody. Using those techniques for interrogating detainees was also
inconsistent with the goal of collecting accurate intelligence information, as the purpose of SERE
resistance training is to increase the ability of U.S. personnel to resist abusive interrogations and
the techniques used were based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the
Korean War to elicit false confessions.
Conclusion 4: The use of techniques in interrogations derived from SERE resistance training
created a serious risk of physical and psychological harm to detainees. The SERE schools
employ strict controls to reduce the risk of physical and psychological harm to students during
training. Those controls include medical and psychological screening for students, interventions
by trained psychologists during training, and code words to ensure that students can stop the
application of a technique at any time should the need arise. Those same controls are not present
in real world interrogations.

Conclusions on Senior Official Consideration of SERE Techniques for Interrogations

Conclusion 5: In July 2002, the Office of the Secretary of Defense General Counsel solicited
information from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) on SERE techniques for use
during interrogations. That solicitation, prompted by requests from Department of Defense
General Counsel William J. Haynes II, reflected the view that abusive tactics similar to those
used by our enemies should be considered for use against detainees in U.S. custody.

Conclusion 6: The Central Intelligence Agency.s (CIA) interrogation program included at least
one SERE training technique, waterboarding. Senior Administration lawyers, including Alberto
Gonzales, Counsel to the President, and David Addington, Counsel to the Vice President, were
consulted on the development of legal analysis of CIA interrogation techniques. Legal opinions

subsequently issued by the Department of Justice.s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) interpreted
legal obligations under U.S. anti-torture laws and determined the legality of CIA interrogation
techniques. Those OLC opinions distorted the meaning and intent of anti-torture laws,
rationalized the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody and influenced Department of Defense
determinations as to what interrogation techniques were legal for use during interrogations
conducted by U.S. military personnel.

Conclusions on JPRA Offensive Activities

Conclusion 7: Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) efforts in support of .offensive.
interrogation operations went beyond the agency.s knowledge and expertise. JPRA.s support to
U.S. government interrogation efforts contributed to detainee abuse. JPRA.s offensive support
also influenced the development of policies that authorized abusive interrogation techniques for
use against detainees in U.S. custody.

Conclusion 8: Detainee abuse occurred during JPRA.s support to Special Mission Unit (SMU)
Task Force (TF) interrogation operations in Iraq in September 2003. JPRA Commander Colonel
Randy Moulton.s authorization of SERE instructors, who had no experience in detainee
interrogations, to actively participate in Task Force interrogations using SERE resistance training
techniques was a serious failure in judgment. The Special Mission Unit Task Force
Commander.s failure to order that SERE resistance training techniques not be used in detainee
interrogations was a serious failure in leadership that led to the abuse of detainees in Task Force
custody. Iraq is a Geneva Convention theater and techniques used in SERE school are
inconsistent with the obligations of U.S. personnel under the Geneva Conventions.

Conclusion 9: Combatant Command requests for JPRA .offensive. interrogation support and
U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) authorization of that support led to JPRA operating
outside the agency.s charter and beyond its expertise. Only when JFCOM.s Staff Judge
Advocate became aware of and raised concerns about JPRA.s support to offensive interrogation
operations in late September 2003 did JFCOM leadership begin to take steps to curtail JPRA.s
.offensive. activities. It was not until September 2004, however, that JFCOM issued a formal
policy stating that support to offensive interrogation operations was outside JPRA.s charter.

Conclusions on GTMO.s Request for Aggressive Techniques

Conclusion 10: Interrogation techniques in Guantanamo Bay.s (GTMO) October 11, 2002
request for authority submitted by Major General Michael Dunlavey, were influenced by JPRA
training for GTMO interrogation personnel and included techniques similar to those used in
SERE training to teach U.S. personnel to resist abusive enemy interrogations. GTMO Staff
Judge Advocate Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver.s legal review justifying the October 11, 2002
GTMO request was profoundly in error and legally insufficient. Leaders at GTMO, including
Major General Dunlavey.s successor, Major General Geoffrey Miller, ignored warnings from
DoD.s Criminal Investigative Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the
techniques were potentially unlawful and that their use would strengthen detainee resistance.

Conclusion 11: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers.s decision to cut
short the legal and policy review of the October 11, 2002 GTMO request initiated by his Legal
Counsel, then-Captain Jane Dalton, undermined the military.s review process. Subsequent
conclusions reached by Chairman Myers and Captain Dalton regarding the legality of
interrogation techniques in the request followed a grossly deficient review and were at odds with
conclusions previously reached by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Criminal
Investigative Task Force.

Conclusion 12: Department of Defense General Counsel William J. Haynes II.s effort to cut
short the legal and policy review of the October 11, 2002 GTMO request initiated by then-
Captain Jane Dalton, Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was
inappropriate and undermined the military.s review process. The General Counsel.s subsequent
review was grossly deficient. Mr. Haynes.s one page recommendation to Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld failed to address the serious legal concerns that had been previously raised by
the military services about techniques in the GTMO request. Further, Mr. Haynes.s reliance on a
legal memo produced by GTMO.s Staff Judge Advocate that senior military lawyers called
.legally insufficient. and .woefully inadequate. is deeply troubling.

Conclusion 13: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.s authorization of aggressive
interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there.
Secretary Rumsfeld.s December 2, 2002 approval of Mr. Haynes.s recommendation that most of
the techniques contained in GTMO.s October 11, 2002 request be authorized, influenced and
contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, and
stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Conclusion 14: Department of Defense General Counsel William J. Haynes II.s direction to the
Department of Defense.s Detainee Working Group in early 2003 to consider a legal memo from
John Yoo of the Department of Justice.s OLC as authoritative, blocked the Working Group from
conducting a fair and complete legal analysis and resulted in a report that, in the words of then-
Department of the Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora contained .profound mistakes in its
legal analysis.. Reliance on the OLC memo resulted in a final Working Group report that
recommended approval of several aggressive techniques, including removal of clothing, sleep
deprivation, and slapping, similar to those used in SERE training to teach U.S. personnel to resist
abusive interrogations.

Conclusions on Interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan
Conclusion 15: Special Mission Unit (SMU) Task Force (TF) interrogation policies were
influenced by the Secretary of Defense.s December 2, 2002 approval of aggressive interrogation
techniques for use at GTMO. SMU TF interrogation policies in Iraq included the use of
aggressive interrogation techniques such as military working dogs and stress positions. SMU TF
policies were a direct cause of detainee abuse and influenced interrogation policies at Abu
Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq.

Conclusion 16: During his assessment visit to Iraq in August and September 2003, GTMO
Commander Major General Geoffrey Miller encouraged a view that interrogators should be more
aggressive during detainee interrogations.
Conclusion 17: Interrogation policies approved by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, which
included the use of military working dogs and stress positions, were a direct cause of detainee
abuse in Iraq. Lieutenant General Sanchez.s decision to issue his September 14, 2003 policy
with the knowledge that there were ongoing discussions as to the legality of some techniques in
it was a serious error in judgment. The September policy was superseded on October 12, 2003
as a result of legal concerns raised by U.S. Central Command. That superseding policy,
however, contained ambiguities and contributed to confusion about whether aggressive
techniques, such as military working dogs, were authorized for use during interrogations.
Conclusion 18: U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) failed to conduct proper oversight of
Special Mission Unit Task Force interrogation policies. Though aggressive interrogation
techniques were removed from Combined Joint Task Force 7 interrogation policies after
CENTCOM raised legal concerns about their inclusion in the September 14, 2003 policy issued
by Lieutenant General Sanchez, SMU TF interrogation policies authorized some of those same
techniques, including stress positions and military working dogs.
Conclusion 19: The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a
few soldiers acting on their own. Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees of their
clothes, placing them in stress positions, and using military working dogs to intimidate them
appeared in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at GTMO.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.s December 2, 2002 authorization of aggressive
interrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior
military and civilian officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were
appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion in
standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely.


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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, December 25, 2008


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