“What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight … is how we behave. Ineverything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that wetreat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we arewarriors, we are also all human beings. “– General David PetraeusMay 10,2007(U) The collection oftimely and accurate intelligence is critical to the safety of U.S.personnel deployed abroad and to the security ofthe American people here at home. Themethods by which we elicit intelligence information from detainees in our custody affect notonly the reliability ofthat information, but our broader efforts to win hearts and minds and attractallies to our side.(U) AI Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are taught to expect Americans to abuse them. Theyare 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 tocooperation, 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 ofthe global jihadistmovement. Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora testified to the Senate Armed ServicesCommittee in June 2008 that “there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the fITstand second identifiable causes of U. S. combat deaths in Iraq – as judged by their effectiveness inrecruiting insurgent fighters into combat – are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib andGuantanamo.”(U) The abuse ofdetainees 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 Statesgovernment solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law tocreate the appearance oftheir legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those effortsdamaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the handofour enemies, and compromised our moral authority. This report is a product oftheCommittee’s inquiry into how those unfortunate results came about.UNCLASSIFIEDxiiUNCLASSIFIEDPresidential Order Opens the Door to Considering Aggressive Techniques (U)(U) On February 7,2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the ThirdGeneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and concluding that Talibandetainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the ThirdGeneva Convention. The President’s order closed off application ofCommon Article 3 oftheGeneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, toal Qaeda or Taliban detainees. While the President’s order stated that, as “a matter ofpolicy, theUnited States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extentappropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles ofthe Geneva Conventions,” the decision to replace well established military doctrine, i.e., legalcompliance with the Geneva Conventions, with a policy subject to interpretation, impacted thetreatment 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 ondetainee “exploitation” from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), an agency whoseexpertise was in training American personnel to withstand interrogation techniques consideredillegal under the Geneva Conventions.(U) JPRA is the DoD agency that oversees military Survival Evasion Resistance andEscape (SERE) training. During the resistance phase of SERE training, U.S. military personnelare exposed to physical and psychological pressures (SERE techniques) designed to simulateconditions to which they might be subject if taken prisoner by enemies that did not abide by theGeneva Conventions. As one JPRA instructor explained, SERE training is “based on illegalexploitation (under the rules listed in the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment ofPrisoners 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 falseconfessions, include stripping students oftheir clothing, placing them in stress positions, puttinghoods over their heads, disrupting their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loudmusic and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. It can also include faceand body slaps and until recently, for some who attended the Navy’s SERE school, it includedwaterboarding.(U) Typically, those who play the part of interrogators in SERE school neither are trainedinterrogators nor are they qualified to be. These role players are not trained to obtain reliableintelligence information from detainees. Their job is to train our personnel to resist providingreliable infonnation to our enemies. As the Deputy Commander for the Joint Forces Command(JFCOM), JPRA’s higher headquarters, put it: “the expertise ofJPRA lies in training personnelhow to respond and resist interrogations – not in how to conduct interrogations.” Given JPRA’srole and expertise, the request from the DoD General Counsel’s office was unusual. In fact, theCommittee is not aware ofany similar request prior to December 2001. But while it may havebeen the fast, that was not the last time that a senior government official contacted JPRA forUNCLASSIFIEDxiiiUNCLASSIFIEDadvice on using SERE methods offensively. In fact, the call from the DoD General Counsel’soffice 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, JPRAsupported U.S. government efforts to interrogate detainees. Duringthat same period, seniorgovernment officials solicited JPRA’s knowledge and its direct support for interrogations. Whilemuch ofthe information relating to JPRA’s offensive activities and the influence of SEREtechniques on interrogation policies remains classified, unclassified information provides awindow into the extent ofthose activities.(U) JPRA’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Baumgartner testified that in late2001 or early 2002, JPRA conducted briefings of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) personnelon 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 Mouhon and othersenior officials at the agency. The contents ofthat plan remain classified but Dr. Jessen’sinitiative is indicative ofthe 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 forIntelligence Richard Shiffrin contacted JPRA seeking information on SERE physical pressuresand interrogation techniques that had been used against Americans. Mr. Shiffiin called JPRAafter 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 ofphysical and psychologicalpressures used in SERE resistance training, and a memo from a SERE psychologist assessing thelong-term psychological effects of SERE resistance training on students and the effects ofwaterboarding. The list of SERE techniques included such methods as sensory deprivation,sleep disruption, stress positions, waterboarding, and slapping. It also made reference to asection ofthe JPRA instructor manual that discusses “coercive pressures,” such as keeping thelights on at all times, and treating a person like an animal. JPRA’s Chief of Staff, LieutenantColonel Daniel Baumgartner, who spoke with Mr. Shiffiin at the time, thought the
GeneralCounsel’s office was asking for the information on exploitation and physical pressures to usethem in interrogations and he said that JFCOM gave approval to provide the agency theinformation. Mr. Shiffiin, the DoD Deputy General Counsel for Intelligence, confmned that apurpose ofthe request was to “reverse engineer” the techniques. Mr. Haynes could not recallwhat he did with the information provided by JPRA.(U) Memos from Lieutenant Colonel Baumgartner to the Office of Secretary ofDefenseGeneral Counsel stated that JPRA would “continue to offer exploitation assistance to thosegovernment organizations charged with the mission of gleaning intelligence from enemyUNCLASSIFIEDUNCLASSIFIEDdetainees.” Lieutenant Colonel Baumgartner testified that he provided another governmentagency the same information he sent to the DoD General Counsel’s office.(U) Mr. Haynes was not the only senior official considering new interrogation techniquesfor use against detainees. Members ofthe President’s Cabinet and other senior officials attendedmeetings in the White House where specific interrogation techniques were discussed. Secretaryof State Condoleezza Rice, who was then the National Security Advisor, said that, “in the springof2002, CIA sought policy approval from the National Security Council (NSC) to begin aninterrogation progTam for high-level al-Qaida terrorists.” Secretary Rice said that she askedDirector of Central Intelligence George Tenet to briefNSC Principals on the program and askedthe Attorney General John Ashcroft “personally to review and confrrm the legal advice preparedby the Office of Legal Counsel.” She also said that Secretary ofDefense Donald Rumsfeldparticipated in the NSC review ofthe CIA’s program.(U) Asked whether she attended meetings where SERE training was discussed, SecretaryRice 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 wasdiscussed.”Department of Justice Redermes Torture (D)(U) On August 1, 2002, just a week after JPRA provided the DoD General Counsel’soffice 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. Theopinions were issued after consultation with senior Administration attorneys, including thenWhiteHouse Counsel Alberto Gonzales and then-Counsel to the Vice President DavidAddington. Both memos were signed by then-Assistant Attorney General for the Office ofLegalCounsel Jay Bybee. One opinion, commonly known as the first Bybee memo, was addressed toJudge Gonzales and provided OLe’s opinion on standards of conduct in interrogation requiredunder the federal torture statute. That memo concluded:[F]or an act to constitute torture as defmed in [the federal torture statute], it mustinflict pain that is difficult to endure. Physical pain amounting to torture must beequivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such asorgan failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death. For purely mentalpain or suffering to amount to torture under [the federal torture statute], it mustresult in significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting formonths or even years.(U) In his book The Terror Presidency, Jack Goldsmith, the former Assistant AttorneyGeneral ofthe OLC who succeeded Mr. Bybee in that job, described the memo’s conclusions:UNCLASSIFIEDxvUNCLASSIFIEDViolent acts aren’t necessarily torture; if you do torture, you probably have adefense; and even if you don’t have a defense, the torture law doesn’t apply if youact under the color of presidential authority.(U) The other OLC opinion issued on August 1,2002 is known commonly as the SecondBybee memo. That opinion, which responded to a request from the CI~ addressed the legalityof specific interrogation tactics. While the full list oftechniques remains classified, a publiclyreleased CIA document indicates that waterboarding was among those analyzed and approved.CIA Director General Michael Hayden stated in public testimony before the Senate IntelligenceCommittee on February 5, 2008 that waterboarding was used by the CIA And Steven Bradbury,the current Assistant Attorney General ofthe OLC, testified before the House JudiciaryCommittee on February 14,2008 that the CIA’s use of waterboarding was “adapted from theSERE training program.”(U) Before drafting the opinions, Mr. Y00, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for theOLC, had met with Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to the President, and David Addington, Counselto the Vice President, to discuss the subjects he intended to address in the opinions. In testimonybefore the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Y00 refused to say whether or not he ever discussedor received information about SERE techniques as the memos were being drafted. When askedwhether 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 AdvisorJohn Bellinger said that “some ofthe legal analyses ofproposed interrogation techniques thatwere prepared by the Department ofJustice… did refer to the psychological effects ofresistancetraining.”(U) In fact, Jay Bybee the Assistant Attorney General who signed the two OLC legalopinions said that he saw an assessment ofthe psychological effects ofmilitary resistancetraining 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 opinionthat has yet to be publicly released. Judge Bybee also recalled discussing detainee interrogationsin a meeting with Attorney General John Ashcroft and John Y00 in late July 2002, prior tosigning the OLC opinions. Mr. Bellinger, the NSC Legal Advisor, said that “the NSC’sPrincipals 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 – respondingto 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 ofinterrogators and behavioral scientists from GTMO travelled to Fort Bragg,North Carolina and attended training conducted by instructors from JPRA’s SERE school. OnSeptember 25, 2002, just days after GTMO staffreturned from that training, a delegation ofUNCLASSIFIEDxviUNCLASSIFIEDsenior Administration lawyers, including Mr. Haynes, Mr. Rizzo, and Mr. Addington, visitedGTMO.(U) A week after the visit from those senior lawyers, two GTMO behavioral scientistswho had attended the JPRA-Ied training at Fort Bragg drafted a memo proposing newinterrogation techniques for use at GTMO. According to one ofthose two behavioral scientists,by early October 2002, there was “increasing pressure to get ‘tougher’ with detaineeinterrogations.” He added that ifthe interrogation policy memo did not contain coercivetechniques, then it “wasn’t going to go very far.”(U) JPRA was not the only outside organization that provided advice to GTMO onaggressive techniques. On October 2, 2002, Jonathan Fredman, who was chief counsel to theCIA’s CounterTerrorist Center, attended a meeting ofGTMO staff. Minutes ofthat meetingindicate that it was dominated by a discussion ofaggressive interrogation techniques includingsleep deprivation, death threats, and waterboarding, which was discussed in relation to its use inSERE training. Mr. Fredman’s advice to GTMO on applicable legal obligations was similar tothe analysis ofthose obligations in OLC’s first Bybee memo. According to the meeting m
inutes,Mr. Fredman said that ”the language ofthe statutes is written vaguely … Severe physical paindescribed 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 doingit wrong.”(U) On October 11,2002, Major General Michael Dunlavey, the Commander ofJTF-170at Guantanamo Bay, sent a memo to General James Hill, the Commander of US. SouthernCommand (SOUfHCOM) requesting authority to use aggressive interrogation techniques.Several ofthe techniques requested were similar to techniques used by lPRA and the militaryservices in SERE training, including stress positions, exploitation of detainee fears (such as fearof dogs), removal of clothing, hooding, deprivation of light and sound, and the so-called wettowel treatment or the waterboard. Some ofthe techniques were even referred to as “those usedin US. military interrogation resistance training.” Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver, GTMO’sStaffJudge Advocate, wrote an analysis justifYing the legality ofthe techniques, though sheexpected that a broader legal review conducted at more senior levels would follow her own. OnOctober 25, 2002, General Hill forwarded the GTMO request from Major General Dunlavey toGeneral Richard Myers, the Chairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff. Days later, the Joint Staffsolicited the views ofthe military services on the request.(U) Plans to use aggressive interrogation techniques generated concerns by some atGTMO. The Deputy Commander ofthe Department of Defense’s Criminal Investigative TaskForce (CITF) at GTMO told the Committee that SERE techniques were “developed to betterprepare U.S. military personnel to resist interrogations and not as a means of obtaining reliableinformation” and that “CITF was troubled with the rationale that techniques used to hardenresistance to interrogations would be the basis for the utilization oftechniques to obtaininformation.” Concerns were not limited to the effectiveness ofthe techniques in obtainingreliable information; GTMO’s request gave rise to significant legal concerns as well.UNCLASSIFIEDxviiUNCLASSIFIEDMilitary Lawyers Raise Red Flags and Joint Staff Review Quashed (D)(U) In early November 2002, in a series of memos responding to the Joint Staff’s call forcomments on GTMO’s request, the military services identified serious legal concerns about thetechniques and called for additional analysis.(U) The Air Force cited “serious concerns regarding the legality of many ofthe proposedtechniques” and stated that “techniques described may be subject to challenge as failing to meetthe requirements outlined in the military order to treat detainees humanely…” The Air Forcealso called for an in depth legal review ofthe 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 ofthe [Uniform Code of MilitaryJustice],” 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, thatis predicated upon the principle that all is well ifthe ends justify the means and others are notaware ofhow we conduct our business.”(U) The Chief ofthe Army’s International and Operational Law Division wrote thattechniques like stress positions, deprivation of light and auditory stimuli, and use of phobias toinduce stress “crosses the line of ‘humane’ treatment,” would “likely be consideredmaltreatment” under the UCMJ, and “may violate the torture statute.” The Army labeledGTMO’s request “legally insufficient” and called for additional review.(U) The Navy recommended a “more detailed interagency legal and policy review” oftherequest. And the Marine Corps expressed strong reservations, stating that several techniques inthe request “arguably violate federal law, and would expose our service members to possibleprosecution.” The Marine Corps also said the request was not “legally sufficient,” and like theother services, called for “a more thorough legal and policy review.”(U) Then-Captain (now Rear Admiral) Jane Dalton, Legal Counsel to the Chairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that her staff discussed the military services’ concerns with theDoD General Counsel’s Office at the time and that the DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes wasaware ofthe services’ concerns. Mr. Haynes, on the other hand, testified that he did not knowthat the memos from the military services existed (a statement he later qualified by stating that hewas not sure he knew they existed). Eliana Davidson, the DoD Associate Deputy GeneralCounsel for International Affairs, said that she told the General Counsel that the GTMO requestneeded 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 ownconcerns with the GTMO request and directed her staffto initiate a thorough legal and policyreview ofthe techniques. That review, however, was cut short. Captain Dalton said that GeneralMyers returned from a meeting and advised her that Mr. Haynes wanted her to stop her review,UNCLASSIFIEDxviiiUNCLASSIFIEDin part because of concerns that people were going to see the GTMO request and the militaryservices’ analysis of it. Neither General Myers nor Mr. Haynes recalled cutting short the Daltonreview, though neither has challenged Captain Dalton’s recollection. Captain Dalton testifiedthat this occasion marked the only time she had ever been told to stop analyzing a request thatcame 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 interrogationtechniques, Mr. Haynes said that “there was a sense by the DoD Leadership that this decisionwas taking too long” and that Secretary Rumsfeld told his senior advisors “I need arecommendation” On November 27, 2002, the Secretary got one. Notwithstanding the seriouslegal concerns raised by the military services, Mr. Haynes sent a one page memo to theSecretary, recommending that he approve all but three ofthe eighteen techniques in the GTMOrequest. Techniques such as stress positions, removal of clothing, use ofphobias (such as fear ofdogs), and deprivation oflight and auditory stimuli were all recommended for approval.(U) Mr. Haynes’s memo indicated that he had discussed the issue with Deputy SecretaryofDefense Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary ofDefense for Policy Doug Feith, and GeneralMyers and that he believed they concurred in his recommendation. When asked what he reliedon to make his recommendation that the aggressive techniques be approved, the only writtenlegal opinion Mr. Haynes cited was Lieutenant Colonel Beaver’s legal analysis, which seniormilitary lawyers had considered “legally insufficient” and “woefully inadequate,” and whichLTC Beaver herself had expected would be supplemented with a review by persons with greaterexperience 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 stresspositions: “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 ourenemies. There are fundamental differences between a SERE school exercise and a real worldinterrogation. At SERE school, students are subject to an extensive medical and psychologicalpre-screening prior to being subjected to physical and psychological pressures. The schoolsimpose 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 tohelp students cope with associated stress. And SERE school is voluntary; students are evengiven a special phrase they can use to immediately stop the techniques from being used againstthem.(U) Neither those differences, nor the serious legal c
oncerns that had been registered,stopped the Secretary ofDefense from approving the use ofthe aggressive techniques againstdetainees. Moreover, Secretary Rumsfeld authorized the techniques without apparentlyproviding any written guidance as to how they should be administered.UNCLASSIFIEDxixUNCLASSIFIEDSERE Techniques at GTMO (U)(U) Following the Secretary’s December 2, 2002 authorization, senior staff at GTMObegan drafting a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) specifically for the use ofSEREtechniques in interrogations. The draft SOP itself stated that “The premise behind this is that theinterrogation tactics used at U.S. military SERE schools are appropriate for use in real-worldinterrogations. 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” Thedraft “GTMO SERE SOP” described how to slap, strip, and place detainees in stress positions. Italso described other SERE techniques, such as “hooding,” “manhandling,” and “walling”detainees.(U) On December 30,2002, two instructors from the Navy SERE school arrived atGTMO. The next day, in a session with approximately 24 interrogation personnel, the twoSERE instructors demonstrated how to administer stress positions, and various slappingtechniques. According to two interrogators, those who attended the training even broke off intopairs to practice the techniques.(U) ExemplifYing the disturbing nature and substance ofthe training, the SEREinstructors explained “Biderman’s Principles” – which were based on coercive methods used bythe Chinese Communist dictatorship to elicit false confessions from U.S. POWs during theKorean War – and left with GTMO personnel a chart ofthose coercive techniques. Three daysafter they conducted the training, the SERE instructors met with GTMO’s Commander, MajorGeneral Geoffrey Miller. According to some who attended that meeting, Major General Millerstated that he did not want his interrogators using the techniques that the Navy SERE instructorshad demonstrated. That conversation, however, took place after the training had alreadyoccurred and not all ofthe interrogators who attended the training got the message.(U) At about the same time, a dispute over the use ofaggressive techniques was raging atGTMO over the interrogation ofMohammed al-Khatani, a high value detainee. Personnel fromCITF and the Federal Bureau ofInvestigations (FBI) had registered strong opposition, tointerrogation techniques proposed for use on Khatani and made those concerns known to theDoD General Counsel’s office. Despite those objections, an interrogation plan that includedaggressive techniques was approved. The interrogation itself, which actually began onNovember 23,2002, a week before the Secretary’s December 2,2002 grant ofblanket authorityfor the use ofaggressive techniques, continued through December and into mid-January 2003.(U) NSC Legal Advisor John Bellinger said that, on several occasions, Deputy AssistantAttorney General Bruce Swartz raised concerns with him about allegations of detainee abuse atGTMO. Mr. Bellinger said that, in tum, he raised these concerns “on several occasions withDoD officials and was told that the allegations were being investigated by the Naval CriminalInvestigative Service.” Then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said that Mr.Bellinger also advised her “on a regular basis regarding concerns and issues relating to DoDdetention policies and practices at Guantanamo.” She said that as a result she convened a “seriesUNCLASSIFIED:1:1:UNCLASSIFIEDofmeetings ofNSC Principals in 2002 and 2003 to discuss various issues and concerns relatingto detainees in the custody ofthe Department of Defense.”(U) Between mid-December 2002 and mid-January 2003, Navy General Counsel AlbertoMora spoke with the DoD General Counsel three times to express his concerns aboutinterrogation techniques at GTMO, at one point telling Mr. Haynes that he thought techniquesthat had been authorized by the Secretary ofDefense “could rise to the level oftorture.” OnJanuary 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 legalconcerns about the techniques. In a subsequent phone call, Mr. Mora told Mr. Haynes he wouldsign his memo later that day unless he heard defmitively that the use ofthe techniques wassuspended. In a meeting that same day, Mr. Haynes told Mr. Mora that the Secretary wouldrescind the techniques. Secretary Rumsfeld signed a memo rescinding authority for thetechniques on January 15,2003.(U) That same day, GTMO suspended its use ofaggressive techniques on Khatani.While key documents relating to the interrogation remain classified, published accounts indicatethat military working dogs had been used against Khatani. He had also been deprived ofadequate sleep for weeks on end, stripped naked, subjected to loud music, and made to wear aleash and perform dog tricks. In a June 3, 2004 press briefing, SOUTHCOM CommanderGeneral James Hill traced the source oftechniques used on Khatani back to SERE, stating: “Thestaff at Guantanamo working with behavioral scientists, having gone up to our SERE school anddeveloped a list oftechniques which our lawyers decided and looked at, said were OK.” GeneralHill said “we began to use a few ofthose techniques … on this individuaL.”(U) On May 13, 2008, the Pentagon announced in a written statement that the ConveningAuthority for military commissions “dismissed without prejudice the sworn charges againstMohamed al Khatani.” The statement does not indicate the role his treatment may have playedin that decision.DoD Working Group Ignores Military Lawyers and Relies on OLC (D)(U) On January 15, 2003, the same day he rescinded authority for GTMO to useaggressive techniques, Secretary Rumsfeld directed the establishment ofa “Working Group” toreview interrogation techniques. For the next few months senior military and civilian lawyerstried, without success, to have their concerns about the legality ofaggressive techniques reflectedin the Working Group’s report. Their arguments were rejected in favor ofa legal opinion fromthe Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) John Yoo. Mr. Yoo’s opinion, thefinal version of which ‘was dated March 14,2003, had been requested by Mr. Haynes at theinitiation ofthe Working Group process, and repeated much of what the first Bybee memo hadsaid six months earlier.(U) The first Bybee memo, dated August 1, 2002, had concluded that, to violate thefederal torture statute, physical pain that resulted from an act would have to be “equivalent inintensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment ofUNCLASSIFIEDxxiUNCLASSIFIEDbodily 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 thatinterrogators could not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for using interrogation methodsthat would otherwise violate the law.(U) Though the final Working Group report does not specifically mention SERE, the listofinterrogation techniques it evaluated and recommended for approval suggest the influence ofSERE. Removal of clothing, prolonged standing, sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation,hooding, increasing anxiety through the use ofa detainee’s aversions like dogs, and face andstomach slaps were all recommended for approval.(U) On April 16, 2003, less than two weeks after the Working Group completed itsreport, the Secretary authorized the use of24 specific interrogation techniques for use at GTMO.While the authorization included such techniques as dietary manipulation, environmentalmanipulation, and sleep adjustment, it was silent on many ofthe techniques in the WorkingGroup report. Secretary Rumsfeld’s memo said, however, that “If, in your view, you requireadditional interrogation techniques for a particular detainee, you should provide me, via theChairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff, a written request describing the proposed te
chnique,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 QuId Slahi. Whiledocuments relating to the interrogation plan for Slahi remain classified, a May 2008 report fromthe Department of Justice Inspector General includes declassified information suggesting theplan 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 ofthe interrogation plansaid it was similar to Khatani’s interrogation plan. Secretary Rumsfeld approved the Slahi planon August 13, 2003.Aggressive Techniques Authorized in Afghanistan and Iraq (U)(U) Shortly after Secretary Rumsfeld’s December 2,2002 approval ofhis GeneralCounsel’s recommendation to authorize aggressive interrogation techniques, the techniquesandthe fact the Secretary had authorized them – became known to interrogators in Mghanistan.A copy ofthe Secretary’s memo was sent from GTMO to Mghanistan. Captain Carolyn Wood,the Officer in Charge ofthe Intelligence Section at Bagram Airfield in Mghanistan, said that inJanuary 2003 she saw a power point presentation listing the aggressive techniques that had beenauthorized by the Secretary.(U) Despite the Secretary’s January 15,2003 rescission ofauthority for GTMO to useaggressive techniques, his initial approval six weeks earlier continued to influence interrogationpolicies.(U) On January 24, 2003, nine days after Secretary Rumsfe1d rescinded authority for thetechniques at GTMO, the StaffJudge Advocate for Combined Joint Task Force 180 (CJTF-180),UNCLASSIFIEDxxiiUNCLASSIFIEDu.s. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) conventional forces in Afghanistan, produced an”Interrogation techniques” memo. While that memo remains classified, unclassified portions ofa 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 ofdogs” another technique approved by the Secretary on December 2,2002.(U) From Afghanistan, the techniques made their way to Iraq. According to theDepartment of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (lG), at the beginning ofthe Iraq war, specialmission unit forces in Iraq “used a January 2003 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which hadbeen developed for operations in Afghanistan.” According to the DoD IG, the Afghanistan SOPhad been:[I]nfluenced by the counter-resistance memorandum that the Secretary of Defenseapproved on December 2, 2002 and incorporated techniques designed fordetainees who were identified as unlawful combatants. Subsequent battlefieldinterrogation SOPs included techniques such as yelling, loud music, and lightcontrol, environmental manipulation, sleep deprivation/adjustment, stresspositions, 20-hour interrogations, and controlled fear (muzzled dogs) …(U) Techniques approved by the Secretary of Defense in December 2002 reflect theinfluence ofSERE. And not only did those techniques make their way into official interrogationpolicies in Iraq, but instructors from the JPRA SERE school followed. The DoD IG reported thatin September 2003, at the request ofthe Commander ofthe Special Mission Unit Task Force,JPRA deployed a team to Iraq to assist interrogation operations. During that trip, which wasexplicitly approved by U.S. Joint Forces Command, JPRA’s higher headquarters, SEREinstructors were authorized to participate in the interrogation ofdetainees in U.S. militarycustody using SERE techniques.(U) In September 2008 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, ColonelSteven Kleinman, an Air Force Reservist who was a member ofthe interrogation support teamsent by JPRA to the Special Mission Unit Task Force in Iraq, described abusive interrogations hewitnessed, and intervened to stop, during that trip. Colonel Kleinman said that one ofthoseinterrogations, 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 oftheinterrogator. In another interrogation Colonel Kleinman said the two other members oftheJPRA team took a hooded detainee to a bunker at the Task Force facility, forcibly stripped himnaked 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 eventuallymade their way into Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued for all U.S. forces in Iraq. Inthe summer of2003, Captain Wood, who by that time was the Interrogation Officer in Charge atAbu Ghraib, obtained a copy ofthe Special Mission Unit interrogation policy and submitted it,virtually unchanged, to her chain ofcommand as proposed policy.UNCLASSIFIEDxxiiiUNCLASSIFIED(U) Captain Wood submitted her proposed policy around the same time that a messagewas being conveyed that interrogators should be more aggressive with detainees. In mid-August2003, an email from staffat Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7) headquarters in Iraqrequested that subordinate units provide input for a “wish list” of interrogation techniques, statedthat “the gloves are coming off,” and said “we want these detainees broken.” At the end ofAugust 2003, Major General Geoffrey Miller, the GTMO Commander, led a team to Iraq toassess interrogation and detention operations. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the Commander ofthe20Sth Military Intelligence Brigade, who met with Major General Miller during that visit, saidthat the tenor ofthe discussion was that “we had to get tougher with the detainees.” A ChiefWarrant Officer with the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) said that during Major General Miller’s tourofthe ISG’s facility, Major General Miller said the ISG was “running a country club” fordetainees.(U) On September 14,2003 the Commander ofCJTF-7, Lieutenant General RicardoSanchez, issued the fIrst CJTF-7 interrogation SOP. That SOP authorized interrogators in Iraq touse stress positions, environmental manipulation, sleep management, and military working dogsin interrogations. Lieutenant General Sanchez issued the September 14, 2003 policy with theknowledge that there were ongoing discussions about the legality ofsome ofthe approvedtechniques. Responding to legal concerns from CENTCOM lawyers about those techniques,Lieutenant General Sanchez issued a new policy on October 12,2003, eliminating many ofthepreviously authorized aggressive techniques. The new policy, however, contained ambiguitieswith respect to certain techniques, such as the use of dogs in interrogations, and led to confusionabout which techniques were permitted.(U) In his report of his investigation into Abu Ghraib, Major General George Fay saidthat interrogation techniques developed for GTMO became “confused” and were implemented atAbu Ghraib. For example, Major General Fay said that removal of clothing, while not includedin CJTF-Ts SOP, was “imported” to Abu Ghraib, could be ”traced through Mghanistan andGTMO,” and contributed to an environment at Abu Ghraib that appeared “to condone depravityand degradation rather than humane treatment of detainees.” Major General Fay said that thepolicy approved by the Secretary ofDefense on December 2,2002 contributed to the use ofaggressive 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 AttorneyGeneral for the Office of Legal Counsel was presented with a “short stack” of0 Le opinions thatwere described to him as problematic. Included in that short stack were the Bybee memos ofAugust 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 lateDecember 2003, Mr. Goldsmith notifIed Mr. Haynes that DoD could no longer rely on Mr.Yoo’s memo in determining the lawfulness ofinterrogation techniques. The change in OLeguidance, however, did not keep
JPRA from making plans to continue their support tointerrogation operations. In fact, it is not clear that the agency was even aware ofthe change.UNCLASSIFIEDxxivUNCLASSIFIED(U) In 2004, JPRA and CENTCOM took steps to send a JPRA training team toAfghanistan to assist in detainee interrogations there. In the wake ofthe public disclosure ofdetainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, however, that trip was cancelled and JFCOM subsequently issuedpolicy guidance limiting JPRA’s support to interrogations.(U) On September 29, 2004 Major General James Soligan, JFCOM’s Chief of StatI,issued a memorandum referencing JPRA’s support to interrogation operations. Major GeneralSoligan wrote:Recent requests from [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] and the CombatantCommands have solicited JPRA support based on knowledge and informationgained through the debriefing of former U.S. POWs and detainees and theirapplication to U.S. Strategic debriefmg and interrogation techniques. Theserequests, which can be characterized as ‘offensive’ support, go beyond thechartered responsibilities of JPRA… The use of resistance to interrogationknowledge for ‘offensive’ purposes lies outside the roles and responsibilities ofJPRA(U) Lieutenant General Robert Wagner, the Deputy Commander ofJFCOM, later calledrequests for JPRA interrogation support “inconsistent with the unit’s charter” and said that suchrequests “might create conditions which tasked JPRA to engage in offensive operationalactivities outside ofJPRA’s defensive mission.”(U) Interrogation policies endorsed by senior military and civilian officials authorizingthe use of harsh interrogation techniques were a major cause ofthe abuse of detainees in U.S.custody. The impact ofthose 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 positiveinfluence in the world. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have a lot to do with that perception. Thefact that America is seen in a negative light by so many complicates our ability to attract allies toour side, strengthens the hand of our enemies, and reduces our ability to collect intelligence thatcan save lives.(U) It is particularly troubling that senior officials approved the use ofinterrogationtechniques that were originally designed to simulate abusive tactics used by our enemies againstour own soldiers and that were modeled, in part, on tactics used by the Communist Chinese toelicit false confessions from U.S. military personnel. While some argue that the brutality anddisregard for human life shown by al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists justifies us treating themharshly, General David Petraeus explained why that view is misguided. In a May 2007 letter tohis troops, General Petraeus said “Our values and thelaws governing warfare teach us to respecthuman dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our valuesdistinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which mustunderstand that we – not our enemies – occupy the moral high ground.”UNCLASSIFIEDxxvUNCLASSIFIEDSenate AImed Services Committee ConclusionsConclusion 1: On February 7,2002, President George W. Bush made a written determinationthat Common Article 3 ofthe Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimumstandards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. Following thePresident’s determination, techniques such as waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions, used inSERE 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 inmeetings inside the White House in 2002 and 2003 where specific interrogation techniques wered~scussed. National Security Council Principals reviewed the CIA’s interrogation programduring that period.Conclusions on SERE Training Techniques and InterrogationsConclusion 3: The use oftechniques similar to those used in SERE resistance training – suchas stripping students oftheir clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over theirheads, and treating them like animals – was at odds with the commitment to humane treatment ofdetainees in U.S. custody. Using those techniques for interrogating detainees was alsoinconsistent with the goal of collecting accurate intelligence information, as the purpose of SEREresistance training is to increase the ability of U. S. personnel to resist abusive interrogations andthe techniques used were based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during theKorean War to elicit false confessions.Conclusion 4: The use oftechniques in interrogations derived from SERE resistance trainingcreated a serious risk of physical and psychological harm to detainees. The SERE schoolsemploy strict controls to reduce the risk of physical and psychological harm to students duringtraining. Those controls include medical and psychological screening for students, interventionsby trained psychologists during training, and code words to ensure that students can stop theapplication ofa technique at any time should the need arise. Those same controls are not presentin real world interrogations.Conclusions on Senior Official Consideration of SERE Techniques for InterrogationsConclusion 5: In July 2002, the Office ofthe Secretary of Defense General Counsel solicitedinformation from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) on SERE techniques for useduring interrogations. That solicitation, prompted by requests from Department ofDefenseGeneral Counsel William J. Haynes II, reflected the view that abusive tactics similar to thoseused 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 leastone SERE training technique, waterboarding. Senior Administration lawyers, including AlbertoUNCLASSIFIEDxxviUNCLASSIFIEDGonzales, Counsel to the President, and David Addington, Counsel to the Vice President, wereconsulted on the development oflegal analysis ofCIA interrogation techniques. Legal opinionssubsequently issued by the Department ofJustice’s Office ofLegal Counsel (OLC) interpretedlegal obligations under u.s. anti-torture laws and determined the legality ofCIA interrogationtechniques. Those OLC opinions distorted the meaning and intent ofanti-torture laws,rationalized the abuse ofdetainees in U.S. custody and influenced Department ofDefensedeterminations as to what interrogation techniques were legal for use during interrogationsconducted by u.s. military personnel. .Conclusions on JPRA Offensive ActivitiesConclusion 7: Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) efforts in support of”offensive”interrogation operations went beyond the agency’s knowledge and expertise. JPRA’s support toU.S. government interrogation efforts contributed to detainee abuse. JPRA’s offensive supportalso influenced the development ofpolicies that authorized abusive interrogation techniques foruse 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 ColonelRandy Moulton’s authorization ofSERE instructors, who had no experience in detaineeinterrogations, to actively participate in Task Force interrogations using SERE resistance trainingtechniques was a serious failure in judgment. The Special Mission Unit Task ForceCommander’s failure to order that SERE resistance training techniques not be used in detaineeinterrogations was a serious failure in leadership that led to the abuse ofdetainees in Task Forcecustody. Iraq is a Geneva Convention theater and techniques used in SERE school areinconsistent with the obligations of U.S. personnel under the Geneva Conventions.Conclusion 9: Combatant Command requests for JPRA “offensive” interrogation support andU.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) authorization ofthat support led to JPRA operatingoutside the agency’s charter and beyond its expertise. Only when JFCOM’s
StaffJudgeAdvocate became aware ofand raised concerns about JPRA’s support to offensive interrogationoperations 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 formalpolicy stating that support to offensive interrogation operations was outside JPRA’s charter.Conclusions on GTMO’s Request for Ageressive TechniquesConclusion 10: Interrogation techniques in Guantanamo Bay’s (GTMO) October 11, 2002request for authority submitted by Major General Michael Dunlavey, were influenced by JPRAtraining for GTMO interrogation personnel and included techniques similar to those used inSERE training to teach U.S. personnel to resist abusive enemy interrogations. GTMO StaffJudge Advocate Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver’s legal review justifying the October 11, 2002GTMO request was profoundly in error and legally insufficient. Leaders at GTMO, includingMajor General Dunlavey’s successor, Major General Geoffrey Miller, ignored warnings fromUNCLASSIFIEDxxviiUNCLASSIFIEDDoD’s Criminal Investigative Task Force and the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation that thetechniques were potentially unlawful and that their use would strengthen detainee resistance.Conclusion 11: Chairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers’s decision to cutshort the legal and policy review ofthe October 11,2002 GTMO request initiated by his LegalCounsel, then-Captain Jane Dalton, undermined the military’s review process. Subsequentconclusions reached by Chairman Myers and Captain Dalton regarding the legality ofinterrogation techniques in the request followed a grossly deficient review and were at odds withconclusions previously reached by the Anny, Air Force, Marine Corps, and CriminalInvestigative Task Force.Conclusion 12: Department of Defense General Counsel William 1. Haynes II’s effort to cutshort the legal and policy review ofthe October 11,2002 GTMO request initiated by thenCaptainJane Dahon, Legal Counsel to the Chairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff, wasinappropriate and undermined the military’s review process. The General Counsel’s subsequentreview was grossly deficient. Mr. Haynes’s one page recommendation to Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld failed to address the serious legal concerns that had been previously raised bythe military services about techniques in the GTMO request. Further, Mr. Haynes’s reliance on alegal memo produced by GTMO’s StaffJudge Advocate that senior military lawyers called”legally insufficient” and “woefully inadequate” is deeply troubling.Conclusion 13: Secretary ofDefense Donald Rumsfeld’s authorization ofaggressiveinterrogation 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 ofthe techniques contained in GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request be authorized, influenced andcontributed to the use ofabusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, andstress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq.Conclusion 14: Department of Defense General Counsel William 1. Haynes II’s direction to theDepartment of Defense’s Detainee Working Group in early 2003 to consider a legal memo fromJohn Yoo ofthe Department of Justice’s OLC as authoritative, blocked the Working Group fromconducting a fair and complete legal analysis and resulted in a report that, in the words ofthenDepartmentofthe Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora contained “profound mistakes in itslegal analysis.” Reliance on the OLC memo resulted in a final Working Group report thatrecommended approval of several aggressive techniques, including removal of clothing, sleepdeprivation, and slapping, similar to those used in SERE training to teach U. S. personnel to resistabusive interrogations.Conclusions on Interrogations in Iraq and AfghanistanConclusion 15: Special Mission Unit (SMU) Task Force (TF) interrogation policies wereinfluenced by the Secretary ofDefense’s December 2,2002 approval ofaggressive interrogationteclmiques for use at GTMO. SMU TF interrogation policies in Iraq included the use ofaggressive interrogation techniques such as military working dogs and stress positions. SMU TFUNCLASSIFIEDxxviiiUNCLASSIFIEDpolicies were a direct cause of detainee abuse and influenced interrogation policies at AbuGhraib and elsewhere in Iraq.Conclusion 16: During his assessment visit to Iraq in August and September 2003, GTMOCommander Major General Geoffrey Miller encouraged a view that interrogators should be moreaggressive during detainee interrogations.Conclusion 17: Interrogation policies approved by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, whichincluded the use ofmilitary working dogs and stress positions, were a direct cause of detaineeabuse in Iraq. Lieutenant General Sanchez’s decision to issue his September 14,2003 policywith the knowledge that there were ongoing discussions as to the legality of some techniques init was a serious error in judgment The September policy was superseded on October 12,2003as a result oflegal concerns raised by U.S. Central Command. That superseding policy,however, contained ambiguities and contributed to confusion about whether aggressivetechniques, such as military working dogs, were authorized for use during interrogations.Conclusion 18: U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) failed to conduct proper oversight ofSpecial Mission Unit Task Force interrogation policies. Though aggressive interrogationtechniques were removed from Combined Joint Task Force 7 interrogation policies afterCENTCOM raised legal concerns about their inclusion in the September 14, 2003 policy issuedby Lieutenant General Sanchez, SMU TF interrogation policies authorized some ofthose sametechniques, 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 afew soldiers acting on their own. Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees oftheirclothes, placing them in stress positions, and using military working dogs to intimidate themappeared in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at GTMO.Secretary ofDefense Donald Rumsfeld’s December 2,2002 authorization ofaggressiveinterrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by seniormilitary and civilian officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation wereappropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion instandards dictating that detainees be treated humanely.
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