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Rendition (35)
legalProceedings (41)
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Unnamed prisoners (42)
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Torture, rendition, and other abuses against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere

 
  

Project: Prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

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Showing 1-100 of 131 events (use filters to narrow search):    next 100

End of 2001-early 2002

       US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld authorizes the creation of a “special-access program,” or SAP, with “blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate ‘high value’ targets in the Bush administration's war on terror.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004; The Guardian, 9/13/2004] The operation, known as “Copper Green,” is approved by Condoleezza Rice and known to President Bush. [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004 Sources: Unnamed former US intelligence official] A SAP is an ultra secret project, the contents of which are known by very few officials. “We're not going to read more people than necessary into our heart of darkness,” a former senior intelligence official tells investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004; The New Yorker, 5/15/2004] The SAP is brought up occasionally within the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the president and members of which are Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Powell. The former intelligence official tells Hersh, “There was a periodic briefing to the National Security Council giving updates on results, but not on the methods.” He also says he believes NSC members know about the process by which these results are acquired. Motive for the SAP comes from an initial freeze in the results obtained by US agents from their hunt for al-Qaeda. Friendly foreign intelligence services on the other hand, from countries in the Middle East and South-East Asia, which employ more aggressive tactics on prisoners, are giving up much better information by the end of 2001. By authorizing the SAP, Rumsfeld, according to Hersh, desires to adopt these tactics and thus increase intelligence results. “Rumsfeld's goal was to get a capability in place to take on a high-value target—a stand-up group to hit quickly,” the former intelligence official tells Hersh. The program's operatives were recruited from among Delta Force, Navy Seals, and CIA's paramilitary experts. They are given, according to Hersh, “blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate high-value targets.” They are permitted to carry out “instant interrogations—using force if necessary—at secret CIA detention centers scattered around the world.” Information obtained through the program is sent to the Pentagon in real-time. The former intelligence official tells Hersh: “The rules are ‘Grab whom you must. Do what you want.’ ” [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] The operation, according to Seymour Hersh, “encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, George W. Bush, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Colin Powell
          

Fall 2001

       Bush signs a number of Presidential Directives giving the CIA the authority to kill or capture suspected terrorists and set up a global network of facilities to detain and interrogate them in secret. [New York Times, 8/27/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

Mid-September 2001

       One of the main questions on the minds of government lawyers is how to criminally prosecute captured members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. William P. Barr, a former attorney general, suggests to Timothy E. Flanigan, deputy White House counsel, a few days after 9/11 to use so-called military commissions. Barr first thought of using such military commissions to try the suspects of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, but this was rejected at the time. “I thought it was a great idea,” Flanigan said. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: William P. Barr, Timothy E. Flanigan
          

September 2001

       In the weeks following 9/11, government lawyers begin to formulate a legal response to the newly perceived threat of terrorism. Four related issues are at hand: forceful prevention, detention, prosecution, and interrogation. What degree of force can the government employ to prevent acts of terrorism or apprehend suspected terrorists? How and where can it best detain terrorists if captured? How can it best bring them to trial? And how can it best obtain information from them on terrorist organizations and plots? These questions are handled in a new atmosphere that is more tolerant towards flexible interpretations of the law. Bradford Berenson, an associate White House counsel at this time, later recalls: “Legally, the watchword became ‘forward-leaning’ by which everybody meant: ‘We want to be aggressive. We want to take risks.’ ” [New York Times, 10/24/2004] This attitude is seemingly in line with the president's thinking. Richard C. Clarke, the White House chief of counter-terrorism, will later recall President George W. Bush saying, “I don't care what the international lawyers say. We are going to kick some ass” (see (9:00 p.m.)). [Clarke, 2004, pp 23-24] At the center of legal reconstruction work are Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, his deputy Timothy E. Flanigan, and David S. Addington, legal counsel to Vice President Cheney. [New York Times, 12/19/2004] They will find a helpful hand in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), most notably its head, Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee [Los Angeles Times, 6/10/2004] and his deputies John C. Yoo [New York Times, 8/15/2004] and Patrick F. Philbin. Most of the top government lawyers dwell in fairly conservative circles, with many being a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal fraternity. Some have clerked for conservative Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, whose ruling effectively lead to the presidency being awarded to George W. Bush after the 2000 presidential election. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] Others worked for Judge Lawrence H. Silberman, who set up secret contacts with the Iranian government under President Reagan leading to the Iran-Contra scandal, and who advised on pursuing allegations of sexual misconduct by President Clinton. [Inter Press Service, 2/06/2004]
People and organizations involved: Patrick F. Philbin, John C. Yoo, Alberto R. Gonzales, Joan Claybrook, Bradford Berenson, Alan M. Dershowitz, Richard A. Clarke, Rena Steinzor, Jay S. Bybee
          

September 14, 2001

       The US Congress adopts a joint resolution that determines that “the president is authorized 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, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” Congress also states that the “grave acts of violence” committed on the US “continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to [its] national security and foreign policy.” [Sources: US Congress, Authorization for Use of Military Force. S. J. RES. 23, September 14, 2001]
          

September 21, 2001

       In a memo, responding to a request from Deputy White House Counsel Timothy E. Flanigan, John C. Yoo provides legal advice on “the legality of the use of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside the United States.” He addresses the question of how the Fourth Amendment to the American Constitution applies to the use of “deadly force” by the military “in a manner that endangered the lives of United States citizens.” The Fourth Amendment requires the government to have some objective suspicion of criminal activity before it can infringe on an individual's liberties, such as the right to privacy or the freedom of movement. Yoo writes that in light of highly destructive terrorist attacks, “the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties.” If the president determines the threat of terrorism high enough to deploy the military inside US territory, then, Yoo writes, “we think that the Fourth Amendment should be no more relevant than it would be in cases of invasion or insurrection.” [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: John C. Yoo, Timothy E. Flanigan
          

Before September 23, 2001

       Less than two weeks after 9/11, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales sets up an interagency group to design a strategy for prosecuting terrorists, and specifically asks it to suggest military commissions as one viable option for prosecution of suspected terrorists. Pierre-Richard Prosper from the State Department, assigned to lead the group, recalls, “We were going to go after the people responsible for the attacks, and the operating assumption was that we would capture a significant number of al-Qaeda operatives.” In addition to the use of military commissions, the group begins to work out three other options: ordinary criminal trials, military courts-martial, and tribunals with a mixed membership of civilians and military personnel. The option of a criminal trial by an ordinary federal court is quickly brushed aside for logistical reasons, according to Prosper. “The towers were still smoking, literally. I remember asking: Can the federal courts in New York handle this? It wasn't a legal question so much as it was logistical. You had 300 al-Qaeda members, potentially. And did we want to put the judges and juries in harm's way?” Despite the interagency group's willingness to study the option of military commissions, lawyers at the White House, according to reporter Tim Golden, grow impatient with the group. Some of its members are seen to have “cold feet.” [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Scott McClellan, Beth Nolan, John Ashcroft, Alberto R. Gonzales, Jay S. Bybee
          

September 25, 2001

       In a secret 15-page memo to Deputy White House Counsel Timothy Flanigan, Justice Department lawyer John Yoo reasons that it is “beyond question that the president has the plenary constitutional power to take such military actions as he deems necessary and appropriate to respond to the terrorist attacks” of 9/11. Those actions can be extensive. “Force can be used,” Yoo writes, “both to retaliate for those attacks, and to prevent and deter future assaults on the nation. Military actions need not be limited to those individuals, groups, or states that participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.” This power of the president, Yoo states, rests both on the US Congress' Joint Resolution of September 14 and on the War Powers Resolution of 1973. “Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the president's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the president alone to make.” He argues further that the September 14 resolution does not represent the limits to the president's authority. “It should be noted here that the Joint Resolution is somewhat narrower than the president's constitutional authority,” as it “does not reach other terrorist individuals, groups or states which cannot be determined to have links to the September 11 attacks.” the president's broad power can be used against selected individuals suspected of posing a danger to the US, even though it may be “difficult to establish, by the standards of criminal law or even lower legal standards, that particular individuals or groups have been or may be implicated in attacks on the United States.” Yoo concludes: “[W]e do not think that the difficulty or impossibility of establishing proof to a criminal law standard (or of making evidence public) bars the president from taking such military measures as, in his best judgment, he thinks necessary or appropriate to defend the United States from terrorist attacks. In the exercise of his plenary power to use military force, the president's decisions are for him alone and are unreviewable.” [Sources: Memo: The President's Constitutional Authority To Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists And Nations Supporting Them] The contents of this memo are not disclosed until mid-December 2004. [Newsweek, 12/27/2004; Newsweek, 12/18/2004]
People and organizations involved: John C. Yoo, Timothy E. Flanigan
          

(October 2001-2004)

       The United States government creates a multi-layered international system of detention centers and prison camps where suspected terrorists, enemy combatants, and prisoners of war are detained and interrogated. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] The Washington Post reports in May 2004: “The largely hidden array includes three systems that only rarely overlap: the Pentagon-run network of prisons, jails, and holding facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and elsewhere; small and secret CIA-run facilities where top al-Qaeda and other figures are kept; and interrogation rooms of foreign intelligence services—some with documented records of torture—to which the US government delivers or ‘renders’ mid- or low-level terrorism suspects for questioning.... The detainees have no conventional legal rights: no access to a lawyer; no chance for an impartial hearing; and ... no apparent guarantee of humane treatment accorded prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions or civilians in US jails.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] One administration official tells the New York Times that some high-level detainees may be held indefinitely. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed administration official] Secrecy permeates the system. For example, renditions are done covertly and the locations of the secret CIA-run interrogation centers are considered “so sensitive that even the four leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, who are briefed on all covert operations, do not know them.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] In May 2004, it is estimated that there are 10,000 prisoners being held in US facilities around the world. They come from a number of countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Palestinian territories, and Yemen. [The New Zealand Herald, 5/13/2004]
          

After October 7, 2001

       As early as October 2001, according to the Guardian, the Pentagon, too, contemplates the use of aggressive methods of interrogation. Soon after the start of the war in Afghanistan, lawyers at the Defense Department are requested to explore the legal room for action in this regard. “There was a kind of sub rosa [secret] thought process during at least the first few months of the prosecution of the war on terror,” says a former Pentagon official. Lawyers begin discussing what methods could be declared allowable for extracting information. “It did not include electric probes in the genitals,” the official says. “But there were certainly a range of psychological measures.” [The Guardian, 6/23/2004]
          

October 17, 2001

       The commander of US Central Command, which encompasses the area of Afghanistan, issues an order instructing that the Geneva Conventions are to be applied to all captured individuals. [International Law Of War Association, 9/29/2004]
          

Late October 2001

       White House lawyers have become impatient with the interagency group's (see Before September 23, 2001) less than full endorsement of the use of military commissions to try suspected terrorists. By late October, Timothy E. Flanigan takes the task of designing a strategy for prosecuting terrorists away from the group and proceeds to focus on military commissions as the only preferable option. The White House lawyers now work more in secret, excluding many agencies and most of the government's experts in military and international law, but together with the lawyers of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), with the intention of drafting a presidential military order. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] There is a remarkable secrecy surrounding the drafting process. Both Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and his deputy, Larry D. Thompson, are closely consulted. But the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Michael Chertoff is kept out of the loop. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is informed through his general counsel, Williams J. Haynes II. Other Pentagon experts, however, are excluded. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] When the order is signed many expressed surprise. “That came like a bolt from the blue,” a former Pentagon official says. “Neither I nor anyone I knew had any insight, any advance knowledge, or any opportunity to comment on the president's military order.” [The Guardian, 6/9/2004] “I can't tell you how compartmented things were,” retired Rear Adm. Donald J. Guter, the Navy's Judge Advocate General, later recalls. “This was a closed administration.” [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald J. Guter, William J. Haynes, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff, Larry D. Thompson, John Ashcroft
          

November 6, 2001

       The Geneva Conventions are mentioned in a memo issued the day after the publication of the Heritage Foundation paper (see November 5, 2001), but only to suggest that suspected terrorists should not be entitled to the rights enclosed in them. Patrick F. Philbin, a deputy in the OLC, sends a confidential 35-page memo to the White House legal counsel Gonzales, arguing that the president, as Commander-in-Chief, has “inherent authority” to establish military commissions without authorization from the US Congress. The 9/11 attacks are themselves “plainly sufficient” to justify the application of the laws of war. Furthermore, putting terrorists on trial under the laws of war, “does not mean,” according to Philbin, “that terrorists will receive the protections of the Geneva Conventions or the rights that laws of war accord to lawful combatants.” The Philbin memo will serve as a basis for a Presidential order (see November 13, 2001) establishing the option of military commissions, which will be drafted by Deputy White House Counsel Timothy E. Flanigan and David S. Addington, the legal counsel to Vice President Cheney. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Alberto R. Gonzales, Patrick F. Philbin
          

November 9, 2001

       William J. Haynes II, Rumsfeld's general counsel, shows a draft of a Presidential Order establishing military commissions to Col. Lawrence J. Morris, the head of a Pentagon legal team that has so far been excluded from the discussion on how suspected terrorists should be prosecuted. Col. Morris is given just 30 minutes to read the draft but is not allowed to keep a copy or even take notes. The next day, the Army's Judge Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Romig, hastily convenes a meeting of Pentagon lawyers to prepare suggestions for improvement, with an eye on bringing the order closer to existing military legal standards. The final order, however, includes none of the lawyer's recommendations. “They hadn't changed a thing,” a military official will later recall. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Lawrence J. Morris
          

November 10, 2001

       The Army's Judge Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Romig, hastily convenes a meeting of Pentagon lawyers to prepare suggestions for improving a draft Presidential Order establishing military commissions (see November 9, 2001), with an eye on bringing the order closer to existing military legal standards. The final order, however, will include none of the lawyer's recommendations. “They hadn't changed a thing,” a military official will later recall. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Thomas J. Romig
          

November 10, 2001

       Vice-President Cheney leads a meeting at the White House to put the finishing touches on a draft Presidential Order establishing military commissions (see November 9, 2001). The meeting includes Ashcroft, Haynes, and the White House lawyers, but leaves out senior officials of the State Department and the National Security Council. Two officials later claim Cheney advocated withholding the document from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to a former official, Cheney discusses the draft with Bush over lunch a few days later. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, William J. Haynes, John Ashcroft, Richard ("Dick") Cheney
          

November 13, 2001

       President Bush issues a 3-page executive order authorizing the creation of military commissions to try non-citizens alleged to be involved in international terrorism. The president will decide which defendants will be tried by military commissions. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld will appoint each panel and set its rules and procedures, including the level of proof needed for a conviction. A two-thirds vote is needed to convict a defendant and impose a sentence, including life imprisonment or death. Only the president or the secretary of defense has the authority to overturn a decision. There is no provision for an appeal to US civil courts, foreign courts, or international tribunals. Nor does the order specify how many judges are to preside on a tribunal or what qualifications they must have. [New York Times, 10/24/2004; US Department of Defense, 11/13/2001; Washington Post, 11/14/2001, pp A01] The order also adopts a rule of evidence stemming from the 1942 Supreme Court case of United States v. Quirin that says evidence shall be admitted “as would ... have probative value to a reasonable person.” This rule, according to Judge Evan J. Wallach, “was repeatedly used [in World War II and in the post-war tribunals] to admit evidence of a quality or obtained in a manner which would make it inadmissible under the rules of evidence in both courts of the United States or courts martial conducted by the armed forces of the United States.” [9/29/2004] Evidence derived from torture, for example, could theoretically be admitted. It should be noted that the order is unprecedented among presidential directives in that it takes away some individuals' most basic rights, while claiming to have the power of law, with the US Congress not having been so much as consulted. During the next few years, lawyers will battle over the exact proceedings of the trials before military commissions, with many of the military lawyers arguing for more rights for the defendants and with Haynes, and the Justice and White House lawyers, Gonzales, Addington, and Flanigan, taking a more restrictive line. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] Both Rice and Powell were left outside of the circle during the drafting of this directive (see November 6, 2001) (see November 9, 2001). Rice is reportedly angry about not be informed. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, David S. Addington, Timothy E. Flanigan, Alberto R. Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Haynes  Additional Info 
          

November 16, 2001

       The UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Param Cumaraswamy, sends an urgent appeal to Washington regarding President Bush's November 13 military order (see November 13, 2001). [BBC Radio 4, 7/13/2003 cited in Amnesty International, 8/19/2003]
People and organizations involved: Param Cumaraswamy, George W. Bush, Colin Powell
          

November 19, 2001

       When asked under what terms the US might be willing to accept a surrender from Taliban Leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, Rumsfeld reponds: “The United States is not inclined to negotiate surrenders, nor are we in a position, with relatively small numbers of forces on the ground, to accept prisoners. ... Any idea that those people in that town who have been fighting so viciously and who refuse to surrender should end up in some sort of a negotiation which would allow them to leave the country and go off and destabilize other countries and engage in terrorist attacks on the United States is something that I would certainly do everything I could to prevent. They're people who have done terrible things. ... The idea of their getting out of the country and going off to make their mischief somewhere else is not a happy prospect. So my hope is that they will either be killed or taken prisoner [by the Northern Alliance].” [Times of London, 11/20/2001; Department of Defense, 11/19/2001]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 20, 2001

       When US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is asked by a reporter what the US might do to prevent Chechen and the Arab Taliban soldiers surrendering in Kunduz from going free, Rumsfeld responds, “It would be most unfortunate if the foreigners in Afghanistan—the al-Qaeda and the Chechens and others who have been there working with the Taliban—if those folks were set free and in any way allowed to go to another country and cause the same kind of terrorist acts.” [Associated Press, 11/22/2001; Fox News, 11/22/2001; Department of Defense, 11/20/2001]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 3-5, 2001

       As soon as he hears the news, Lindh's father immediately hires James Brosnahan, a well-respected lawyer, on behalf of his son. On December 3, Brosnahan faxes a letter to Powell, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet. He introduces himself as Lindh's lawyer, expressing his wish to see him, and stating: “Because he is wounded and, based upon press reports, went for three days without food, I would ask that any further interrogation be stopped, especially if there is any intent to use it in any subsequent legal proceedings.” When Brosnahan receives no reply, he writes again, “I would ask that no further interrogation of my client occur until I have the opportunity to speak with him. As an American citizen, he has the right to counsel and, under all applicable legal authorities, I ask for the right to speak with my client as soon as possible.” On December 5, still having received no reply, he urges that “we have a conversation today.” Again, no reply comes. [World Socialist Web Site, 3/27/2002; New Yorker, 3/3/2003; Los Angeles Times, 3/23/2002]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, George Tenet, James Brosnahan, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld
          

(December 5, 2001)

       Around the third day at the school (see December 2-5, 2001), probably on December 5, Lindh, unaware of the fact that a lawyer has been hired for him, is interrogated by two military officers. The questioning goes on for two or three days in sessions lasting several hours at a time. Again no Miranda warnings are given (see December 2, 2001). [Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002] There is some discussion, however, among military personnel about whether Lindh should be advised of his right against self-incrimination. An Army intelligence officer is advised that instructions have come from “higher headquarters” for interrogators to coordinate Lindh's interrogation with military lawyers. The intelligence officer asks to be faxed a Miranda form, but, according to the documents, “he never [gets] it.” The officer, however, also says, he is “in the business of collecting [intelligence] information, not in the business of Mirandizing.” After the first hour of interrogation, according to the documents, the interrogator provides the admiral in charge of Mazar-i-Sharif with a summary of what the interrogators have so far collected. The admiral tells him that the secretary of Defense's counsel has authorized him to “take the gloves off” and ask whatever he wants. The unnamed counsel in question may well have been Williams Haynes. The initial responses Lindh gives to his interrogators are, according to the documents, cabled to Washington every hour. [The Los Angeles Times, 6/9/2004] After the interrogations are ended, Lindh is told his conditions will improve. From then on, he is given a third meal a day and no longer held at gunpoint 24 hours a day. [Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002]
People and organizations involved: John Walker Lindh, William J. Haynes
          

December 7, 2001

       At the Department of Justice, an attorney-advisor in the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office (PRAO) named Jesselyn Radack provides a federal prosecutor in the terrorism and violent crimes section of the Criminal Division with advice on John Walker Lindh's case. She informs him that, “The FBI wants to interview American Taliban member John Walker some time next week ... about taking up arms against the US.” She also writes, “I consulted with a Senior Legal Advisor here at PRAO and we don't think you can have the FBI agent question Walker. It would be a pre-indictment, custodial overt interview, which is not authorized by law.” She also advises him to have the FBI agent inform Lindh that his parents hired attorneys for him and ask him whether he wants to be represented by them. [Sources: Email From Jesselyn A. Radack to John De Pue, 12/7/2001] None of her advice is followed. Radack will become a strong critic of the government's handling of Lindh's case and those of others related to the war on terrorism.
People and organizations involved: John Walker Lindh, Jesselyn Radack
          

December 28, 2001

       Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals Patrick Philbin and John Yoo send a memorandum to Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes offering the legal opinion that US courts do not have jurisdiction to review the detention of foreign prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Therefore detentions of persons there cannot be challenged in a US court of law. The memo is endorsed by the Department of Defense and White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales. [Newsweek, 5/24/2004] The memo addresses “the question whether a federal district court would properly have jurisdiction to entertain a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed on behalf of an alien detained at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” The conclusion of Philbin and Yoo is that it cannot, based primarily on their interpretation of a decision by the US Supreme Court in the 1950 Eisentrager case, in which the Supreme Court determined that no habeas petition should be honored if the prisoners concerned are seized, tried, and held in territory that is outside of the sovereignty of the US and outside the territorial jurisdiction of any court of the US. Both conditions apply to Guantanamo according to Philbin and Yoo. Approvingly, they quote the US Attorney General in 1929, who stated that Guantanamo is “a mere governmental outpost beyond our borders.” A number of cases, quoted by the authors, “demonstrate that the United States has consistently taken the position that [Guantanamo Bay] remains foreign territory, not subject to US sovereignty.” Guantanamo is indeed land leased from the state of Cuba, and therefore in terms of legal possession and formal sovereignty still part of Cuba. But Philbin and Yoo acknowledge a problem with the other condition: namely that the territory is outside the US's jurisdiction. They claim with certainty that Guantanamo “is also outside the ‘territorial jurisdiction of any court of the United States.’ ” However, the Supreme Court should not have made a distinction between jurisdiction and sovereignty here; the wording of the decision is really, Philbin and Yoo believe, an inaccurate reflection of its intent: “an arguable imprecision in the Supreme Court's language.” For that reason, they call for caution. “A non-frivolous argument might be constructed, however, that [Guantanamo Bay], while not be part of sovereign territory of the United States, is within the territorial jurisdiction of a federal court.” [Sources: Memo to Michael Haynes, Possible Habeas Jurisdiction over Aliens Held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 12/28/2001]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Patrick F. Philbin, John C. Yoo, Alberto R. Gonzales
          

Late 2001

       The Department of Justice sends a memo to the CIA approving inter alia the agency's application of sleep deprivation, the use of phobias, and the deployment of “stress factors” in interrogating terrorist suspects. The only clear prohibition is “causing severe physical or mental pain.” [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004] The CIA had requested legal guidance from the Justice Department on how to make interrogations more effective. The need to improve its methods was becoming pressing as the US was getting its hands on increasing numbers of people from the Afghan theatre of operations. [Washington Post, 6/9/2004]
          

(2002-March 2003)

       Neoconservatives in Washington discuss in their internal memos how Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation. They often cite a book by anthropologist Raphael Patai, titled, The Arab Mind, which took note of Arab culture's conservative views about sex. In one section of the book, Patai wrote, “The segregation of the sexes, the veiling of the women, ... and all the other minute rules that govern and restrict contact between men and women, have the effect of making sex a prime mental preoccupation in the Arab world.” [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004 Sources: Unnamed US government consultant] According to one academic source interviewed by Seymour Hersh, the book is “the bible of the neocons on Arab behavior.” Neoconservatives are convinced that “one, ... Arabs only understand force and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.” [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004 Sources: Unnamed academic]
          

End of 2002

       The Special Access Program, or SAP, (see End of 2001-early 2002) authorized by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld giving blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate high-value targets, has taken off and is apparently faring well. “It was an active program,” an intelligence source later explains to Seymour Hersh. “As this monster begins to take life, there's joy in the world. The monster is doing well—real well.” Those who run the program, according to him, see themselves as “masters of the universe in terms of intelligence.” By the end of 2002, terrorist suspects are being interrogated in secret detention facilities in such places as Pakistan, Thailand, and Singapore. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
          

January 9, 2002

       John Yoo of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel and Justice Department special counsel Robert J. Delahunty prepare a 42-page draft memo addressed to Pentagon legal counsel William Haynes, titled “Application of Treaties and Law to al-Qaeda and Taliban Detainees.” It declares that the laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions, do not apply to the conflict in Afghanistan, as Yoo's colleague Philbin already suggested in his memo of November 6, 2001 (see November 6, 2001). Furthermore, according to the memo, the president has seemingly unrestricted powers with regard to military operations. “Restricting the president's plenary power over military operations (including the treatment of prisoners),” the memo says, would be “constitutionally dubious.” Lawyers from the Army Judge Advocate General's office and the State Department are not consulted. When the State Department's lawyers read the memo, they are “horrified” (see January 11, 2002). [Newsweek, 5/24/2004; New York Times, 5/21/2004 Sources: DOJ Memo, Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees, June 9, 2002]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Robert J. Delahunty, John C. Yoo
          

January 11, 2002

       William Howard Taft IV, the State Department's chief legal adviser, responds to John Yoo's January 9 memo (see January 9, 2002) saying that Yoo's analysis is “seriously flawed.” Taft writes: “In previous conflicts, the United States has dealt with tens of thousands of detainees without repudiating its obligations under the [Geneva] Conventions. I have no doubt we can do so here, where a relative handful of persons is involved.” [Newsweek, 5/24/2004] Applying the Geneva Conventions, according to Taft, would demonstrate that the United States “bases its conduct on its international legal obligations and the rule of law, not just on its policy preferences.” Taft ends with a scorching criticism. “Your position is, at this point, erroneous in its substance and untenable in practice. Your conclusions are as wrong as they are incomplete. Let's talk.” [Le Monde, 10/25/2004]
People and organizations involved: John C. Yoo, William Howard Taft IV
          

January 11, 2002

       Guantanamo receives its first twenty prisoners from the Afghan battlefield. Rumsfeld, acting on the advice of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, publicly declares them “unlawful combatants” and thereby not entitled to the rights of the Geneva Conventions. “Unlawful combatants do not have any rights under the Geneva Convention,” Rumsfeld says. Though according to Rumsfeld, the government will “for the most part treat them in a manner that is reasonably consistent with the Geneva Conventions, to the extent they are appropriate.” [Reuters 1/11/2002, cited in Human Rights Watch, 6/2004] There is no reason to feel sorry for these detainees, is Gen. Richard B. Myers' message, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest ranking military officer in the US. He assures: “These are people who would gnaw through hydraulic lines at the back of a C-17 to bring it down.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

January 18, 2002

       Siding with the Pentagon and Justice Department against the State Department, President George Bush declares the Geneva Conventions invalid with regard to conflicts with al-Qaeda and the Taliban. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

January 19, 2002

       Rumsfeld sends a memo to General Richard Myers informing him that Bush has declared the Geneva Conventions invalid with regard to conflicts with al-Qaeda and the Taliban (see January 18, 2002). In this “Memorandum for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Rumsfeld states: “The United States has determined that al-Qaeda and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense are not entitled to prisoner of war status for purposes of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” Nevertheless, “[t]he Combatant Commanders shall, in detaining al-Qaeda and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense, treat them humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” [Sources: Memo from Donald Rumsfeld to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1/19/2002] The same day, the memorandum is disseminated as an order by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Sources: Order from Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1/19/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

January 21, 2002

       White House lawyers visit Guantanamo Bay. On the flight back, Alberto Gonzales agrees with David Addington that all Guantanamo detainees should be designated eligible for trial by military commission under the president's November 13 Military Order (see January 20, 2002). [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Alberto R. Gonzales, David S. Addington
          

January 22, 2002

       The Department of Justice issues a memo titled “Application of Treaties to al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees,” signed by Jay Bybee, which argues for extremely limited rights under international law for prisoners from the Afghan battlefield. [Sources: Department of Justice Memorandum, 1/22/2002]
People and organizations involved: Jay S. Bybee
          

January 25, 2002

       White House lawyer Alberto Gonzales completes a draft memorandum to the president advising George Bush not to reconsider his decision (see January 18, 2002) declaring Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters ineligible for prisoner of war status as Colin Powell has apparently recommended. [Newsweek, 5/24/2004 Sources: Draft memo to the President from Alberto Gonzales, January 25, 2004] Gonzales writes to Bush that Powell “has asked that you conclude that GPW [Third Geneva Convention] does apply to both al-Qaeda and the Taliban. I understand, however, that he would agree that al-Qaeda and the Taliban fighters could be determined not to be prisoners of war (POWs) but only on a case-by-case basis following individual hearings before a military board.” Powell believes that US troops will be put at risk if the US renounces the Geneva Conventions in relation to the Taliban. Rumsfeld and his chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Meyers allegedly agree with Powell's argument. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] But Gonzales says that he agrees with the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which has determined that the president had the authority to make this declaration on the premise that “the war against terrorism is a new kind of war” and “not the traditional clash between nations adhering to the laws of war that formed the backdrop for GPW [Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war].” Gonzales thus states, “In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.” [Newsweek, 5/24/2004] Gonzales also says that by declaring the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva Conventions, the president would “[s]ubstantially [reduce] the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act [of 1996] (see August 21, 1996).” The president and other officials in the administration would then be protected from any future “prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges....” [New York Times, 5/21/2004; Newsweek, 5/24/2004] When Powell reads the memo (see January 26, 2002), he reportedly “hit[s] the roof” and immediately arranges for a meeting with the president. [Newsweek, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Alberto R. Gonzales, Colin Powell, George W. Bush
          

January 26, 2002

       US Secretary of State Colin Powell responds to Alberto Gonzales' January 25 draft memo to the president (see January 25, 2002). He argues that it does not provide the president with a balanced view on the issue of whether or not to apply the Geneva Conventions to the conflict in Afghanistan. Powell lists several problems that could potentially result from exempting the conflict from the Conventions as Gonzales recommends. For example, he notes that it would “reverse over a century of US policy and practice in supporting the Geneva conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general.” The decision will furthermore have “a high cost in terms of negative international reaction.” It will “undermine public support among critical allies, making military cooperation more difficult to sustain,” and other states would “likely have legal problems with extradition or other forms of cooperation in law enforcement, including in bringing terrorists to justice.” But perhaps most ominously, Powell charges that the proposed decision “may provoke some individual foreign prosecutors to investigate and prosecute our officials and troops” and “make us more vulnerable to domestic and legal challenge.” The end of the memo consists of several rebuttals to points that Gonzales made in his memo. [Newsweek, 5/24/2004; New York Times, 5/21/2004 Sources: Memo to Condoleezza Rice from Colin Powell, January 26, 2004]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Alberto R. Gonzales
          

February 1, 2002

       In a letter to Bush, Ashcroft argues that the Third Geneva Convention should not be applicable to the Taliban, based on two grounds. First, Afghanistan is a failed state and cannot therefore be considered a party to the treaty. Second, Taliban fighters acted as unlawful combatants. Explaining the advantages of this proposal, Ashcroft notes, “[A] Presidential determination against treaty applicability would provide the highest assurance that no court would subsequently entertain charges that American military officers, intelligence officials and law enforcement officials violated Geneva Convention rules relating to field conduct, detention conduct or interrogation of detainees.” [Sources: Letter from US Attorney General John Ashcroft to George Bush, 2/1/2002] As Judge Evan J. Wallach will later observe, “Attorney General Ashcroft's letter seems to make it clear that by the end of January, at least, consideration was being given to conduct which might violate [the Third Geneva Convention's] strictures regarding the detention and interrogation of prisoners of war.” [International Law Of War Association, 9/29/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, John Ashcroft
          

February 2, 2002

       In a reply to Alberto Gonzales (see January 25, 2002), the State Department's Legal Director, William Howard Taft IV, tries again (see January 11, 2002) to put his view forward. He writes: “The president should know that a decision that the Conventions do apply is consistent with the plain language of the Conventions and the unvaried practice of the United States in introducing its forces into conflict over fifty years.” [Sources: Letter from US Attorney General John Ashcroft to George Bush, 2/1/2002]
People and organizations involved: Alberto R. Gonzales, William Howard Taft IV
          

After February 7, 2002

       President George Bush signs a secret order authorizing the CIA to set up a network of secret detention and interrogation centers outside the United States where high value prisoners can be interrogated “with unprecedented harshness.” [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

February 7, 2002

       The White House declares that the United States will apply the Geneva Conventions to the conflict in Afghanistan, but will not grant prisoner-of-war status to captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Though Afghanistan was party to the 1949 treaty, Taliban fighters are not protected by the Conventions, the directive says, because the Taliban is not recognized by the US as Afghanistan's legitimate government. Likewise, al-Qaeda fighters are not eligible to be protected under the treaty's provisions because they do not represent a state that is party to the Conventions either. The presidential directive is apparently based on Alberto Gonzales' January 25 memo (see January 25, 2002). The directive also concludes that President Bush, as commander-in-chief of the United States, has the authority to suspend the Geneva Conventions regarding the conflict in Afghanistan, should he feel necessary. Though not scheduled for declassification until 2012, the directive will be released by the White House in June 2004 to demonstrate that the president never authorized torture against detainees from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004; CNN, 2/7/2002; Truthout, 1/19/2005]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

February 7, 2002

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld publicly questions the relevance of the Geneva Conventions to modern day conflicts. “The reality is the set of facts that exist today with the al-Qaeda and the Taliban were not necessarily the set of facts that were considered when the Geneva Convention was fashioned.” [Human Rights Watch, June 2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

After February 7, 2002

       The US negotiates “status of force” agreements with several foreign governments allowing the US to set up CIA-run interrogation facilities and granting immunity to US personnel and private contractors. The facilities were authorized by a recent secret presidential directive (see After February 7, 2002). [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004] The CIA-run centers are kept completely under wraps. Prisoners are secretly held in custody and hidden from International Human rights organizations. In these facilities, there will be several incidents of abuse, torture, and murder. [New York Times, 5/13/2004; Washington Post, 5/11/2004 Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs] These secret detentions centers will be operated in several locations around the world including:
Afghanistan - Asadabad, Kabul, Jalalabad, Gardez, Khost, Bagram, Kabul (known as “the Pit”) [Human Rights First, 6/17/2004; Human Rights First, 6/2004]

Pakistan - Kohat (near the border of Afghanistan), Alizai. [Human Rights First, 6/17/2004; Human Rights First, 6/2004]

Britain - Diego Garcia (British Possession). [Human Rights First, 6/17/2004; Human Rights First, 6/2004]

Jordan - Al Jafr Prison. [Human Rights First, 6/17/2004; Human Rights First, 6/2004]

United States - USS Bataan, USS Peleliu. [Human Rights First, 6/2004; Human Rights First, 6/17/2004]

          

February 8, 2002

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says during a Pentagon press briefing that the US will “continue” to treat Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners humanely. “In short, we will continue to treat them consistent with the principles of fairness, freedom, and justice that our nation was founded on, the principles that they obviously abhor and which they sought to attack and destroy. Notwithstanding the isolated pockets of international hyperventilation, we do not treat detainees in any manner other than a manner that is humane.” [US Department of State, 2/08/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 26, 2002

       A memorandum sent by the Justice Department to Department of Defense General Counsel William J. Haynes states that the military commissions intended to try enemy combatants are “entirely creatures of the president's authority as commander in chief ... and are part and parcel of the conduct of a military campaign.” [Sources: Memorandum for William J. Haynes, II, General Counsel, Department of Defense, 2/26/02] This raises questions regarding the independence of the commissions. The US government will try the detainees itself, which is why Human Rights Watch later concludes, “Under the rules, the president, through his designees, serves as prosecutor, judge, jury, and, potentially, executioner.” [Human Rights Watch, 1/9/2004] Amnesty International will similarly criticize the fact that “the commissions will lack independence.” [Amnesty International, 10/27/2004] Trial by a court that is not in complete independence from a government acting as a prosecutor is a violation of the defendants' human rights. Article 14(1) ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] states: “In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law.” Article 14(5) ICCPR furthermore grants “[e]verybody convicted of a crime ... the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.” But in the plans of the US government such a right is not foreseen. According to Human Rights Watch, “There is no appeal to an independent civilian court, violating a fundamental precept of international law as well as settled practice in the US military justice system.” [Human Rights Watch, 1/9/2004] The Justice Department memorandum advises that “incriminating statements may be admitted in proceedings before military commissions even if the interrogating officers do not abide by the requirements of Miranda.” The “Miranda warnings” are normally a prerequisite for allowing incriminating declarations by a defendant to the proceedings of a criminal trial.
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes
          

March 13, 2002

       A memo titled “The President's Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captive Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations” summarizes the legal authority under which renditions and other forcible transfers may be conducted. Officials interviewed by the Washington Post say Gonzales was instrumental in the drafting of this memo. [Washington Post, 1/6/2005]
People and organizations involved: Alberto R. Gonzales, Michael Scheuer
          

March 21, 2002

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signs Military Commission Order No. 1 prescribing the procedures of the military commission trials. The order says a two-third majority is required to determine a sentence and unanimity for applying the death penalty. But it fails to provide for the possibility of appeals. It also says evidence submitted before a commission “shall” be declared admissible if the presiding officer or a majority of the commission members consider that it “would have probative value to a reasonable person.” [Sources: Section 6.D.1, Military Commission Order No. 1., 3/21/2002] Thus, if the presiding member or a majority considers a statement made under any form of coercion to have some “probative value,” it “shall” be admitted. Professor Neil Katyal of Georgetown University later says this is a break with standard proceedings in civil courts and courts-martial and calls it “clearly at odds with American military justice.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/18/2004] Under the rules, the “Accused” is assigned a military officer to conduct his defense, but may select another officer. He may also retain a civilian attorney; however, only one who is vetted by the military. Unlike a military attorney, the civilian lawyer can be excluded from the trial if the presiding member of the commission decides to hold closed proceedings. This prompts Amnesty International to observe that the commissions “will restrict the right of defendants to choose their own counsel and to an effective defense.” [Amnesty International, 10/27/2004] Under the rules of the military commissions the military is allowed to monitor private conversations between defense lawyers and their clients. This violates, as Human Rights Watch remarks, “the fundamental notion of attorney-client confidentiality.” [Human Rights Watch, 1/9/2004] In a discussion of the new rules, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, in an appearance on the PBS News Hours with Jim Lehrer, explains that the detainees being held in Guantanamo are “dangerous people, whether or not they go before a military commission.” He adds, “We're dealing with a special breed of person here ....” [US Department of State, 3/21/2002]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

(April 2002)-October 9, 2002

       The POW-style treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo by MP commander Gen. Rick Baccus (see March 28, 2002) does not resonate well with Pentagon and White House policymakers. [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004] Pentagon officials complain that Baccus is “too nice” to the prisoners and makes it difficult for interrogators to extract information from them. Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, head of the interrogators' unit JTF-170, is reportedly irritated by Baccus' decision allowing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to put up posters informing detainees they need only provide interrogators with their name, rank, and number. [The Guardian, 10/16/2002] Irritation with Baccus's attitude towards detains will culminate in his dismissal (see October 9, 2002) on October 9.
People and organizations involved: Rick Baccus, Michael E. Dunlavey
          

June 9, 2002

       President Bush designates Padilla, who has been in custody since May 8 (see May 8, 2002), an “enemy combatant” on advice from Rumsfeld and Ashcroft, and directs Rumsfeld to see that he his taken into military custody. Padilla is taken to the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina sometime during the middle of that night. At the time of the transfer, Padilla was awaiting a judgment on a request made by his counsel to have the material witness warrant (see May 8, 2002) vacated. [CNN, 6/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Jose Padilla, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft
          

June 11, 2002

       In Doha, Qatar, Rumsfeld says the purpose of detaining Padilla is to obtain information from him. “Our interest, really, in this case, is not law enforcement,” he says. “It is not punishment. Because he was a terrorist or working with the terrorists, our interest at the moment is to try to find out everything he knows so hopefully we can stop other terrorist acts.” To illustrate his argument, Rumsfeld describes a recent situation in which intelligence gained from a prisoner in Kandahar led to the prevention of three terrorist attacks in Singapore. “If someone had said when we found that information or that person, ‘Well, now, let's arrest the person and let's start the process of punishing that person for having done what he did,’ we never would have gotten that information, and people would have died.” [American Forces Press Service, 6/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Jose Padilla
          

August 1, 2002

       The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) sends a non-classified memo to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, offering the opinion that a policy allowing suspected al-Qaeda members to be tortured abroad “may be justified.” [Sources: Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President, 8/1/2002] The 50-page memo is signed and authored by Jay S. Bybee, head of OLC, and co-authored by John Yoo, a deputy assistant attorney general. Gonzales had formally asked for the OLC's legal opinion in response to a request by the CIA for legal guidance. A former administration official, quoted by the Washington Post, says the CIA “was prepared to get more aggressive and re-learn old skills, but only with explicit assurances from the top that they were doing so with the full legal authority the president could confer on them.” [Washington Post, 6/9/2004] “We conclude that the statute, taken as a whole,” Bybee and Yoo write, “makes plain that it prohibits only extreme acts.” Addressing the question of what exactly constitute such acts of an extreme nature, the authors proceed to define torture as the infliction of “physical pain” that is “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” Purely mental pain or suffering can also amount to “torture under Section 2340,” but only if it results “in significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g. lasting for months or even years.” [Washington Post, 6/9/2004] Bybee and Yoo appear to conclude that any act short of torture, even though it may be cruel, inhuman or degrading, would be permissible. They examine, for example, “international decisions regarding the use of sensory deprivation techniques.” These cases, they notice, “make clear that while many of these techniques may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, they do not produce pain or suffering of the necessary intensity to meet the definition of torture. From these decisions, we conclude that there is a wide range of such techniques that will not rise to the level of torture.” More astounding is Bybee and Yoo's view that even torture can be defensible. “We conclude,” they write, “that, under the current circumstances, necessity or self-defense may justify interrogation methods that might violate Section 2340A.” Inflicting physical or mental pain might be justified, Bybee and Yoo argue, “in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al-Qaeda terrorist network.” In other words, necessity or self-defense may justify torture. Moreover, “necessity and self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any criminal liability.” [Washington Post, 6/8/2004] International anti-torture rules, furthermore, “may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations” of suspected terrorists. [US News and World Report, 6/21/2004] Laws prohibiting torture would “not apply to the president's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants” in the “war on terror,” because the president has constitutional authority to conduct a military campaign. [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] “As commander in chief,” the memo argues, “the president has the constitutional authority to order interrogations of enemy combatants to gain intelligence information concerning the military plans of the enemy.” [Washington Post, 6/9/2004] According to some critics, this judgment—which will be echoed in a March 2003 draft Pentagon report (see March 6, 2003) —ignores important past rulings such as the 1952 Supreme Court decision in Youngstown Steel and Tube Co v. Sawyer, which determined that the president, even in wartime, is subject to US laws. [Washington Post, 6/9/2004] The memo also says that US Congress “may no more regulate the president's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield.” [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] After the memo's existence is revealed, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft denies senators' requests to release it and refuses to say if or how the president was involved in the discussion. “The president has a right to hear advice from his attorney general, in confidence,” he says. [The Washington Post, 6/9/2004; Bloomberg, 6/8/2004; New York Times, 6/8/2004] Responding to questions about the memo, White House press secretary Scott McClellan will reason that the memo “was not prepared to provide advice on specific methods or techniques,” but was “analytical.” But the 50-page memo seems to have been considered immensely important, given its length and the fact that it was signed by Jay S. Bybee, head of the Office Legal Counsel. “Given the topic and length of opinion, it had to get pretty high-level attention,” Beth Nolan, a former White House Counsel (1999-2001), will tell The Washington Post. This view is confirmed by another former Office of Legal Counsel lawyer who tells the newspaper that unlike documents signed by deputies in the Office of Legal Counsel, memorandums signed by the Office's head are considered legally binding. [The Washington Post, 6/9/2004]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, Scott McClellan, Beth Nolan, Jay S. Bybee, Alberto R. Gonzales
          

September/October 2002

       A CIA analyst visits Guantanamo and returns convinced that war crimes are being committed there. According to a former White House official, the analyst concludes that “if we captured some people who weren't terrorists when we got them, they are now.” The CIA agent estimates at least more than half of the prisoners at Guantanamo do not belong there. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] John A. Gordon, Deputy National Security Adviser for combating terrorism, a former deputy director of the CIA and a retired four-star general, reads the highly critical report on Guantanamo by the CIA analyst in the early autumn of 2002. The analyst's account of US activities at Guantanamo, he says, is “totally out of character with the American value system.” He says he also believes “that if the actions at Guantanamo ever became public, it'd be damaging to the president.” He is convinced the report is important material. “We got it up to Condi [Condoleezza Rice],” he recalls. Gordon is most concerned about whether many of the prisoners at Guantanamo are not in fact innocent. “It was about how many more people are being held there that shouldn't be,” a former White House official tells Seymour Hersh. “Have we really got the right people?” The briefing for Rice does not center on the treatment of the prisoners, but on questions of practicality: “Are we getting any intelligence? What is the process for sorting these people?” The concerns are serious enough for Rice to call a meeting at the White House with Gordon and Rumsfeld. Rice allegedly says, “Let's get the story right.” Rumsfeld seems to be agreeing and looks willing to deal with the problem. However, according to the disappointed White House official, “The Pentagon went into a full-court stall.” He says, “I was naive enough to believe that when a cabinet member says he's going to take action, he will.” [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, John A. Gordon
          

September 2002

       The Pentagon orders a broad assessment of the intelligence-gathering efforts at Guantanamo in response to complaints about the low quality of intelligence that has come from Guantanamo thus far. Officials at the Pentagon and Guantanamo believe the detainees are being uncooperative, and that new interrogation techniques are needed. A senior official formerly stationed at Guantanamo will later recall: “As time went on, people wanted to do more. The detainees were resistant. They knew we weren't going to torture them. So we needed to come up with a Plan B for the small group of people who wouldn't talk and who we thought did have intelligence.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004] This view is shared with the lawyers at the Pentagon. The Principle Deputy to Department of Defense General Counsel Daniel J. Dell'Orto will also say at a later date: “As we come through the summer of 2002, a couple of things become apparent: One, some of these people have been trained in counter-interrogation techniques, resistance techniques. We have found, by that time, on the battlefield, the al-Qaeda training manual [...]. In that manual is a chapter devoted to resisting our techniques. Those techniques are published. They're unclassified. The [Army] field manual [34-52, dealing with interrogations] is out on the street for anyone to look at. And if you look at the document, the training manual, you'll see how they go and prepare their fighters to resist our techniques.” [White House, 7/22/2004] The assessment will lead to technical improvements, such as changes to the intelligence databases, and the development of a 30-day course for interrogators and analysts at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, nicknamed “Terrorism 101.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004] The training, according to a Pentagon report, is “developed in response to requirements surfaced during interrogation operations at JTF-GTMO, specifically to prepare reserve interrogators and order of battle analysts for deployment to JTF-GTMO.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Daniel J. Dell'Orto
          

October 9, 2002

       Gen. Rick Baccus is relieved of his duties at Guantanamo and also as an officer in the Rhode Island National Guard. With regard to the latter position, his commanding officer in the Rhode Island National Guard, Maj. Gen. Reginald Centracchio, says he has fired him for reasons that “culminated in my losing trust and confidence in him.” One of those reasons, a National Guard spokesman says, is failing to keep headquarters up to date with reports on the well-being of troops. Baccus denies the allegation and expresses surprise. “I'm a little amazed that after being deployed for seven months, separated from my wife, family, and my job and being called to active duty, this is the kind of reception I'm getting.” [The Guardian, 10/16/2002] In response to the allegation that his treatment of prisoners made it more difficult for the interrogators, Baccus states that “in no instance did I interfere with interrogations.” [The Guardian, 10/16/2002] Paradoxically, this is exactly what the Pentagon is planning to change. Baccus's sacking coincides with the merger of his Joint Task Force (JTF) 160 with military intelligence unit JTF-170 into a new JTF-GTMO. By doing this Rumsfeld will give military intelligence control of all aspects of the camp, including the MPs. [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004] Military police, now called the Joint Detention Operations Group (JDOG), and the Joint Intelligence Group report directly to the commander of JTF-GTMO. The MPs are fully incorporated into a joint effort of extracting information from prisoners. Vice Admiral Albert T. Church III, naval inspector general, will later describe the arrangement during a press briefing in May 2004: “They monitor the detainees, they monitor their behavior, they monitor who the leaders are, who the followers are, they monitor what is said and they ask for an interpreter if there's a lot of conversation going on. They'll know eating habits, and they'll record this in a management information system, which could be useful to the intelligence group, during the interrogations.” [US Department of Defense, 5/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Rick Baccus, Reginald Centracchio, Albert T. Church III, Donald Rumsfeld
          

October 11, 2002

       Two days after Gen. Rick Baccus has been relieved from duty as the guard commander at Guantanamo (see October 9, 2002), and almost one and a half months since the writing of the Office of Legal Counsel's (OLC) August memo on torture (see August 1, 2002), military intelligence at Guantanamo begin suggesting new rules of interrogation. Lt. Col. Jerald Phifer, Director J2, sends a memo, to Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) 170, requesting approval for more severe interrogation techniques. The memo states: “The current guidelines for interrogation procedures at GTMO [Guantanamo] limit the ability of interrogators to counter advanced resistance.” Phifer proposes three categories of techniques. The mildest, which includes yelling and weak forms of deception, are included in category one. Category two techniques are more severe and require approval by an “interrogator group director.” They include the use of stress positions for up to four hours; use of falsified documents; isolation for up to thirty days; sensory deprivation and hooding; twenty-hour interrogations; removal of comfort and religious items; replacing hot food with cold military rations; removal of clothing; forced grooming, including the shaving of beards; and playing on detainees' phobias to induce stress, such as a fear of dogs. The harshest techniques, listed in category three, are to be reserved for a “very small percentage of the most uncooperative detainees” and only used with permission from the commander of the prison. These methods include using non-injurious physical contact like poking or grabbing; threatening a detainee with death or severe pain or threatening that a family member would be subjected to such harm; exposing him to cold weather or water; using a wet towel to “induce the misperception of suffocation.” [Sources: DoD JTF-170 Memo from Lt. Col. Jerald Phifer to Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, 10/11/2002] The request is prompted in part by military intelligence's belief that Guantanamo detainee Mohamed al-Khatani has more information than the FBI has managed to extract from him. “Al Khatani is a person in ... whom we have considerable interest,” Dell'Orto will explain during a 2004 press briefing at the White House. “He has resisted our techniques. And so it is concluded at Guantanamo that it may be time to inquire as to whether there may be more flexibility in the type of techniques we use on him. ” [6/22/2004] The same day, a staff judge advocate, Lt. Col. Diane E. Beaver, reviews Phifer's proposed techniques for legality and, while making qualifications and recommending further review, concludes in a memo to Dunlavey that they are legal. Also the same day, Dunlavey sends the list of techniques to his superior, Gen. James T. Hill, commander of the Southern Command, requesting approval for their use. Dunlavey writes: “Although [the techniques currently employed] have resulted in significant exploitable intelligence the same methods have become less effective over time. I believe the methods and techniques delineated in the accompanying J-2 memorandum will enhance our efforts to extract additional information.” [Sources: DoD JTF-170 Memo from Lt. Col. Jerald Phifer to Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, 10/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Michael E. Dunlavey, Diane E. Beaver, Daniel J. Dell'Orto, James T. Hill, Rick Baccus, Mohamed al-Khatani
          

October 25, 2002

       Gen. James T. Hill, commander of the Southern Command, sends a memo to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers providing him information on the new interrogation techniques that have been requested for use at Guantanamo (see October 11, 2002). He says that new methods are needed because, “despite our best efforts, some detainees have tenaciously resisted our current interrogation methods.” He says he thinks Categories I and II techniques are “legal and humane.” He only questions the legality of category three techniques, recommending additional legal advice from lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. Hill writes: “I am particularly troubled by the use of implied or expressed threats of death of the detainee or his family. However, I desire to have as many options as possible at my disposal ....” [Sources: DoD memo from Gen. James T. Hill to Gen. Myers, 10/25/2002] Gen. Hill later says, “We weren't sure in the beginning what we had; we're not sure today what we have. There are still people who do not talk to us. We could have the keys to the kingdom and not know it.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: James T. Hill, Richard B. Myers
          

November 4, 2002

       Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller assumes command of the new Joint Task Force (JTF) GTMO, which is the product of the merger of the military intelligence and military police units at Guantanamo (see October 9, 2002). [Amnesty International, 10/27/2004] Although he is reported not to have had any formal training in the operation of prisons or in intelligence, Miller comes to be seen at the Pentagon as largely successful in extracting information from the prisoners. “[H]e oversaw,” according to the Washington Post, “a transformation of the ... detention center at Guantanamo Bay from a disorganized bundle of tents into an efficient prison that routinely produced what officials have called ‘moderately valuable’ intelligence for the war on terrorism.” [Washington Post, 5/16/2004] The “Tipton Three,”—Rhuhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul—also notice the difference. “We had the impression,” Rasul recalls, “that at the beginning things were not carefully planned but a point came at which you could notice things changing. That appeared to be after [the arrival of] Gen. Miller around the end of 2002.” Thus, according to the Tipton Three, it is under Miller that the practice of so called “short-shackling” begins, which is the chaining of prisoners into squatting or fetal positions. Miller's arrival also heralds, according to the three Britons, the start of sexual humiliation, “loud music playing in interrogation, shaving beards and hair, ... taking away people's ‘comfort’ items, the introduction of levels, moving some people every two hours depriving them of sleep, [and] the use of A/C air.” Also, isolation periods are stepped up considerably. “Before, when people would be put into blocks for isolation, they would seem to stay for not more than a month. After he came, people would be kept there for months and months and months,” the three allege. “Isolation was always there.” Additionally, the occasional call for prayers is ended under Miller. [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller, Rhuhel Ahmed, Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal
          

November 27, 2002

       Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes sends Donald Rumsfeld an action memo to approve for use, at General James T. Hill's discretion, all techniques from Categories I and II, and the “mild, non-injurious contact” from category three that were suggested by the Guantanamo legal staff (see October 25, 2002). With regard to the remaining harsh techniques in category three, the death threats, and use of wet towels, Haynes writes that they “may be legally available [but] as a matter of policy, a blanket approval ... is not warranted at this time.” Haynes mentions having discussed the matter with “the deputy, Doug Feith and General Myers,” who, he believes, join him in the recommendation. He adds, “Our Armed Forces are trained to a standard of interrogation that reflects a tradition of restraint.” [Sources: DoD action memo from General Counsel Haynes to Donald Rumsfeld, 11/27/2002]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Douglas Feith, James T. Hill, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

End of December 2002

       A further refinement of the rewards and punishments system is noticed by the Tipton Three. Under Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, according to Shafiq Rasul, detainees are placed on four different levels depending on their degree of cooperation. Rasul is placed on Level 2 at the beginning, which means he may keep all his comfort items, including toothpaste, soap, and cups. At Level 1, the prisoner is also provided with a bottle of water. Level 4, the lowest tier, means, according to Asif Iqbal, “that you had all your comfort items removed, i.e. you had no soap, toothpaste, cup, towels or blanket. You only had your clothes and had to sleep on the bare metal. You had to drink water with your hands.” [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004] Ten months later, on a visit to Iraq, Miller will say to his local counterpart, “At Guantanamo Bay we learned that the prisoners have to earn every single thing that they have.” [BBC News Online, 6/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Asif Iqbal, Geoffrey D. Miller, Shafiq Rasul
          

December 2, 2002

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approves General Counsel William J. Haynes' recommendation (see November 27, 2002) and signs the action memo. [Associated Press, 6/23/2004] He adds in handwriting: “However, I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?” In signing the memo, Rumsfeld adds for use at Guantanamo Bay 16 more aggressive interrogation procedures to the 17 methods that have long been approved as part of standard US military practice. [New York Times, 8/25/2004] The additional methods, like interrogation sessions of up to 20 hours at a time and the enforced shaving of heads and beards, are otherwise prohibited under US military doctrine. [NBC News, 6/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Haynes
          

December 11, 2002

       CIA Director Tenet says in a speech, “The Saudis are [providing] increasingly important support to our counterterrorism efforts, from making arrests to sharing debriefing results.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002] Several terrorist suspects have been sent to Saudi Arabia for interrogation as part of a special program, known as “rendition.” But US officials often “remain closely involved”with the questioning (see 1993-2004).
People and organizations involved: George Tenet
          

December 18, 2002

       The UN General Assembly approves the Optional Protocol to the Convention on Torture after 10 years of negotiations. The protocol is adopted with 127 votes in favor, 4 against and 42 abstentions. The four states that oppose the treaty are the US, Nigeria, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. [Truthout, 6/9/2004] One of the states voting in favor, Israel, later notifies the UN that its vote was cast by mistake because of a “human technical error.” [Ha'aretz, 6/3/2004] The purpose of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on Torture is to strengthen the means of enforcing the Convention's provisions. Under the new protocol, a system of regular visits to prison facilities will be established. A 10-member subcommittee, funded by the UN, will serve as the executive arm of the existing committee on torture. [Ha'aretz, 6/3/2004]
People and organizations involved: UN General Assembly
          

Late 2002-April 2003

       Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes press “for looser interrogation rules and [win] approval for them from the administration's civilian lawyers....” Lawyers with the Army Judge Advocate General's office are opposed to the new rules. [Newsweek, 5/24/2004; USA Today, 5/13/2004; Los Angeles Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed Indonesian officials and foreign diplomats]
People and organizations involved: Douglas Feith, William J. Haynes
          

January 12, 2003

       Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes reportedly meets with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to discuss concerns over the use of interrogation techniques at Guantanamo that were approved by Rumsfeld in December (see December 2, 2002). Rumsfeld, according to Dell'Orto, calls Gen. James T. Hill and suspends the use of the category two and the single category three technique. [White House, 6/22/2004]
People and organizations involved: Daniel J. Dell'Orto, Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Haynes, James T. Hill
          

January 15, 2003

       In a memo to General Counsel William J. Haynes, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, without an explanation, rescinds his authorization for the majority of the interrogation methods he approved in December (see December 2, 2002). The remaining methods can only be used with his express approval and on an individual basis. [New York Times, 8/25/2004] He also forms a panel of top Defense Department officials, known as the General Counsel Interrogation Working Group, “to assess the legal, policy, and operational issues relating to the interrogations of detainees held by the US Armed Forces in the war on terrorism.” This should ultimately result in the development of proper interrogation techniques. [NBC News, 6/23/2004] The working group will consist of people working in the offices of William Haynes, Douglas Feith, the military departments, and the Joint Staff. Haynes will be the panel's chairman. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 22, 2003

       Capt. Carolyn A. Wood receives a Bronze Star for “exceptional meritorious service” as the head of military intelligence interrogators at Bagram. She and her small platoon of 15 interrogators from the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion returned to their base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina earlier in the month. [Knight-Ridder, 8/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood
          

January 24, 2003

       The US military command in Afghanistan, Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 180, issues a memo on interrogation techniques, which includes nudity on the list of effective interrogation methods, despite this tactic being presumably barred by Rumsfeld on January 15 (see January 15, 2003) for use at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan. According to Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, who will write a detailed report on detention operations (see August 25, 2004), the document “highlighted that deprivation of clothing had not historically been included in battlefield interrogations.” However he will add, “It went on to recommend clothing removal as an effective technique that could potentially raise objections as being degrading or inhumane, but for which no specific written legal prohibition existed.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] The document also speaks of exploiting the Arab fear of dogs. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Donald Rumsfeld also banned the use of dogs for interrogation purposes in his January 15 order (see January 15, 2003).
People and organizations involved: George R. Fay
          

January 28, 2003

       George Bush says in his State of the Union address: “[M]ore than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Put it this way, they're no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.” [The White House, 1/28/2003]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

March 6, 2003

       A working group appointed by the Defense Department's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, completes a 100-page-plus classified report justifying the use of torture on national security grounds. The group—headed by Air Force General Counsel Mary Walker and including top civilian and uniformed lawyers from each military branch—consulted representatives of the Justice Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies in drafting the report. It was prepared for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and was meant to respond to complaints from commanders working at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba who claimed that conventional interrogation tactics were inadequate. The conclusions in the report are similar to those of an August 1, 2003 memo (see August 1, 2002) drafted by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OFC). The OFC is said to have also contributed to this report. [Los Angeles Times, 6/10/2004; Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004 Sources: March 16 draft Working Group Report on Detainee Intertogations in the Global War on Terorrism]
Conclusions of the report -

One of the main conclusions of the report is that the president's authority as commander-in-chief permits him during times of war to approve almost any physical or psychological interrogation method—including torture—irrespective of any domestic or international law. The draft report clearly states that neither Congress, the courts, nor international law has jurisdiction over the president's actions when the country is waging war. The report asserts that “without a clear statement otherwise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the president's ultimate authority” to wage war. Furthermore, “any effort by Congress to regulate the interrogation of unlawful combatants would violate the Constitution's sole vesting of the commander-in-chief authority in the president.” According to the document, the federal Torture Statute simply does not apply. “In order to respect the president's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign ... (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his commander-in chief authority,” the report states (The parenthetical comment is in the original document). A career military lawyer will later tell the Wall Street Journal that many lawyers disagreed with these conclusions, but that their concerns were overridden by the political appointees heading the drafting of the report. The lawyer explains that instead, military lawyers focused their efforts on limiting the report's list of acceptable interrogation methods. [Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004]

The draft report lists several possible arguments that US civilian or military personnel might use to defend themselves against charges of torture or other war crimes. According to the administration's lawyers, one argument would be that such actions were “necessary” in order to prevent an attack. This rational however seems to ignore very clear statements in the Convention Against Torture—ratified by the US in 1994—which states that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” Another line of defense, the report says, would be to claim that the accused had been acting under “superior orders” and that therefore no “moral choice was in fact possible.” Likewise, the report cites a Justice Department opinion, which the draft report says “concluded that it could not bring a criminal prosecution against a defendant who had acted pursuant to an exercise of the president's constitutional power.” However, as the Wall Street Journal notes, this contradicts the Convention against Torture which states that orders from superiors “may not be invoked as a justification of torture.” The authors of the report also suggest in the draft report that accused officials could argue that they had “mistakenly relied in good faith on the advice of lawyers or experts,” adding, “Good faith may be a complete defense.” The memo also argues that the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights (ICCPR), to which the US is a party, “does not apply outside the United States or its special maritime and territorial jurisdiction (SMTJ), and that it does not apply to operations of the military during an international armed conflict,” as the US “has maintained consistently.” Since the “Guantanamo Bay Naval Station (GTMO) is included within the definition of the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” the ICCPR does not apply to Guantanamo Bay. The authors are also convinced that officials would not be prosecutable under US law, concluding that “constitutional principles” precluded the possibility that officials could be punished “for aiding the president in exercising his exclusive constitutional authorities” and neither Congress nor the courts had the authority to “require or implement the prosecution of such an individual.” [Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004]

The document attempts to define the parameters of lawful interrogation methods in terms of the degree of pain or psychological manipulation they cause. The report states that the infliction of physical or mental suffering does not constitute torture. To violate Section 2340 A of the US Code, prohibiting physical torture, suffering must be “severe,” the lawyers advise, noting that according to a dictionary definition, this would mean that the pain “must be of such a high level of intensity that ... [it] is difficult for the subject to endure.” It must also be “inflicted with specific intent,” they say, meaning that the perpetrator expressly intends to cause severe pain and suffering. But if the defendant simply used pain and suffering as a means to an end, such specific intent would not exist. Under certain circumstances, the lawyers explain, the US would be justified in resorting to illegal measures like torture or homicide. They argue that such measures should be considered “self-defense” in cases where officials “honestly believe” that such actions would prevent an imminent attack against the US. “Sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law,” the draft document asserts. “In sum,” the panel determines, “the defense of superior orders will generally be available for US Armed Forces personnel engaged in exceptional interrogations except where the conduct goes so far as to be patently unlawful.” Civil law suits, the panel notes, by a foreign victim of torture will not apply to the US government. [Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004 Sources: March 16 draft Working Group Report on Detainee Intertogations in the Global War on Terorrism]

People and organizations involved: Mary Walker, William J. Haynes, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

(late March 2003)

       Stephen Cambone, the new undersecretary of defense for intelligence, acquires control of all of the Pentagon's special access programs (SAPs) related to the war on terrorism. SAPs, also known as “black” programs, are so secret that “some special access programs are never fully briefed to Congress.” SAPs were previously monitored by Kenneth deGraffenreid, who unlike Cambone (see February 4, 2003), had experience in counter-intelligence programs. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004 Sources: Unnamed former intelligence officials]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Kenneth deGraffenreid, Stephen A. Cambone
          

(April 2003)

       An unnamed intelligence source tells reporter Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post, “Rumsfeld is in a death fight with DCI (the director of Central Intelligence) to get control” of intelligence assets. [Washington Post, 4/20/2003]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

(April 2003)

       The Justice Department advises in a set of legal memorandums that if “government officials ... are contemplating procedures that may put them in violation of American statutes that prohibit torture, degrading treatment or the Geneva Conventions, they will not be responsible if it can be argued that the detainees are formally in the custody of another country.” That is because, according to one official, “It would be the responsibility of the other country.” The memos seem to suggest that top government officials may be concerned that they are in violation of international laws. One administration figure involved in discussions about the memos tells the New York Times in May 2004: “The criminal statutes only apply to American officials. The question is how involved are the American officials.” [New York Times, 5/13/2004]
          

April 2, 2003

       In a letter to Human Rights Watch, Pentagon legal counsel William Haynes II writes that “if the war on terrorists of global reach requires transfers of detained enemy combatants to other countries for continued detention on our behalf, US government instructions are to seek and obtain appropriate assurances that such enemy combatants are not tortured.” [Letter to Human Rights Watch, 4/2/2003 cited in Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] However, in December 2002, referring to objections raised about the use of unlawful interrogation methods by Egypt, one Bush government official was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “You can be sure that we are not spending a lot of time on that now.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch
          

April 4, 2003

       In a report, the Pentagon working group (see January 15, 2003) recommends the adoption of 35 interrogation techniques. Twenty-six of them are recommended for use in interrogations of all unlawful combatants held outside the US. The remaining nine are considered “exceptional” and recommended for use only on unlawful combatants suspected of holding “critical intelligence.” The advice is clearly not for the public eye. “Should information regarding the use of more aggressive interrogation techniques than have been used traditionally by US forces become public,” the panel warns in its report, “it is likely to be exaggerated or distorted in the US and international media accounts, and may produce an adverse effect on support for the war on terrorism.” [NBC News, 6/23/2004]
          

April 16, 2003

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signs a memo on interrogation methods approving 24 of the 35 techniques recommended by the Pentagon working group (see April 4, 2003) earlier in the month. The new set of guidelines, to be applied to prisoners at Guantanamo and Afghanistan, is a considerably softer version of the initial interrogation policy that Rumsfeld approved in December 2002 (see December 2, 2002). [The Age, 5/13/2004; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Truthout, n.d; Washington Post, 5/13/2004; Newsweek International, 5/24/2004; Los Angeles Times, 5/22/2004; Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004; NBC News, 6/23/2004 Sources: Human Rights letter to National Security Advisor, May 3, 2004] Several of the techniques listed are ones that the US military trains Special Forces to prepare for in the event that they are captured by enemy forces. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence officials and other US officials] The list is divided into two classes: tactics that are authorized for use on all prisoners and special “enhanced measures” that require the approval of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. The latter category of methods includes tactics that “could cause temporary physical or mental pain,” like “sensory deprivation,” “stress positions,” “dietary manipulation,” forced changes in sleep patterns, and isolated confinement. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Washington Post, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence officials and other US officials] Other techniques include “change of scenery down,” “dietary manipulation,” “environmental manipulation,” and “false flag.” The first 18 tactics listed all appear in the 1992 Field Manual (FM) 34-52, with the exception of the so-called “Mutt-and-Jeff” approach, which is taken from an obsolete 1987 military Field Manual (1987 FM 34-52). [USA Today, 6/22/2004] The use of forced nudity as a tactic is not included in the list. The working group rejected it because its members felt it might be considered inhumane treatment under international law. [Associated Press, ABC News, 6/23/2004] The memo, marked for declassification in 2013, [Truthout, n.d] is the outcome, according to Deputy General Counsel Dell'Oro, of discussions between Rumsfeld, William Haynes, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Gen. Richard Myers. [White House, 6/22/2004] One US official explains, “There are very specific guidelines that are thoroughly vetted. Everyone is on board. It's legal.” However in May 2004, it will be learned that there was in fact opposition to the new guidelines. Pentagon lawyers from the Army Judge Advocate General's office had objected (see May 2003) (see October 2003) and many officials quietly expressed concerns that they might have to answer for the policy at a later date (see (April 2003)). [Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Washington Post, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence officials and other US officials]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard B. Myers, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Daniel J. Dell'Orto  Additional Info 
          

May 2003

       Eight high-ranking military lawyers from the Army Judge Advocate General's office—which historically has ensured that interrogators do not violate prisoners' rights—visit Scott Horton, head of the New York State Bar Association's committee on international law, and ask him to persuade the Pentagon to reverse its policy on using “stress and duress” interrogation techniques (see Late 2002-April 2003) (see April 16, 2003). “They were quite blunt,” Horton will recall. “They were extremely concerned about how the political appointees were dealing with interrogation issues. They said this was a disaster waiting to happen and that they felt shut out” from the rules-drafting process. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; Newsday, 5/15/2004; Los Angeles Times, 5/14/2004; Washington Post, 5/13/2004] The lawyers describe the new interrogation rules as “frightening,” with the potential to “reverse 50 years of a proud tradition of compliance with the Geneva Conventions.” [USA Today, 5/13/2004] The military lawyers will make another visit to Horton's office in October (see May 2003).
People and organizations involved: Scott Horton
          

(May 2003-May 2004)

       At “various times throughout this period,” Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld relay the Red Cross' concerns about the Coalition's treatment of prisoners directly to President George Bush. [Baltimore Sun, 5/12/2004 Sources: Unnamed aid to Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, George W. Bush
          

May 1, 2003

       President Bush, donning a custom-made flight suit, is ferried in a Navy S-3B Viking jet to the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln anchored off the coast of San Diego where he declares the cessation of major combat operations in Iraq. A banner unfurled behind the president reads, “Mission Accomplished.” [CNN, 5/2/2003] US military officials will subsequently say that the event meant that captives being held in Iraq would no longer be treated as prisoners of war under the third article of the Geneva Conventions, but instead as civilians being held by an occupying power under the fourth article of the Geneva Conventions—which allows long term detentions for prisoners deemed a threat to governing authorities. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

May 25, 2003

       The Mail on Sunday reports that according to Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the US is considering plans to build an execution chamber at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay where suspected terrorists, convicted by a secret military tribunal for capital crimes, would be put to death. “Prisoners would be tried, convicted, and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury, and without right of appeal.” [The Mail on Sunday, 5/25/2003 cited in Courrier Mail, 5/26/2003] Britain says that it is unaware of the US plans. [Courrier Mail, 5/26/2003]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller  Additional Info 
          

June 25, 2003

       Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes responds to a letter from Senator Patrick Leahy which asked for clarification on the administration's interrogation policy (see June 2003). Haynes replies that “it is the policy of the United States to comply with all its legal obligations in its treatment of detainees [and] ... to treat all detainees and conduct all interrogations, wherever they may occur” in a manner consistent with US obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment. He adds that the US “does not permit, tolerate, or condone any such torture by its employees under any circumstances.” He also says that the Fifth, Eighth, and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution require the US “to prevent other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture.” Notably, he does not provide information about the specific interrogation tactics that US forces are permitted to use. “It would not be appropriate to catalogue the interrogation techniques used by US personnel thus we cannot comment on specific cases or practices,” Haynes says. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Patrick Leahy, William J. Haynes
          

Shortly after June 29, 2003

       Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, commander of the 800th MP Brigade (see June 29, 2003), is given control of 17 prisons in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib. The 800th MP Brigade is attached, but not formally assigned to Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 7, the command of US troops in Iraq. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez has “Tactical Control” over Karpinski and her brigade, allowing him, in the later words of Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones (see Shortly before August 24, 2004), “the detailed and usually local direction and control of movements and maneuver necessary to accomplish missions and tasks.” However, according to Jones's account, Sanchez does not have “Operational Control,” which would provide “full authority to organize commands and forces and employ them as the commander considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Prison and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Thus Sanchez, Karpinski will later explain, “was not my boss, but I answered to him.” The 800th MP Brigade remains assigned to the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC), headed by Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan in Kuwait. McKiernan, according to Karpinski, “insisted that we remain assigned to CFLCC, because he was concerned that the CJTF-7 headquarters was going to break us up and use us in lots of different military police functions [—] it was a dysfunctional line of command.” [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Anthony R. Jones, David D. McKiernan
          

June 29, 2003

       Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski—a reservist with no experience managing prisons—takes over command of the 800th Military Police Brigade, an Army reserve unit from Uniondale in New York State, from Brig. Gen. Paul Hill. She is put in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists. Her office is located at Baghdad Airport. [The New Yorker, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004] She becomes the first female general officer to lead US soldiers in combat. [Washington Post, 5/12/2004] Karpinski's brigade, consisting of 3,400 soldiers divided over three battalions, is initially put in charge of Camp Bucca and three other smaller facilities. At this time, Camp Bucca holds about 3,500 prisoners. [Signal Newspaper of Santa Clara, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski
          

Mid-August 2003

       An unnamed military intelligence captain sends an email to military intelligence interrogators explaining the difference between “lawful” and “unlawful combatants.” He indicates that he will provide “an ROE [Rules of Engagement] that addresses the treatment of enemy combatants, specifically, unprivileged belligerents.” The wording implies he believes it is possible for the US armed forces to declare the “privileges” of some adversaries to be removed at will. The use of the word “privilege” is significant in that the Fourth Geneva Convention uses the word only once, namely in Article 5, which is the only part that holds the very small possibility of derogation from the rights of detainees. It is clear the captain thinks detainees have “privileges” that can be taken away from them, instead of rights that must be upheld. The captain then goes on to request that interrogators provide him with “input [on] what techniques would they feel would be effective techniques” and he reminds them to send him their interrogation techniques “wish list” by August 17. He finishes his message with the following remarks: “The gloves are coming off gentlemen regarding these detainees. Col. [Steven] Boltz [deputy to Brig. Gen. Fast] has made it clear that we want these individuals broken. Casualties are mounting and we need to start gathering info to help protect our fellow soldiers from any further attacks. I thank you for your hard work and your dedication. MI [Military Intelligence] Always out Front!” [New York Review of Books, 10/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Steven Boltz
          

(Mid-September 2003-October 2003)

       The interrogations at Abu Ghraib are taken over by the special access program, “Copper Green” (see End of 2001-early 2002). “Hard-core special operatives, some of them with aliases,” are sent to the prison. SAP operatives, CIA operatives, civilian contractors, and officers from the 205th Military Brigade are now in charge. At their request, MPs of the 372nd Military Police Brigade “soften up” prisoners by subjecting them to intense physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, who is presumably in charge of Iraq's prisons and detention camps, does not understand what is going on at Abu Ghraib. “I thought most of the civilians there were interpreters, but there were some civilians that I didn't know,” Karpinski will later explain to Seymour Hersh. “I called them the disappearing ghosts. I'd seen them once in a while at Abu Ghraib and then I'd see them months later. They were nice—they'd always call out to me and say, ‘Hey, remember me? How are you doing?’ [They were] always bringing in somebody for interrogation or waiting to collect somebody going out.” But the CIA quickly grows weary of the program. A former intelligence official will later explain to Hersh: “They said, ‘No way. We signed up for the core program in Afghanistan—pre-approved for operations against high-value terrorist targets—and now you want to use it for cabdrivers, brothers-in-law, and people pulled off the streets.’ ... The CIA's legal people objected” and ended the SAP program at Abu Ghraib. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski  Additional Info 
          

July 15, 2003

       The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion produces a memo laying down new “Interrogation Rules of Engagement” (IROE), for use in its new mission in Iraq. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] The person apparently mostly responsible for writing the memo is Cpt. Carolyn A. Wood, formerly in charge of military intelligence interrogators at Bagram, which serves as the main screening area in Afghanistan. [The Guardian, 6/23/2004] Col. Billy Buckner, the chief public affairs officer at Fort Bragg, home to the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, later says that Wood brought the interrogations rules used at Bagram with her to Iraq. [Associated Press, 5/24/2004] But the rules are also adapted and made somewhat less aggressive. “Those rules were modified,” according to Buckner, “to make sure the right restraints were in place.” [The Guardian, 6/23/2004] The modifications nevertheless fall outside normal military doctrine. According to a classified portion of the later Fay report (see August 25, 2004), the memo allows the “use of stress positions during fear-up harsh interrogation approaches, as well as presence of military working dogs, yelling, loud music, ... light control,” sleep management, and isolation. [New York Review of Books, 10/7/2004] The memo is adopted from interrogation procedures known as “Battlefield Interrogation Team and Facility Policy,” in use by a secretive unit called Joint Task Force (JTF) 121 , that is active in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion worked in close cooperation with Special Operations Forces like JTF-121 during its tour in Afghanistan, and “at some point,” according to the Fay report, it “came to possess the JTF-121 interrogation policy.” [New York Times, 8/27/2004] Cpt. Wood adopts the JTF-121 policy “almost verbatim.” [New York Times, 8/27/2004] Like the highest US command in Iraq, the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion apparently believes the standard Army Field Manual is an insufficient guideline for interrogations. Interrogation techniques falling outside the scope of standard military doctrine have already been devised at the Pentagon, but only for use in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. These “non-doctrinal approaches, techniques, and practices,” according to Gen. George R. Fay, nevertheless, become “confused at Abu Ghraib.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] JTF-121 consists of CIA officials and Special Operations troops, including soldiers from the Army's Delta Force and Navy Seals. The unit is later alleged to have been instrumental in the capture of Saddam Hussein. [New York Times, 5/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein, George R. Fay, Troy Armstrong, Carolyn A. Wood
          

July 18, 2003

       British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in speech before the US Congress, pleads for the UN to become “an instrument of action as well as debate,” saying the Security Council needs to be reformed to reflect the “21st Century reality.” [The Guardian, 7/18/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Tony Blair
          

(Early August 2003)

       When Cpt. Carolyn A. Wood and the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion move to Abu Ghraib, the interrogation policy Wood used at the Baghdad airport facility (see July 15, 2003) needs to be adapted once again, and Capt. Wood is again responsible for devising the rules of engagement. In May 2004, Pentagon officials will give a description to the Senate Armed Services Committee of the instructions for interrogating prisoners used by Cpt. Wood at Abu Ghraib. They say that the rules of engagement Wood employed at Abu Ghraib included stress positions, use of dogs, sleep and sensory deprivation and dietary manipulation. Those rules of engagement would have had to have been authorized by higher levels in the military. A person of Cpt. Wood's rank, explains a former member of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade to the Guardian, would not have been free to set interrogation policy herself. [The Guardian, 6/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood
          

(August 2003)

       There is a growing realization within the Department of Defense that the militant resistance in Iraq against the US and British occupation has been underestimated. An internal Pentagon document notes: “Their ability to attack convoys, other vulnerable targets and particular individuals has been the result of painstaking surveillance and reconnaissance. Inside information has been passed on to insurgent cells about convoy/troop movements and daily habits of Iraqis working with coalition from within the Iraqi security services, primarily the Iraqi Police force which is rife with sympathy for the insurgents, Iraqi ministries and from within pro-insurgent individuals working with the CPA's so-called Green Zone.... Politically, the US has failed to date. Insurgencies can be fixed or ameliorated by dealing with what caused them in the first place. The disaster that is the reconstruction of Iraq has been the key cause of the insurgency. There is no legitimate government, and it behooves the Coalition Provisional Authority to absorb the sad but unvarnished fact that most Iraqis do not see the Governing Council as the legitimate authority. Indeed, they know that the true power is the CPA.” The report emphasizes that intelligence on the people involved in Iraq's domestic uprising is insufficient. “Human intelligence is poor or lacking ... due to the dearth of competence and expertise.... The intelligence effort is not coordinated since either too many groups are involved in gathering intelligence or the final product does not get to the troops in the field in a timely manner.” [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004] The study is a contributing factor in the decision by the civilian leadership of the Pentagon to seek “actionable intelligence” from detainees being held in Iraq's detention facilities (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003). [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004]
          

August 18, 2003

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld directs his undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Stephen Cambone, to send Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller to Iraq to review the US military prison system in Iraq and make suggestions on how the prisons can be used to obtain “actionable intelligence” from detainees. Cambone passes the order on to his deputy Lt. Gen. William Boykin who meets with Miller to plan the trip. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004; Newsweek, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, William Boykin, Stephen A. Cambone, Geoffrey D. Miller
          

(Late August or September 2003)

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone decide that they will extend the scope of “Copper Green,” originally created for Afghanistan (see End of 2001-early 2002), to Abu Ghraib. According to Seymour Hersh, “The male prisoners could [now] be treated roughly, and exposed to sexual humiliation.” A former intelligence official will tell Hersh: “They weren't getting anything substantive from the detainees in Iraq. No names. Nothing that they could hang their hat on. Cambone says, I've got to crack this thing and I'm tired of working through the normal chain of command. I've got this apparatus set up—the black special access program—and I'm going in hot. So he pulls the switch, and the electricity begins flowing... . And it's working. We're getting a picture of the insurgency in Iraq and the intelligence is flowing into the white world. We're getting good stuff. But we've got more targets [prisoners in Iraqi jails] than people who can handle them.” In addition to bringing SAP rules into the Iraqi prisons, Cambone decides that Army military intelligence officers working inside Iraqi prisons will be brought under the SAP's auspices, and in fact allowed the use of more aggressive interrogation techniques. “So here are fundamentally good soldiers—military intelligence guys—being told that no rules apply,” Hersh's source also says. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; The Guardian, 9/13/2004] Knowledge of aggressive interrogation techniques may also have slipped inside the walls of Abu Ghraib via Special Forces soldiers delivering and interrogating prisoners and private contractors who used to be members of Special Forces. Many of Special Forces soldiers have gained this knowledge inter alia because they have been taught how to resist these techniques if subjected to them. Such training is given to both British and US Special Forces. An anonymous former British officer later recognizes the techniques used at Abu Ghraib as the type of tactics used for these trainings. The characterizing feature of the techniques they are trained to withstand is sexual humiliation through nudity and degrading poses. During training sessions, female soldiers mocked naked detainees and forced cruel sexual jokes on them to “prolong the shock of capture,” according to the British officer. The techniques included hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation, and lack of warmth, food, and water. “[T]he whole experience is horrible,” according to the British ex-officer. “Two of my colleagues couldn't cope with the training at the time. One walked out saying ‘I've had enough,’ and the other had a breakdown. It's exceedingly disturbing.” [The Guardian, 5/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Stephen A. Cambone, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003

       Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who oversees the prison at Guantanamo, is sent to Iraq with a team “experienced in strategic interrogation” “to review current Iraqi theater ability to rapidly exploit internees for actionable intelligence” and to review the arrangements at the US military prisons in Iraq. [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004; Washington Post, 5/9/2004] The team consists of 17 interrogation experts from Guantanamo Bay and includes officials from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). [Washington Post, 6/12/2004] The Pentagon's decision to dispatch the team on this mission was influenced by the military's growing concern that the failure of Coalition Forces to quell resistance against the occupation was linked to a dearth in “actionable intelligence” (see (August 2003)). [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004] Miller has therefore come to help Brig. Gen. Barabara Fast improve the results of her interrogation operations. More to the point, he is supposed to introduce her to the techniques being used at Guantanamo. [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004; The New Yorker, 6/21/2004] Officials are hoping detainees will provide intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein, who is still on the loose. [Washington Post, 5/16/2004] “[Miller] came up there and told me he was going to ‘Gitmoize’ the detention operation,” Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, later recalls. [Washington Post, 5/8/2004] Miller will later deny he used the word “Gitmoize.” [Washington Post, 5/12/2004] During Miller's visit, a Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) is established in order to centralize the intelligence operations at the prison. Cpt. Carolyn A. Wood is made Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Interrogation Coordination Element (ICE), within the JIDC. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Before returning to Washington, Miller leaves a list of acceptable interrogation techniques—based on what has been used in Guatanamo—posted on a wall in Abu Ghraib which says that long term isolation, sleep disruption, “environmental manipulation” and “stress positions” can be used to facilitate interrogations, but only with the approval of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez on a case-by-case basis. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] The use of dogs is also included, even though the technique was banned at Guantanamo eight months before by Donald Rumsfeld (see January 15, 2003). [Washington Post, 7/19/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Karpinski later recalls, “He said they are like dogs and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them.” [BBC, 6/15/2004] Miller's visit to Iraq heralds some significant changes, that include, first, the introduction of more coercive interrogation tactics; second, the taking control of parts of the Abu Ghraib facility by military intelligence; and third, the use of MPs in the intelligence collection process. During his visit, Miller discusses interrogation techniques with military intelligence chief Col. Thomas M. Pappas. [New York Times, 5/13/2004] “The operation was snowballing,” Samuel Provance, a US military intelligence officer will recall, describing the situation at Abu Ghraib after Miller's visit. “There were more and more interrogations. The chain of command was putting a lot of resources into the facility.” And Karpinski will later say that she was being shut out of the process at about this time. “They continued to move me farther and farther away from it.” [Washington Post, 5/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood, Barbara G. Fast, Thomas M. Pappas, Samuel Provance, Janis L. Karpinski, Geoffrey D. Miller
          

September 2003

       Army Col. Thomas Pappas tells Army Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, a soldier overseeing interrogations at Abu Ghraib, that the White House wants interrogators to “pull the intelligence out” of the detainees. Pappas tells him at least twice “that some of the [intelligence] reporting was getting read by (Secretary of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld, folks out at Langley, some very senior folks.” [USA Today, 6/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Thomas M. Pappas, Steven L. Jordan
          

Between September 9 and 19, 2003

       Shortly after Major General Geoffrey Miller's visit (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003) to Iraq, three “Tiger Teams,” consisting of six personnel, arrive at the Abu Ghraib prison facility. Each team consists of an interrogator, analyst, and linguist, who work together as a team. The use of Tiger Teams is an approach that has been successfully used at the Guantanamo detention facility. Gen. George R. Fay, in his later report (see August 25, 2004), will say he believes the Tiger Team concept was not appropriate for Abu Ghraib, because the “method was designed to develop strategic level information,” instead of tactical intelligence. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller, George R. Fay
          

September 9, 2003

       Senator Patrick Leahy responds to Department of Defense William Haynes' letter of June 25, 2003 (see June 25, 2003). He asks him to explain how the standards he outlined are implemented and communicated to US soldiers and asks for assurances that other agencies, including the CIA, abide by the same standards as the US military. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Patrick Leahy
          

September 9, 2003

       Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller files a classified report at the end of his 10-day visit (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003) to Iraq, recommending that Iraq's detention camps be used to collect “actionable intelligence” and that some military police at Abu Ghraib be trained to set “the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees.” “Detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation ... to provide a safe, secure, and humane environment that supports the expeditious collection of intelligence,” he writes. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; Washington Post, 5/16/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] He suggests that a detention guard force with Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 7 be selected to provide active assistance to the interrogators They should be put under the control of the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC) Commander (later to be Lt. Col. Steven Jordan), he says. [Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] “We're going to select the MPs who can do this, and they're going to work specifically with the interrogation team.” [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004] “We are going to send MPs in here who know how to handle interrogation.” [Washington Post, 5/12/2004] He also suggests that the military close Camp Cropper in southern Iraq. Miller's recommendations are included in a memo that is sent for review to Lt. Gen. William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence (see May 1, 2003). [Washington Post, 5/16/2004; The New Yorker, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, William Boykin, Geoffrey D. Miller
          

September 10, 2003

       A team of military lawyers in Iraq issues a memo detailing a new set of interrogation rules entitled, CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy (ICRP). The team—headed by the highest legal expert within the US military apparatus in Iraq, Col. Marc Warren, the staff judge advocate for Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 7—includes Capt. Fitch, the command judge advocate with Col. Thomas M. Pappas' 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and Maj. Daniel Kazmier and Maj Franklin D. Raab, both from the CJTF-7 Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA). In crafting the memo, Fitch “copie[s]” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's April 16, 2003 memo (see April 16, 2003), intended for Guantanamo, “almost verbatim.” The draft is then sent to the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion for comment. The 519th adds techniques from its own August 27, 2003 memo (see August 27, 2003), including “the use of dogs, stress positions, sleep management, sensory deprivation, ... yelling, loud music, and light control.” The techniques listed in the final version of the memo apply to all categories of detainees. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Sleep management and sensory deprivation are also part of the Guantanamo set of interrogation techniques. The other more aggressive methods—the use of dogs, stress positions, and yelling, loud music, and light control—are extras.
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Franklin D. Raab, Marc Warren, Daniel Kazmier, Brent Fitch, Thomas M. Pappas
          

September 10, 2003

       Maj. Michael D. Thompson arrives at Abu Ghraib at the request of Col. Thomas M. Pappas to develop the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC), formally established during Major General Geoffrey Miller's 10-day visit (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003). By December 2003, the JIDC will have a total of approximately 160 personnel including 45 interrogators and 18 translators. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller, Thomas M. Pappas, Michael D. Thompson
          

September 14, 2003

       The legal experts at the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) issue a memorandum amending the set of interrogation rules included in a September 10 memo (see September 10, 2003) by military legal experts in Iraq. The additional methods included in that memo can only be used with prior approval by Ricardo S. Sanchez on a case-by-case basis, the OSJA document says. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Like Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the OSJA stresses the importance of collaboration between MPs and intelligence personnel. It also provides “safeguards such as legal reviews of the interrogation plans and scrutiny of how they were carried out,” the Washington Post later reports. [Washington Post, 6/12/2004] Additionally, the memo discusses how the Arab fear of dogs can be exploited. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] According to a later report (see August 25, 2004) by Gen. George R. Fay, interrogators at Abu Ghraib immediately adopt the new set of rules. But Staff Judge Advocate Col. Mark Warren will recall that the memo is not implemented until its approval by the US Central Command (CENTCOM). [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Evidence, however, supports the Fay report. “After mid-September 2003,” Gen. Fay will write, “all [s]oldiers assigned to Abu Ghraib had to read a memorandum titled IROE [Interrogations Rules of Engagement], acknowledging they understood the ICRP, and sign a confirmation sheet indicating they had read and understood the ICRP.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Geoffrey D. Miller, George R. Fay, Marc Warren
          

September 17, 2003

       Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan arrives at the Abu Ghraib prison compound in Iraq and is appointed as the director of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JDIC). Jordon, an inexperienced military officer, will leave the “actual management, organization, and leadership of the core of his responsibilities” to Maj. Michael D. Thompson and Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, an investigation will later conclude. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Steven L. Jordan, Michael D. Thompson, Carolyn A. Wood
          

October 2003

       White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales asks the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to provide an opinion on protected persons in Iraq and more specifically on the status of the detained Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul, an Iraqi prisoner being held in Afghanistan. In a one-page memo, Jack L. Goldsmith, head of the OLC, rules that Rashul is a “protected person” with rights under the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore has to be returned to Iraq. Goldsmith also decides that non-Iraqis, who came to Iraq after the invasion, do not qualify for protection under the Geneva Conventions. [Washington Post, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul, International Committee of the Red Cross, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet
          

October 2003

       Several military lawyers make a second visit (see May 2003) to Scott Horton, head of the New York State Bar Association's committee on international law, and ask him to persuade the Pentagon to reverse its policy on using “stress and duress” interrogation techniques (see April 16, 2003). “They were quite blunt,” Horton will say, recalling the two visits. “They were extremely concerned about how the political appointees were dealing with interrogation issues. They said this was a disaster waiting to happen and that they felt shut out” of the rules-drafting process. [Newsday, 5/15/2004; The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; Washington Post, 5/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Scott Horton
          
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