I apologize in advance for the long post. The following is from the "SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S.
CUSTODY". I find this to be a very interesting read and have copy and pasted just a few paragraphs from the 19 page document. The full document is
There were many high level people who saw this was torture and felt confused that we would use techniques that were illegal under Geneva Convention
rules, and known to illicit false confessions.
The question I have is why would a government that's invading a country based on intel of WMDs need to get false confessions? Were these false
confessions intentionally used to support the existence of WMDs in Iraq and our invasion under those false pretenses?
SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S. CUSTODY
The collection of timely and accurate intelligence is critical to the safety of U.S. personnel deployed abroad and to the security of the American
people here at home. The methods by which we elicit intelligence information from detainees in our custody affect not only the reliability of that
information, but our broader efforts to win hearts and minds and attract allies to our side.
Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are taught to expect Americans to abuse them. They are recruited based on false propaganda that says the United States
is out to destroy Islam. Treating detainees harshly only reinforces that distorted view, increases resistance to cooperation, and creates new
Presidential Order Opens the Door to Considering Aggressive Techniques
On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and
concluding that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the Third Geneva Convention. The
President’s order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane
treatment, to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees.
JPRA is the DoD agency that oversees military Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training. During the resistance phase of SERE training,
U.S. military personnel are exposed to physical and psychological pressures (SERE techniques) designed to simulate conditions to which they might be
subject if taken prisoner by enemies that did not abide by the Geneva Conventions. As one JPRA instructor explained, SERE training is “based on
illegal exploitation (under the rules listed in the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War) of prisoners over the last
50 years.” The techniques used in SERE school, based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false
JPRA and CIA Influence Department of Defense Interrogation Policies
Plans to use aggressive interrogation techniques generated concerns by some at GTMO. The Deputy Commander of the Department of Defense’s Criminal
Investigative Task Force (CITF) at GTMO told the Committee that SERE techniques were “developed to better prepare U.S. military personnel to resist
interrogations and not as a means of obtaining reliable information” and that “CITF was troubled with the rationale that techniques used to harden
resistance to interrogations would be the basis for the utilization of techniques to obtain information.” Concerns were not limited to the
effectiveness of the techniques in obtaining reliable information; GTMO’s request gave rise to significant legal concerns as well.
Military Lawyers Raise Red Flags and Joint Staff Review Quashed
In early November 2002, in a series of memos responding to the Joint Staff’s call for comments on GTMO’s request, the military services identified
serious legal concerns about the techniques and called for additional analysis.
CITF’s Chief Legal Advisor wrote that certain techniques in GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request “may subject service members to punitive articles of
the [Uniform Code of Military Justice],” called “the utility and legality of applying certain techniques” in the request “questionable,” and
stated that he could not “advocate any action, interrogation or otherwise, that is predicated upon the principle that all is well if the ends
justify the means and others are not aware of how we conduct our business.”
The Chief of the Army’s International and Operational Law Division wrote that techniques like stress positions, deprivation of light and auditory
stimuli, and use of phobias to induce stress “crosses the line of ‘humane’ treatment,” would “likely be considered maltreatment” under the
UCMJ, and “may violate the torture statute.” The Army labeled GTMO’s request “legally insufficient” and called for additional review.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Approves Aggressive Techniques
With respect to GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request to use aggressive interrogation techniques, Mr. Haynes said that “there was a sense by the DoD
Leadership that this decision was taking too long” and that Secretary Rumsfeld told his senior advisors “I need a recommendation.” On November
27, 2002, the Secretary got one. Notwithstanding the serious legal concerns raised by the military services, Mr. Haynes sent a one page memo to the
Secretary, recommending that he approve all but three of the eighteen techniques in the GTMO request. Techniques such as stress positions, removal of
clothing, use of phobias (such as fear of dogs), and deprivation of light and auditory stimuli were all recommended for approval.
On December 2, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld signed Mr. Haynes’s recommendation, adding a handwritten note that referred to limits proposed in the memo
on the use of stress positions: “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”
Interrogation policies endorsed by senior military and civilian officials authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques were a major cause of
the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. The impact of those abuses has been significant. The fact that America is seen in a negative light by so many
complicates our ability to attract allies to our side, strengthens the hand of our enemies, and reduces our ability to collect intelligence that can
It is particularly troubling that senior officials approved the use of interrogation techniques that were originally designed to simulate abusive
tactics used by our enemies against our own soldiers and that were modeled, in part, on tactics used by the Communist Chinese to elicit false
confessions from U.S. military personnel. While some argue that the brutality and disregard for human life shown by al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists
justifies us treating them harshly, General David Petraeus explained why that view is misguided. In a May 2007 letter to his troops, General Petraeus
said “Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our
values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we - not our enemies - occupy the
moral high ground.”
Conclusion 3: The use of techniques similar to those used in SERE resistance training – such as stripping students of their clothing, placing them
in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, and treating them like animals – was at odds with the commitment to humane treatment of
detainees in U.S. custody. Using those techniques for interrogating detainees was also inconsistent with the goal of collecting accurate intelligence
information, as the purpose of SERE resistance training is to increase the ability of U.S. personnel to resist abusive interrogations and the
techniques used were based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to elicit false confessions.
Conclusion 13: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct
cause of detainee abuse there. Secretary Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 approval of Mr. Haynes’s recommendation that most of the techniques contained
in GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request be authorized, influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs,
forced nudity, and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Conclusion 19: The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own. Interrogation
techniques such as stripping detainees of their clothes, placing them in stress positions, and using military working dogs to intimidate them appeared
in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at GTMO. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 authorization
of aggressive interrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officials conveyed the
message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion in
standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely.
edit on 10-9-2010 by spiritualzombie because: (no reason given)