'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

It still did not prevent them from continuing the ----------- methods" 

The ACLU managed to unearth previously classified correspondences that shed light on the use of torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere. The letters and memos document a behind-the-scenes feud between the Dod and the DIA and between the Dod and the FBI. Here's the Boston Globe:

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, indicate that some prisoners in Iraq continued to be physically abused even after details of abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison became public in the spring of this year.

Among other incidents, the documents indicate that two months after the Abu Ghraib scandal, two Defense Intelligence Agency interrogators saw members of a detention task force ''punch a prisoner in the face to the point that the individual needed medical attention" while questioning him. They told a task force supervisor, but were ''threatened," ordered not to talk about it, and had their photos of the beaten prisoner confiscated, according to an agency report.

The papers also show that FBI interrogators sent to the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002 were troubled by unorthodox techniques used against the ''enemy combatants" held there, reporting back to their superiors that they felt the coercive approaches would not produce reliable information and were outlawed by FBI procedures.

The ACLU has posted the documents in question on their site as scanned images. Here is a complete transcription of the letter from the DIA official discussed above:


FROM: L. E Jacoby, Vice Admiral, USN. Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

Subject: Alleged Detainee Abuse by TF 62-6 Personnel

During the afternoon of 24 June 2004, we were notified that DIA personnel serving with TF 6-26 in Baghdad had informed their ISG seniors of the following:

o Two DIA, Directorate for Human Intelligence (DIA/DH) interrogators/debriefers assigned to support TF 6-26(SOF) have observed:

- Prisoners arriving at the Temporary Detention Facility in Baghdad with burn marks on their backs. Some have bruises, and some have complained of kidney pain.

- One of the two DIA/DH interrogators/debriefers witnessed TF 6-26 officers punch a prisoner in the face to the point the individual needed medical attention. This record of treatment was not recorded by TF 6-26 personnel. In this instance, the debriefer was ordered to leave the room.

- One DIA/DH interrogators/debriefer took pictures of the injuries and showed them to his TF 62-6 supervisor, who immediately confiscated them.

o TF 6-26 personnel have taken the following actions with regards to DIA/DH interrogators/debriefers:

- Confiscated vehicle keys

- Instructed them not to leave the compound without specific permission, even to get a haircut at the PX

- Threatened them

- Informed them their e-mails were being screened

- Ordered them no to talk to anyone in the US

o The two DH strategic debriefers assigned to TF 62-6 reported the above information to the Operations Officer. He immediately contacted DIA IG Forward and asked that both individuals be interviewed. The IG representative made the recommendation that VADM Church's group be immediately apprised in order to get this into official JG channels as the issue fell directly under its charter. The Church IG Team senior investigating officer is conducting interviews of the interrogators/debriefers today. The DIA IG was informed an concurred with this course of action.

o The ISG operations Officer contacted and briefed the Director of the ISG, who was in Qatar attending a Commander's Conference. The ISG Director informed the Deputy Commander for Detainee Affairs, MNF-1. He subsequently contacted the Commander of TF 6-26 and directed him to investigate this situation. In turn the TF 6-26 Commander informed his superior, the Commander JSOC. The Commander, CENTCOM has also been informed of this situation.

o The two interrogators/debriefers were directed to return to the ISG compound at Camp Slayer due to these events.

The really amazing part of the above is the bit about the TF 62-6 personnel attempting to silence the DIA guys who reported the abuse. Such an action must have come from high up the chain of command. Does it seem very likely that agents of the Defense Intelligence Agency got their car keys confiscated and emails monitored in Baghdad because of a few hot-headed bad apples?

Here is a scan of the main FBI letter, an email to Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Thomas Harrington. It's heavily redacted, but nonetheless very illuminating. Below is my attempt at a transcription. The hyphens are redacted text.


I will have to do some digging into old files ------------------------------------------- We did advise each supervisor that went to GITMO to stay in line with Bureau policy and not deviate from that ------------------------------------------- I went to GITMO with ------- early on and we discussed the effectiveness ------------------------------ with the SSA. We (BAU and ITOS1) had also met with General's Dunlevey & Miller explaining our position (Law Enforcement techniques) vs. DoD. Both agreed the Bureau has their way of doing business and DoD has their marching orders from the Sec. Def. Although the two techniques differed drastically, both Generals believed they had a job to accomplish. It was our mission to gather critical intelligence and evidence --------------- ------------ in furtherance of FBI cases. In my weekly meetings with DOJ we often discussed ----[B]----- techniques and how they were not effective or producing Intel that was reliable. ---------(SES), ----------(SES), --------------- (now SES----- at the time) and ---------- (SES Appointee) all from DOJ Criminal Division attended meetings with FBI. We all agreed --------- were going to be an issue in the military commission cases. I know -------- brought this to the attention of -----------.

One specific example was -------. Once the Bureau provide DoD with findings --------------------------- ------------ they wanted to pursue expeditiously their methods to get "more out of him" --------- We were given a so called deadline to use our traditional methods. Once our timeline ------------------ was up --------- took the reigns. We stepped out of the picture and ------ ran the operation ------------ FBI did not participate at the direction of myself, -----------, and BAU UC -----------. We would receive IIRs on the results of the process.

I went to GITMO on one occasion to specifically address the information coming from ------------------- ------ We (DoD 3 Star Geoff Miller, FBI CITF --------, etc.) had a VTC with the Pentagon Detainee Policy Commitee. During this VTC I voiced concerns that the Intel produced was nothing more than what FBI got using simple investigative techniques (following the trail of the detainees in and out of the US compared to the trail of --------- ------------------------------- was providing ------------ portion of the briefing. -------------------------- was present at the Pentagon side of the VTC, After allowing ------------------- to produce nothing , I finally voiced my opinion concerning the information. The conversations were somewhat heated. -------------- agreed with me. ------------ finally admitted the information was the same info the Bureau obtained. It still did not prevent them from continuing the -----[A]----- methods". DOJ was with me at GITMO ------------ during that time.

Bottom line is FBI personnel have not been involved in any methods of interrogation that deviate from our policy. The specific guidance we have given has always been no Miranda, otherwise, follow FBI/FOJ policy just as you would in your field office. Use common sense. Utilize our methods that are proven (Reed school, etc).

If you would like to call me to discuss this on the telephone I can be reached at ----------------------.

To me the most curious redactions are the ones I have labeled A and B above. The blank marked A in particular, because of the email author's use of a trailing quotation mark, appears to be the word used within the Department of Defense to refer to the use of torture. If A and B are just banal adjectives, say "coercive" or "agressive", why are they redacted?

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