American Torture: The Documents

Below is a comprehensive list of declassified documents that chart America's involvement in torture from the early Cold War onward. Each file can be downloaded and viewed freely. Please be aware some of these files are not only graphic in nature, but are also fairly long and thus may take some time to download over slower internet connections. Also, if you are having trouble viewing any of the documents, they are all save as standard Abode .pdf documents, and can be viewed using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Cold War Documents

  • Ordeal in the Desert: Making Tougher Soldiers to Resist Brainwashing
    The first major expose of the Pentagon’s early SERE program. ‘Prisoners’ at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada, were electrocuted, forced into ‘the hole’, a ‘coffin’ and the ‘sweat box’.
    (September 12, 1955 | 4 pages | Newsweek)
  • The Interrogation of Suspects Under Arrest
    Declassified article from the CIA journal, Studies In Intelligence. Written by 'Don Compos', this article can be read as an early blueprint for the interrogation system employed by the CIA and US armed forces in the war on terror -- a regime engineered to elicit debility, dependence and dread.
    (1956 | 11 pages |
  • Communist Control Techniques
    Declassified study into Russian and Chinese interrogation techniques penned by Cornell University's Harold Wolff and colleague Lawrence Hinkle Jr for the CIA's Technical Services Division.
    (April 2, 1956 | 118 pages |
  • Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions from Air Force Prisoners of War
    This seminal 1957 essay by Albert Biderman includes the now infamous ‘Chart I—Communist Coercive Methods For Eliciting Individual Compliance’— a list of physical and psychological tortures SERE trainers taught Guantanamo interrogators in 2002.
    (1957 | 10 pages |
  • KUBARK, Counterintelligence Interrogation (Full)
    Declassified interrogation training manual for CIA officers (Full Version). The complete guide to breaking down resistant suspects.
    (1963 | 131 pages |
  • KUBARK, Counterintelligence Interrogation (Excerpt)
    Declassified interrogation training manual for CIA officers (Coercive Techniques section). An expanded version of the Compos article, reflecting a collage of Soviet and Chinese techniques and more than a decade of behavioural science research.
    (1963 | 24 page excerpt |
  • Testing of Behavior-Influencing Drugs on Unsuspecting Subjects Within The USA
    This report, prepared for Congress by the Rockefeller Commission, introduced the American public to the horrors of MKULTRA - the CIA's Cold War mind control initiative.
    (1975 | 3 page excerpt |
  • The Navy: Torture Camp
    A Newsweek expose of a Navy SERE school in Warner Springs, CA where inmates were allegedly forced to spit, urinate and defecate on an American flag, masturbate before guards, and engage in sex with an instructor. Others were subject to a ‘torture device’ called the ‘water board’.
    (22 March 1976 | 1 page | Newsweek)
  • Testing and Use of Chemical / Biological Agents by the Intelligence Community
    This report, prepared for Congress by the Church Committee, greatly expanded on the findings of the Rockefeller Commission.
    (1977 | 38 page excerpt |
  • Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual (Excerpt)
    Declassified CIA interrogation training manual intended for Latin American officers written after a Honduran training session in early 1983 (Coercive Techniques Section). Hand-edited changes made by the agency in the mid-1980s did little to conceal the true lessons, and intent, of the original document.
    (1983 | 16 page excerpt |
  • Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual (Full)
    Full version of the declassified training manual. This handbook, along with the Compos article and 1963 KUBARK manual, provide a clear picture into the 'alternative set of techniques' used by the CIA today.
    (1983 | 124 pages |
  • Manejo de Fuente (Handling of Sources)
    One of seven declassified Army training manuals for Latin American officers that were later ordered destroyed. This manual reflects lessons drawn from the US Army's 'Project X' and contains many passages similar to 1983 Human Resource Exploitation Manual.
    (1987 | 117 pages |
  • USSOUTHCOM CI Training
    Declassified Pentagon memorandum detailing the origins of Spanish-language training manuals.
    (1991 | 3 pages |
  • Improper Material in Spanish Language Intelligence Training Manuals
    Declassified memorandum detailing a Pentagon investigation into seven Spanish training manuals, tracing their origins back to 'Project X'.
    (1992 | 6 pages |

Torture Memos

  • "Sharpened Interrogations" by the Gestapo
    This 1942 Nazi memo is chilling in its similarities to Bush era US Department of Justice memos authorizing doctor supervised torture post 9/11. It permits "hard cell, dark cell, deprivation of sleep, exhaustion exercises, but also the resort to blows with a stick (in case of more than 20 blows, a doctor must be present.)"
    (June 12, 1942 | 1 page | andrewsullivan.theatlantic)
  • Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees
    Memorandum for the Pentagon by the Office of Legal Counsel's John Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty discussing rationales for circumventing the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Act.
    (January 9, 2002 | 43 pages |
  • Decision re-application of the Geneva Convention
    Memorandum for George Bush from Alberto Gonzales, then Chief Legal Counsel to the President, highlighting various rationales for circumventing Geneva and War Crimes Act.
    (January 25, 2002 | 4 pages |
  • Memorandum for President on Applicability of the Geneva Convention
    Memorandum for Bush from then Secretary of State Colin Powell outlining a counter-arguement to the determination Geneva does not apply to al Qaeda and Taliban suspects.
    (January 26, 2002 | 5 pages |
  • Ashcroft Letter to Bush
    Letter penned by then Attorney General John Ashcroft to Bush in support of Gonzales' determination to void Geneva and War Crimes Act applicability.
    (February 1, 2002 | 2 pages |
  • Comments on Your Paper on the Geneva Convention
    Memorandum from William H. Taft in support of Powell's position that Geneva and War Crimes Act should apply to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees.
    (February 2, 2002 | 2 pages |
  • Humane Treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees
    Directive by Bush stating that Geneva (and WCA) do not apply to al Qaeda and Taliban. Rather, detainees held by the Department of Defense are to be treated 'consistent with military necessity'.
    (February 7, 2002 | 2 pages |
  • Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention
    Memo by Jay S. Bybee, then Assistant Attorney General, providing further rational on why Geneva and War Crimes Act should not apply and why Article 5 tribunals - as required by the Third Geneva Convention to determine the status of captured combatants - is not necessary.
    (February 7, 2002 | 8 pages |
  • Interrogation of al Qaeda Operative
    Memo regarding captive Abu Zubayda from the OLC's Jay S Bybee to CIA Counsel John Rizzo instructing that walling, facial holds, facial slaps, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation (11 days), insects placed in a confinement box, and waterboarding did not violate the federal torture statute.
    (August 1, 2002 | 18 pages | ACLU)
  • Interrogation Methods to be Used
    Letter from John Yoo to Alberto Gonzales outlining why the International Criminal Court and the UN Convention Against Torture should not limit US conduct 'even if certain interrogation methods being contemplated amounted to torture'.
    (August 1, 2002 | 6 pages |
  • Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 USC 2340-2340A
    Infamous memo from Jay S. Bybee to Alberto Gonzales stating that for an act to constitute torture it must produce pain equal to 'organ failure' or 'death'.
    (August 1, 2002 | 50 pages |
  • Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States
    In this memo to Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes II, John Yoo advised that criminal statutes banning torture and other forms of physical abuse "do not apply to properly-authorized interrogations of enemy combatants."
    (March 14, 2003 | 81 pages | ACLU)
  • Application of 18USC 2340-2340A to the Combined Use of Certain Techniques in the Interrogation of High Value al Qaeda Detainees
    OLC chief Steven Bradbury affirms to CIA Counsel John Rizzo that the full range of the CIA's "enhanced techniques"-- even when combined-- do not rise to the level of torture because when used "by adequately trained interrogators could not reasonably be considered specifically intended to cause severe physical or mental pain or suffering."
    (May 10, 2005 | 20 pages | ACLU)
  • Application of 18 USC 2340-2340A to Certain Techniques That May Be Used in the Interrogation of a High Value al Qaeda Detainee
    Memo from OLC chief Steven Bradbury to CIA Counsel John Rizzo instructing that nudity, "dietary manipulation" involving "minimum caloric intake at commercial weight-loss programs," facial and abdominal slapping, walling, stress positions, wall standing, cramped confinement, sleep deprivation and "no more than two sessions" of waterboarding in "any 24-hour period" do not violate the federal torture statute.
    (May 10, 2005 | 46 pages | ACLU)
  • Application of United States Obligations Under Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture to Certain Techniques that May Be Used in the Interrogation of High Value al Qaeda Deatainees
    Memo from OLC chief Steven Bradbury to CIA Counsel John Rizzo assuring that Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture-- holding signatories "to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture"-- does not apply to "enhanced" interrogations conducted by the CIA because they occur outside US jurisdiction. Even if the Article did apply, CIA methods must 'shock the conscience'-- a test dependent on 'context and circumstances'-- to be classified torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    (May 30, 2005 | 20 pages | ACLU)
  • DOJ Letter to Senator Wyden re 'Shocks the Conscience'
    Bush Administration DOJ explains to Senator Ron Wyden the legal loophole exploited to permit waterboarding, forced standing, and sleep deprivation. For an act to rise to the level of torture it must 'shock the conscience'-- a test dependent on 'context and circumstances'.
    (March 6, 2008 | 3 pages |
  • Status of Legal Discussions re: Application of Geneva Convention
    Outlines the official positions of CIA and Pentagon lawyers on Geneva applicability towards the Taliban and al Qaeda. Reveals that the CIA sought to 'circumscribe' a policy of humane detainee treatment 'so as to limit its application to the CIA'.
    (undated | 3 pages |

Guantanamo Documents

  • Declaration of Donald D Woolfolk
    Woolfolk, then Acting Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, explains in a deposition the importance of 'dependency and trust' for successful exploitation of detainees.
    (June 13, 2002 | 3 pages |
  • Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT) Standard Operating Procedures
    Three sets of BSCT operating procedures. Although heavily redacted, the unethical nature of the BSCT mission is still discernible from these documents.
    (November 11, 2002 | 18 pages |
  • Interrogation Log Detainee 063
    Incredible minute by minute account of the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani (Detainee 063). Describes an array of coercive SERE techniques.
    (November 22, 2002 | 83 pages |
  • Counter-Resistance Techniques Pentagon Approval
    Memos documenting the approval of an array of coercive interrogation techniques drawn from military Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) schools. The series ends with a hand-written comment by Donald Rumsfeld expressing dissatisfaction with the four-hour time limit on forced standing.
    (November 27, 2002 | 14 pages |
  • JTF GTMO 'SERE' Interrogation Standard Operating Procedure
    This crucial 2002 operating procedures manual outlines SERE techniques including "slaps," "forceful removal of detainees' clothing," "stress positions," "hooding," "manhandling," and "walling." The "premise" behind the document "is that the interrogation tactics used at US military SERE schools are appropriate for use in real-world interrogations. These tactics and techniques are used at SERE school to 'break' SERE detainees. The same tactics and techniques can be used to break real detainees during interrogation operations."
    (December 10, 2002 | 6 pages |
  • GTMO Matters
    Declassified email discussing the implementation of a 'SERE model of interrogation' at Guantanamo.
    (December 17, 2002 | 1 pages |
  • JTF GMTO "SERE" Interrogation SOP
    Heavily redacted memo discussing the implementation of a 'SERE interrogation' program at Guantanamo.
    (December 17, 2002 | 2 pages |
  • Possible Habeas Jurisdiction over Aliens Held in Guantanamo Bay
    Memo by John Yoo and Patrick F. Philbin describing why the Naval base at Guantanamo Bay would be an ideal location to keep detainees outside the reach of US courts.
    (December 28, 2002 | 9 pages |
  • JPRA Operational Issues Pertaining to the Use of Physical/Psychological Coercion in Interrogation
    The Joint Personnel Recovery Agency – the main agency overseeing SERE – worked with CIA and Pentagon to develop and propagate coercive methods after 9/11. While this memo cautions "the application of extreme physical and or psychological duress (torture) has some serious operational deficits, most notably, the potential to result in unreliable information", the memo adds: "This is not to say that the manipulation of the subject's environment in an effort to dislocate their expectations and induce emotional responses is not effective. On the contrary, systematic manipulation of the subject's environment is likely to result in a subject that can be exploited for intelligence information and other national strategic concerns."
    (July 2002 | 2 pages |
  • Coercive Management Techniques
    This chart-- adapted from a 1957 essay by Biderman detailing Communist methods of torture-- was used to teach Guantanamo interrogators methods designed to "elicit compliance from HUMINT sources by setting up the 'captive environment'". The chart was declassified as part of Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on US torture.
    (January 3, 2003 | 2 pages |
  • Fwd: Impersonating FBI at GTMO
    Declassified FBI email criticizing Pentagon's continued use of 'torture techniques' at Guantanamo.
    (December 5, 2003 | 1 page |
  • Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures 2003
    This procedures manual, initially obtained by wikileaks, outlines, among other items, a behavior management plan to "enhance and exploit the disorientation and disorganization felt by a newly arrived detainee". The plan lasts for 30 days (or at the discretion of interrogators) followed by at least another two weeks of limited contact. During the plan, the following conditions applied: No ICRC or Chaplain contact, No books or mail privileges, MREs for all meals, Basic comfort items only: (a) ISO Mat (b) One blanket (c) One towel (d) Toothpaste/finger toothbrush (e) One Styrofoam cup (f) Bar of soap (g) Camp Rules (h) No Koran, prayer beads, prayer cap.
    (March 28 2003 | 238 pages |
  • Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures 2004
    While much of the manual is unchanged (including the behavior management plan), the 2004 SOP makes small changes, including tighter restrictions against the Red Cross and chaplains, plus new rules based on previous incidents like: "Haircuts will never be used as punitive action against a detainee" and "Do not use [pepper spray] to respond to spitters, urinators or water throwers.”
    (March 1, 2004 | 237 pages |
  • Detainee Interviews (Abusive Interrogation Issues)
    Declassified FBI memo discussing the bureau's 'continued objections to the use of coercive SERE techniques to interrogate prisoners'.
    (May 6, 2004 | 1 page |
  • Suspected Mistreatment of Detainees
    Declassified FBI letter to Major General Donald Ryder describing various coercive SERE methods used at Gunatanamo by Pentagon interrogators.
    (July 14, 2004 | 3 pages |
  • Re: GTMO
    Declassified FBI email describing additional SERE interrogation methods used at Guantanamo.
    (August 2, 2004 | 1 page |
  • Summarized Witness Statement
    Statement detailing the arrival of 'SERE instructors to teach their techniques to the interrogators' at Guantanamo in late 2002.
    (March 29, 2005 | 2 pages |
  • Summary of Incident Involving Koran
    This one-page summary explains how the Initial Reaction Force "inadvertently" damaged a Koran while removing a detainee-- who received "lacerations to his lips and forehead" in the process.
    (July 1, 2005 | 1 page |
  • ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody
    In this confidential report to CIA counsel John Rizzo, after detailing interviews with 14 former CIA prisoners, the Red Cross concludes that "allegations of the fourteen include descriptions of treatment and interrogation techniques- singly or in combination- that amounted to torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment."
    (February 2007 | 41 pages |
  • Affidavit of Stephen Abrahams
    This affidavit by Abrams— the first former CSRT official to publicly criticize military tribunals at Guantanamo— was key in the landmark Boumediene v. Bush case granting Guantanamo inmates habeas rights.
    (November 9, 2007 | 18 pages |
  • Effectiveness of the Use of Certain Category II Counter-Resistance Strategies
    Heavily redacted memo justifying the use of various SERE 'counter-resistance' interrogation techniques at Guantanamo.
    (date redacted | 4 pages |

Iraq Documents

  • Interrogation 'Wish List' Request and Responses
    Email sent to Army interrogators soliciting ideas for new coercive interrogation techniques. Electrocution and various SERE techniques are suggested.
    (August 14, 2003 | 6 pages |
  • Assessment of DoD Counter-Terrorism Interrogation and Detention Operations
    Report by Major General Geoffrey Miller recommending various ways to increase the flow of 'actionable intelligence' from Iraqi captives in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, including implementation of BSCTs and charging military police with 'setting conditions' for interrogation.
    (September, 2003 | 13 pages |
  • CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy
    Three seperate directives issued by Commander Ricardo S. Sanchez within a four-week period authorizing a range of coercive SERE techniques for use on Geneva protected detainees.
    (September 10, 2003 | 3 pages |
  • Autopsy Examination Report
    Autopsy of Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush, murdered by US interrogators in Al Qaim, Iraq.
    (December 18, 2003 | 8 pages |
  • Sworn Statement of Ameen Sa'eed Al Shiekh
    Another deposition of an Abu Ghraib torture victim. Reflects usage of approved SERE techniques as authorized by Sanchez and outlined by Mobile Training Teams.
    (January 16, 2004 | 3 pages |
  • Translation of Statement Provided by Shalan Said Al Sharoni
    Deposition of an Abu Ghraib torture victim. Reflects usage of approved SERE techniques and medical complicity in torture at the prison.
    (January 17, 2004 | 2 pages |
  • Report of the ICRC on the Treatment...of POW and Other Protected Persons
    Leaked Red Cross report on conditions at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in late 2003. First report to outline torture documented in the Abu Ghraib photos.
    (February, 2004 | 24 pages |
  • Rebuttal to General Letter of Reprimand
    Letter penned by Army interrogator Lewis E. Welshofer, charged with murdering Mowhoush, defending the use of deadly SERE techniques.
    (February 11, 2004 | 3 pages |
  • Regarding Our Conversation
    Declassified email to Pentagon investigators outlining the techniques Military Training Teams brought to Abu Ghraib in October 2003.
    (June 21, 2004 | 1 page |
  • CID Investigation into Abuse at Camp Nama, Iraq by Task Force 6-26
    Includes statement of Nama torture victim and the final report of Pentagon officials charged with investigating the allegations. Investigation was stymied on many fronts, including Task Force members' involvement in a top secret Pentagon 'Special Access Program' (SAP).
    (August 5, 2004 | 8 pages |
  • Interrogation 'Wish List' Request and Responses
    In this section of the Senate report, the rendition and torture of America's first major al Qaeda catch is detailed. Under CIA supervision, Ibn al Shayhk al-Libi was beaten and stuffed into a box less than 20 inches high for over 17 hours. Under torture he claimed Saddam trained al Qaeda in 'poisons and gasses'-- a lie later repeated verbatim by Colin Powell in his pre-war speech to the UN.
    (September 8, 2006 | 9 pages |

Pentagon Policy

  • FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation - 1987
    Though it bans "the use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant treatment of any kind", the manual incorporates Project X-era SERE advice including: "The interrogator should appear to be the one who controls all aspects of the interrogation to include the lighting, heating, and configuration of the interrogation room, as well as the food, shelter, and clothing given to the source. The interrogator must always be in control, he must act quickly and firmly."
    (May 1987 | 178 pages |
  • FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation - 1992
    The 1992 version of interrogation field manual closely conformed to the rules outlined in the Geneva Conventions and deleted all mention of debility-dependency-dread SERE techniques, including references to controlling the lighting and heating and the quantity and quality of food, shelter and clothing given to subjects.
    (September 28 1992 | 177 pages |
  • Detainee Operations in a Joint Environment
    Among the many gems within this extensive Pentagon directive are instructions on preparing prisoners for rendition ["Detainees will be shackled (cuffed) to leg and wrist irons connected to belly irons and the aircraft"] and advice including: "In some areas of the world, the detainees’ own headgear can be used as an ideal hood device, i.e. turbans and/or burqas."
    (March 2004 | 207 pages |
  • Department of Defense DIRECTIVE 3115.09 - 2005
    This post-Abu Ghraib interrogation directive enacted modest reforms: banned dogs from interrogations, required Pentagon interrogators to be present during CIA or contractor interrogations of prisoners in DoD custody, and reiterated a prohibition on "acts of physical or mental torture". Also described the role of BSCTs as consultants "authorized to make psychological assessments of the character, personality, social interactions, and other behavioral characteristics of interrogation subjects, and to advise authorized personnel performing lawful interrogations regarding such assessments."
    (3 November 2005 | 11 pages |
  • FM 2-22.3 (FM 34-52) Human Intelligence Collector Operations
    The latest Army field manual on interrogations reverts back to methods referenced in the 1987 edition, and goes even further in its authorization of debility-dependency-dread techniques. Appendix M outlines "Separation"-- sensory deprivation methods employing "goggles or blindfolds and earmuffs" designed for "unlawful enemy combatants" to decrease "the detainee's resistance to interrogation", "prolong the shock of capture", and "foster a feeling of futility".
    (September 2006 | 384 pages |
  • Department of Defense DIRECTIVE 3115.09 - 2008
    First Pentagon interrogation directive to explicitly ban the use of SERE techniques. According to the directive: "Use of SERE techniques against a person in the custody or effective control of the Department of Defense or detained in a DoD facility is prohibited."
    (9 October 2008 | 21 pages |

Additional Inquiries

  • Church Report (pages 353-65)
    The 2004 Church Report, commissioned by Rumsfeld as a comprehensive review of 187 individual Pentagon abuse investigations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo, revealed multiple examples of medical complicity in torture and deaths in Abu Ghraib, Forward Operating Base Tiger, Nasiriyah, and elsewhere. Also details role of BSCT in stark terms: "they provide direct support to military operations. They do not function as mental health providers, and one of their core missions is to support interrogations."
    (2004 | 13 pages |
  • Opinion of the Law Lords of Appeal [2005] UKHL 71
    A finding by UK law lords that evidence potentially drawn from torture can not be used against defendants in the UK. As one of the lords concluded. To allow evidence from torture, said Lord Carswell would "involve the state in moral defilement".
    (December 2005 | 91 pages |
  • OIG Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse Abstract | Report
    The first Pentagon report to track the deep involvement of the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency in the planning, training and execution of SERE techniques in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan. Among other revelations, notes "TF-20 gave a verbal approval for the SERE team to actively participate in 'one or two demonstration' interrogations" on detainees-- an incident further explored by the Senate Armed Services Committee investigation.
    (August 2006 | 131 pages (Report) |
  • Educing Information: Interrogation: Science and Art
    This book-length report was authored by the Intelligence Science Board, an advisory panel to the US intelligence community, amid "concerns about recent US interrogation activities". One contributer concludes "the use of pain is counterproductive both in a tactical and strategic sense." Also includes a curious study into the KUBARK manual by Steven M. Kleinman.
    (December 2006 | 372 pages |
  • Secret Detentions and Illegal Transfers of Detainees involving Council of Europe Member States
    A rendition report by Swiss politician, Dick Marty, for the Council of Europe-- an organization which oversees the European Court of Human Rights. Marty uncovered black sites in Romania and Poland and concluded the CIA's rendition program gave "rise to repeated serious breaches of human rights".
    (June 2007 | 72 pages |
  • The US v David Mathew Hicks – Final Report of the Independent Observer
    A report by Australian Law Council's Lex Lasry, prominent Melbourne lawyer and Victoria Supreme Court Justice, into the case of former GTMO detainee David Hicks. Includes controversial plea bargain agreement engineered by then Prime Minister John Howard and Vice President Dick Cheney. Among other items, Hicks-- despite previous claims of torture-- agreed that "I have never been illegally treated by any person or persons while in the custody and control of the United States... I agree that this agreement puts to rest any claims of mistreatment by the United States".
    (July 2007 | 73 pages |
  • Intelligence and Security Committee’s Report on Rendition
    This UK report on rendition found, among other things, that US officials ignored UK protests over the renditions of Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna. "Although the US may take note of UK protests and concerns, it does not appear materially to affect their strategy; the rendition programme has revealed aspects of this usually close relationship that are surprising and concerning," the report found.
    (July 2007 | 80 pages |
  • The Removal of a Canadian Citizen to Syria
    Interesting-- though heavily redacted-- Department of Homeland Security OIG report into the rendition of Maher Arar. It notes: "The INS concluded that Arar was entitled to protection from torture and that returning him to Syria would more likely than not result in his torture. [redacted] However, the validity of the assurances to protect Arar appears not to have been examined."
    (March 2008 | 50 pages |
  • A Review of the FBI's Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq
    Among the revelations of this Justice Department report was the existence of an FBI "war crimes" file kept by bureau interrogators at Guantanamo Bay who disagreed with coercive CIA and Pentagon techniques. Initiated in 2002, the file was ordered shut by FBI higher-ups in 2003.
    (May 2008 | 438 pages |
  • SASC Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in US Custody Summary | Report | Tabs Part I  | Tabs Part II
    The first exhaustive investigation into US torture post-9/11 to be completed by the US government. This Senate Armed Services Committee Report found: "The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of 'a few bad apples' acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority." The report probes both CIA and Pentagon SERE technique training sessions by JPRA psychologists and staff, plus details a coercive interrogation session led by SERE staff in Iraq witnessed by Lt Col Kleinman. He noted "my two JPRA colleagues ... ripped his Abaya off- not cut - they ripped it off ... ripped off his underwear, took his shoes, they'd hooded him already, then they - they had shackled him by the wrist and ankles - being screamed at the entire time in his ear in English about essentially ... what a poor specimen of human that he was... And then the orders were given that he was to stand in that position for 12 hours no matter how much he asked for help, no matter how much he pleaded, unless he passed out, the guards were not to respond to any requests for help."
    (November 20, 2008 | 262 pages (Report) |