[Narrator] Guided by a legal opinion from John Yoo,
the Bush Administration began shipping some high-value detainees ...
to the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
[Rear Admiral John Hutson (Ret.), Former Judge Advocate General, 30 Years Military Experience] Initially I thought, "Good, safe place! Put them there, barbed wire all over."
Then it became apparent the reason we were doing it ...
was because we were going to argue that there's no law.
You know, Cuban law didn't apply.
U.S. law didn't apply. Well, that was a big step down the slippery slope.
The Government argues unpersuasively that abstention is appropriate under Councilman, which concluded that, as a matter of comity, federal courts should normally abstain from intervening in pending courts-martial against service members, see 420 U. S., at 740. Neither of the comity considerations Councilman identified weighs in favor of abstention here. First, the assertion that military discipline and, therefore, the Armed Forces’ efficient operation, are best served if the military justice system acts without regular interference from civilian courts, see id., at 752, is inapt because Hamdan is not a service member. Second, the view that federal courts should respect the balance Congress struck when it created “an integrated system of military courts and review procedures” is inapposite, since the tribunal convened to try Hamdan is not part of that integrated system. Rather than Councilman, the most relevant precedent is Ex parte Quirin, where the Court, far from abstaining pending the conclusion of ongoing military proceedings, expedited its review because of (1) the public importance of the questions raised, (2) the Court’s duty, in both peace and war, to preserve the constitutional safeguards of civil liberty, and (3) the public interest in a decision on those questions without delay, 317 U. S, at 19. The Government has identified no countervailing interest that would permit federal courts to depart from their general duty to exercise the jurisdiction Congress has conferred on them.
-- Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, decided by the United States Supreme Court on June 29, 2006
[John Yoo, Dept. of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel 2001-2003] I think what the policy makers are trying to do was to try and find a place ...
that was physically close to the United States so it can be well-protected ...
but still would benefit from the rule that the United States Military ...
has ultimate say and control over any prisoners held outside the country.
The appeals court relied on a statement in Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U. S. 763 , n. 14, suggesting that this Court lacked power even to consider the merits of a Convention argument because the political and military authorities had sole responsibility for observing and enforcing prisoners’ rights under the Convention. However, Eisentrager does not control here because, regardless of the nature of the rights conferred on Hamdan, cf. United States v. Rauscher, 119 U. S. 407, they are indisputably part of the law of war, see Hamdi, 542 U. S., at 520–521, compliance with which is the condition upon which UCMJ Art. 21 authority is granted.
-- Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, decided by the United States Supreme Court on June 29, 2006
["President" George W. Bush] One by one the terrorists are learning ...
the meaning of American "Justice."[STANDING OVATION FROM THE MOB CONGRESS]
[Narrator] In December, 2001,
a man named Mohamed al-Kahtani [Muhammed al-Qahtani] ...
was swept up in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo.
After eight months in detention, the Army "discovered" that he "may have" trained to be the 20th hijacker.
Suddenly, Kahtani became the most important detainee in Guantanamo.
[Brigadier General Jay Hood, Commander Joint Task Force, Guantanamo 2004-2006] Here we had a man who was supposed to have been on that plane that was flown into the Pennsylvania countryside. So I think there was a sense of urgency to find out what this guy knew in order to be able to prevent any future attacks.[Brigadier General Jay Hood, Commander Joint Task Force, Guantanamo 2004-2006]
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] He successfully resisted standard interrogation techniques at Guantanamo for eight months.[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"]
And he is the genesis for the request by the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo for more techniques that might be able to get past his resistance training.
[Narrator] In September 2002, John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales ...
traveled to Guantanamo.
Soon after their visit, and just before Dilawar's arrival at Bagram,
Donald Rumsfeld personally approved a new menu of psychological interrogation techniques for use on Mohamed al-Kahtani.
Exactly how the techniques would be applied was often left to the imagination of the interrogators.
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] It was California avocado freestyle ... I mean it was just a free for all (about the al-Qahtani interrogation).[Gita Gutierrez, Lawyer for Mohammed al-Qahtani]
[Gita Gutierrez, Lawyer for Mohammed al-Qahtani] His interrogations are well documented in a log, and from November, 2002 until early January, 2003, he was subjected to this regime.
It involved very severe sleep deprivation. He was only permitted to sleep 4 hours a day from 7:00 in the morning to 11:00 in the morning, and that lasted for 50 days with one exception. He was held in severe isolation and sensory deprivation.[LOG PAGE 23: DETAINEE WAS TOLD TO STAND AND LOUD MUSIC WAS PLAYED TO KEEP DETAINEE AWAKE]
[Use of 20 hour investigations]
[Deprivation of light and auditory stimuli]
[Inducing stress by use of detainee's fears (e.g., dogs)]
There are a number of instances in the log where you will see the phrase "invasion of space by a female." And that was actually an interrogation tactic designed to break his faith.[LOG PAGE 56: FEMALE INTERROGATOR USED INVASION OF PERSONAL SPACE AND DETAINEE CRIED OUT TO ALLAH]
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] The Interrogator approached Detainee from behind, and rubbed his back, whispered in his ear, and ran fingers through his hair. That was authorized under the utility technique.YOUR
[Gita Gutierrez, Lawyer for Mohammed al-Qahtani] He was subjected to what I would call "sexual assault" by female interrogators. [LOG PAGE 51: HE WAS LAID OUT ON THE FLOOR SO I STRADDLED HIM]
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] He was forced to wear women's lingerie. There were multiple allegations of homosexuality, and that his comrades were aware of that. He was forced to dance with a male interrogator. Subject to strip searches for control measures, not for security. [LOG PAGE 47: DOG TRICKS CONTINUED]
And he was forced to perform dog tricks.
All of this to lower his personal sense of worth.[LOG PAGE 47: TOLD DETAINEE THAT A DOG IS HELD IN HIGHER ESTEEM THAN HE IS]
[Gita Gutierrez, Lawyer for Mohammed al-Qahtani] They've tried to characterize it as individual interrogators pushing the envelope, or starting to get (quote) "creative."[LOG PAGE 35: SISSY SLAP GLOVE IS INFLATED AND PERIODICALLY TOUCHED TO DETAINEE'S FACE]
[LOG PAGE 17: DETAINEE GIVEN AN ENEMA]
[LOG PAGE 19: CONTROL BEGAN "BIRTHDAY PARTY" AND PLACED PARTY HAT ON DETAINEE]
[LOG PAGE 19: INTERROGATORS AND GUARDS SING "GOD BLESS AMERICA"]
[LOG PAGE 7: DETAINEE GIVEN THREE AND ONE-HALF BAGS IV]
[LOG PAGE 7: HE'S WILLING TO TALK SO HE CAN URINATE]
[LOG PAGE 7: HE WAS TOLD HE WILL NOT BE UNSTRAPPED]
[LOG PAGE 7: DETAINEE URINATED IN HIS PANTS]
[LOG PAGE 53: THE INTERROGATORS REMOVED THE BLANKET AND TURNED AIR CONDITIONER BACK UP]
[Gita Gutierrez, Lawyer for Mohammed al-Qahtani] The combination of his lack of food intake and forcible hydration led him at one point to actually his heart slowed down to 35 beats a minute, and he was rushed to the hospital to be revived.[LOG PAGE 27: DETAINEE'S PULSE UNUSUALLY SLOW -- 35 BPM]
[LOG PAGE 27: TAKE DETAINEE TO HOSPITAL TO PERFORM CT SCAN OF DETAINEE'S BRAIN]
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] Mohamed al-Kahtani, in many ways, that single interrogation, protected interrogation, contains within it, if you will, the entire genealogy, the entire history of CIA torture over the last 50 years.[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"]
The CIA launched a mind control project, a veritable Manhattan Project of the Mind, in the 1950s. In-house, the CIA worked on exotic techniques. Hypnosis.
And then they worked on sodium pentathol.
And then they worked on electro-shock.
And ultimately, they discovered LSD.
All of that broke stuff, in-house, went nowhere,
except to lawsuits. But what did work, was the CIA outsourced all the dull, behavioral research to the most brilliant behavioral scientists at the top universities in the United States and Canada.
[Narrator] At McGill, experiments by famed psychologist Donald O. Hebb caught the eye of CIA researchers.[McGill University, Quebec]
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] Dr. Hebb found that he could induce a state akin to acute psychosis in 48 hours.
All he did, he had student volunteers sit in a very pleasant air-conditioned cubicle with goggles, gloves and ear muffs.
Actually, you know what they looked just like?
The Guantanamo detainees!
If you see those outfits that the Guantanamo detainees have where they have the gloves and the goggles and the ear muffs? You know, everybody thinks that's security. No, no, no. That's sensory breakdown. Within a day there would be hallucinations. Within two days, breakdown.
[Dr. Donald O. Hebb, McGill University, Quebec] I began to think while we were doing our experiments that it is possible that something that involves physical discomfort or even pain might be more tolerable than simply the deprivation conditions that we studied.['Isolation' Tests at McGill Hold Brain-Washing Clues, by Brian Cahill, April 26, 1956 ... military and medical ... about the techniques ... brain-washing" and the effect ... on the human mind ... from experiments conducted at the department of psychiatry at McGill University, it ... yesterday ... Canadian Defence Research ... which sponsored the experiment has classified much of ... as secret. But it ... from testimony ... are a U.S. Congressional ... that the work at McGill ... work done in the ... can be completely ... can, no matter how ... official Ottawa was silent on the matter yesterday. But there was great interest in the testimony given before the U.S. Congressional committee by Dr. Robert H. Felix, director of the National Institutes of Health, and reported at length in the New York Times. Dr. Felix said that study of the work done at McGill and further work done by Dr. John Lilly of the University of Pennsylvania, showed that "isolation" -- cutting a person off from all outside stimuli -- was a potent "brainwashing" method. Dr. Felix said that the result of isolating a person in a dark ... "Once you have cut these (external stimuli) all off, and cut them off long enough that the person is so completely disoriented and disorganized, then if you feed back in information you want this person to have and this is the only information he gets, slowly or sometimes not so slowly, he begins to incorporate this into his thinking and it becomes like actual logical thinking because this is the only feed-in he gets," Dr. Felix said. "You can break down anybody with this. I don't care what their background is or how they have been indoctrinated. I am sure you can break down anybody with this," he declared. Dr. Felix was asked if, in view of this, it was fair to court-martial a soldier who had broken under ...]
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] The CIA was fascinated by this. They jumped on it immediately.
[Dr. Donald O. Hebb, McGill University, Quebec] I had no idea what a potentially vicious weapon this could be.
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] They identify two key techniques: They identified sensory disorientation, and they identified self-inflicted pain: standing. For days at a time while fluids flowed to the legs.
And they put them together in the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual
And they propagated it around the world and through the U.S. Intelligence community.
Think about what al-Kahtani was subjected to, okay?
First of all, he's in dark; he's in light.
He's in cold; he's in heat. What they are doing is they are attacking his universal sensory receptors.
They are also scrambling his time. So that's Phase One.
In Guantanamo under the regime of General Miller,
he turned Guantanamo into a veritable behavioral scientific laboratory.
And Donald Rumsfeld gave orders for techniques beyond the Field Manual.
And they percolated. And they percolated in an ambiguous way ...
that allowed people to kind of do what they thought needed to be done.
And they explore Arab male sensitivity to gender and sexual identity. So that's the thing about being homosexual. The underwear on the head. All that sort of stuff.
[Spc. Tony Lagouranis, Interrogator, Iraq] People were saying, "Arabs really are very sensitive to sexual humiliation." Well, who the hell isn't sensitive to sexual humiliation? You know, nobody wants to be stripped down naked and forced to masturbate with a hood over your head. It's ridiculous!
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] Then they created behavioral science consultation teams ...
where they had military psychologists integrate into the ongoing interrogation to discover individual fears and phobias.
And all of that was visited on al-Kahtani.
[Senator John McCain] You are aware of communications between General Miller and Secretary Rumsfeld specifically about this one prisoner?
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] To our knowledge there was a considerable amount of communication up and down the chain.
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] As you know, from General Schmidt's report, he concluded that these techniques individually did not constitute torture. But he said that the sum of these techniques ...
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] The cumulative effect of simultaneous applications of numerous, authorized techniques had abusive and degrading impact on the detainee.[U.S. ARMY DECLINED TO DISCIPLINE GEN. MILLER]
[Narrator] And he recommended that General Miller be disciplined.
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] But he said it did not constitute torture.
[Lt. General Randall M. Schmidt, Author of "Schmidt Report"] We made a distinction between what torture and inhumane treatment would be, given the general guidelines, and then what might be abusive and degrading. Something might be degrading, but not necessarily torture. And it may not be inhumane. It may be humiliating, but it may not be torture.
No torture, no physical pain injury. There was a safe, secure environment the entire time.
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] And that, of course, is the genius of the CIA's psychological paradigm.
Psychological torture is all a matter of definitions. And it's very slippery indeed.
[Senator] That sounds remarkably similar to what occurred at Abu Ghraib. People being led around in chains. People being forced to wear lingerie. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not.
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] If you look at those Abu Ghraib photographs, again, it's always the same techniques.
First of all, there's the sexual activity ...
with the woman's garments.
And the masturbation and all the rest. That's the cultural sensitivity.
They are short-shackled; they are long-shackled;
they are shackled upside-down.
These are stress positions.
The most famous of all Abu Ghraib photographs, of course, of that hooded Iraqi standing on a box, arms outstretched.
He's told if he steps off the box, if he moves, he'll be electrocuted. That's the point of the fake electrical wires.
So it's the absolute immobility for protracted periods.
And then with arms extended. As we would say to the viewers, "Don't try this at home."
But do try it! Just stand for ten minutes with your arms stretched out, not moving.
[Narrator] Carolyn Wood was an example of the way new techniques spread and mutated like a virus.
Long before Wood took charge of interrogation at Abu Ghraib,
her unit was involved with harsh techniques at Bagram, including stress positions, forced standing, and sleep deprivation.
[Tim Golden, New York Times Journalist] One of the memoranda shows that in early December, 2002, the interrogators at Bagram just looked on the Internet -- they are in touch with the guys at Guantanamo --
and they learned that these guys at Guantanamo had gotten new techniques from the Secretary of Defense, and they just started using them.
Even though the techniques had clearly been approved exclusively for use at Guantanamo.
[Professor Alfred McCoy, Author of "A Question of Torture"] When General Miller himself traveled from Guantanamo ...
to Iraq in August, 2003,
he brought with him a CD and a manual on the "advanced" techniques they had developed at Guantanamo.
And he gave them to General Sanchez's command.
So there are these multiple paths that you can trace whereby these interrogators' techniques go through this global migration,
through Afghanistan, to Iraq, from Guantanamo directly to Iraq.
And the net result is Abu Ghraib.
[Narrator] Well before the abuses at Abu Ghraib became public, government officials had been quietly raising concerns about harsh techniques in use at Guantanamo.
[Senator Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee] There were emails back to the Department of Justice from FBI personnel down at Guantanamo saying, "You won't believe what's going on down here. We've got to disassociate ourselves as FBI people from what is going on here in Guantanamo."
This email says "The DOD has their marching orders from the Secretary of Defense" --
"Marching orders from the Secretary of Defense!" -- to engage in practices which the FBI finds to be deeply offensive and dangerous."
But the emails are what is called "redacted",
which means that there's big holes in these emails.
Now some of these emails are totally redacted, so we don't know what they say at all.
That's an example of a lot of the documents that we got here. You know, you can't see anything on these documents. There's one after another where there's nothing.