Standard Operating Procedure, directed by Errol Morris

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Standard Operating Procedure, directed by Errol Morris

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 10:40 pm

Standard Operating Procedure
directed by Errol Morris
© 2008 Sony Pictures Classics, Inc. and Participant Productions, LLC.




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Re: Standard Operating Procedure, directed by Errol Morris

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 11:25 pm

Part 1 of 3

directed by Errol Morris

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] It was a Charlie Foxtrot, without a doubt. Without a doubt. I've never seen anything like it. I never thought that I would see American soldiers so depressed and morale so low and it was just unbelievable. Everything about it.

You gotta consider yourself dead, and if you come back, you're just a lucky bastard, you know. But if you're there, and you consider yourself already dead, you can do all the shit you have to do.

I wouldn't recommend a vacation to Iraq anytime soon.



production designer STEVE HARDIE
director of photography ROBERT CHAPPELL and ROBERT RICHARDSON, ASC
produced and directed by ERROL MORRIS

[JANIS KARPINSKI, BRIGADIER GENERAL, 800TH MP BRIGADE] When Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay were killed, there was a great deal of information seized.

This was a key operation. We no longer have to worry about Uday and Qusay but we need to use this information to find Saddam.

After that big event, the Secretary of Defense came to visit us.

He wanted to see the prison, he wanted to see the progress, and he wanted to, of course, every trip out there by anybody included a trip to the torture chambers and the hanging facility. So we scheduled different events.

The first stop was Saddam's hanging chambers.

We were preparing to continue his walking tour when he said, "No. I don't want to go anywhere else. ...

Let some soldiers come over here and we'll take some pictures.

I don't need to see anything else in the prison."

And then he left.

Enter General Miller, the guru of interrogation and obtaining actionable intelligence. And he arrives the day after Rumsfeld's visit. He was going to GTMO-ize the operation. Contract interrogators, military people that had experience in Afghanistan or down at Guantanamo Bay, they all arrived after Miller's visit. He gives an in-brief. He's not afraid to say, "You have to treat the prisoners like dogs. They have to know that you are in control."

Cell Block 1A transfers to the control of the Military Intelligence Brigade Commander, Colonel Pappas. Cell Block 1B several days later, under the control of Col. Pappas and away from me.

They are going to use those cells exclusively for higher value security detainees.

Abu Ghraib was becoming exactly what General Miller said he wanted to make it, the Interrogation Center of Iraq.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] October 1st, 2003: First day at the prison. It's 9:00 p.m. and we can hear shots.

No white lights are allowed to be on at night. No leaving the building after dark. I hope we aint here long. We drove in and two helicopters were landing, taking prisoners off.

I was scared of helicopters because of the dream.

The tail was swaying back and forth, and a huge flame shot out and it exploded.

I have a bad feeling about this place. The prison is called Abu Ghraib. 30,000 people were murdered here.

There is a chamber where these men were hung. I'm not sure about ghosts, but it is freaky. I'm hoping to be home for Christmas or soon after. I love you. Sabrina.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] Coming up the road, we see this huge structure. It was like six football fields. Then we seen a sign saying like "Fallujah" right there, next town over, and we were like, "We're right in the heart of it right now."

We get inside there's nothing but rubble, blown up buildings from shelling, dogs running all over the place, burnt remains.

The stench was unbearable.

Urine, feces, body rot, it was just disgusting. You didn't want to touch anything.

And then we had to move in to prison cells ourselves.

We were walking around in the compound, the next thing you know, "Shoooo, Booom!" "Incoming." Everyone's yelling "Incoming." Like "Boom!" "Incoming, incoming." You gotta run, "Thoonk! Kooo! Boom! Boom, boom, boom, boom!"

Goddamn, you get mad, because it happens over and over and over and over and over again. After a while the fear goes away and you get angry. It's like, "Damn it, can we shoot back?" One pierced the roof of the prison, right to the floor, but it didn't explode.

"Poom! Ting, ting, ting!" Land on floor. So they're like, "Holy crap!" But they didn't say, "Holy crap." You know what they said.

When you walk from the main portion of the prison and you get to 1A, 1B, they already had intelligence detainees down there.

That's when I saw the nakedness. I'm like, "Hey, Sarge, why is everyone naked?" "Hey, that's MI, that's what MI does, that's the MI thing. I don't know." "Why do these guys have on women's panties?" He was like, "It was to break 'em."

The guys are naked, the guys are in women's panties, guys handcuffed in stress positions, you know, in isolation cells, no lights, no windows. You open a door, turn the light on, "Oh, my God! Allah!" Click. Turn the light off. Close the door. It was like, "Whoa, what is that?" He was like, "That is military intelligence, you know, just stay out of their way." And from then on, I'm like, "Something's not right here."

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] I was working in Operations. Some nights I would get off work at 10:00. Some nights I'd be working all night. It depends on how many prisoners we got in. Sometimes we'd get up to 200 that evening, and I'd be there until 6:00 the next morning, and then I had guard duty at 6:00 a.m., and then get off guard duty, get a couple of hours sleep, and then go back to work.

Usually I would go over to the Hard Site after my work day ended.

You know, it would just be Megan and Graner and Freddie maybe up in the office watching a movie on his laptop.

Some nights I would go up there and there would be different people in stress positions here and there, and got 'em up there on boxes doing squats, or running up and down the tier or something. We thought it was unusual and weird and wrong but when we first got there, the example was already set. That's what we saw. I mean, it was okay!

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] The first thing that I noticed was this guy, he had underwear on his head. And he was handcuffed backwards to a window. And they were pretty much asking him questions, and that's the first time I started taking photos.

I wrote a letter home to Kelly who was my wife.

October 20, 2003: I can't get it out of my head.

I walk downstairs to find "The Taxi Cab driver" handcuffed backwards, naked, with his underwear over his head and face.

He looked like Jesus Christ. At first I had to laugh, so I went and grabbed the camera and took a picture.

One of the guys took my asp and started poking at his dick. Okay, that's funny. Then it hit me.

That's a form of molestation.

I took more pictures now to "record" what's going on.

Not many people know this shit goes on.

The only reason I wanted to be there was to get the pictures to prove that the U.S. is not what they think.

But I don't know if I can take it mentally. What if it were me in their shoes?

I thought I could handle anything.

I was wrong.

If I come up to you and I'm like, "Hey, this is going on," you probably wouldn't believe me unless I had something to show you.

So if I say, "Hey, this is going on. Look, I have proof," you can't deny it.

[JEFFREY FROST, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Gus was the prisoner with the leash. We thought he was maybe part of the Iraqi Army because he was always like, "Saddam is going to come back and kill all of you. I hate you." And all of this stuff. He had all of this anger.

And so we thought he was someone maybe pretty important. And then we found out the history of his arrest and why he was there. And he had gotten drunk and beat someone up. He was just a regular prisoner like we would find at one of our county jails or something.

Once he came over to the Hard Site he stopped eating. And we had to pump him five to eight IVs a day, or bags of IV fluid a day just to keep him alive.

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Gus was being verbally threatening and not following any directions. Graner put the leash on him and then he crawled out on his own after that. And then he handed the leash to Lynndie, and that's when he took the pictures. And then the guy got up on his own after that.

Well, they were trying to say that she was dragging him, which never occurred. I was there and I know it didn't happen. It may have been unorthodox, but he came out of the cell and he didn't hurt anybody, and he didn't get hurt.

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] Graner had the camera in his cargo pocket, and he asked me and Ambuhl to come downstairs with him. When he opened the door, Gus was in there. He was naked. He didn't want to stand up. So that's why he brought the tie-down strap. So he put it around his neck so he's going to make him crawl out. And I guess when he got about half way out of the door, Graner told me to hold on to the tie-down strap. So I did. I just grabbed it. You can see the slack on it.

People say that I dragged him, but I never did.

Graner took three pictures back to back.

You can see Megan on the side, standing.

He would have never had me standing next to Gus if the camera wasn't there. For a 95-100 pound female, short female at that, holding the strap that's attached to his neck, I'm dominating him. Maybe that's what Graner was going for. Maybe it was for documentation, maybe it was for his own amusement. I don't know. I don't know what was going through his head. But he took it.


In all the years as a cop, I'd say over half of all my cases were solved because the criminal did something stupid. Taking photographs of these things is that one something stupid.

They gave me 12 CDs and said there is thousands of pictures from Abu Ghraib, we want you to find all of them that depict possible prisoner abuse or people that were in the area at the time the abuse was occurring. And we need to know exactly when the pictures were taken. The pictures spoke a thousand words but unless you know what day and time they're talking you wouldn't know what the story was.

I startled lining pictures up based on subject matter, put these on a timeline so that the jury could see when did the incident begin and when did it end, and how much time lapsed inbetween these photographs.

How much actual effort did these people put into what they were doing to the prisoners.

Who else was there in the room at the time that it occurred. How could all of this go on without anybody noticing it?

When you look at this whole case as one great big media event, you kind of lose focus.

These pictures actually depict several separate incidents of possible abuse, or possible standard operating procedure.

All you can do is recite what you know, what to be factual. You can't bring in emotion or politics to the court.

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] When I was in the brig, every single woman there was in that brig because of a man. Different reasons, yes, but it was because of a man. And when you join the Military, no matter what anybody says, it's a man's world.

You either have to equal a man or be controlled by man.

If you want to be their equal, you gotta be strong. They're going to try and control you. You need to step up and show them who's boss: "I'm not going to take that. I'm not going to let you power me, you know, control me because I'm a woman and you're a man. It's not going to happen." Even though it's the military.

I mean, hell, if you're in the military you've got a gun. Use it. If I would have thought about it then, by God, I would have. But I was blinded by being in love with a man.

Graner, he's really charming. If you didn't know him, and you just meet him, you'd be drawn into him.

In a crowded room, he'd be the one to look at. He would draw the attention.

If the attention isn't all on him, he'll get it there. That's what he does. He thrives on it. If you're not paying attention to him, he'll make comments about you, and this and that, you know. Whatever you want to hear, he'll say it. And he knew. He knew. And I was what, 20 years old when I met him. He was 34. He had 14 years more experience than I did. So, he knew what to say, what to do.

And I was dumb enough to fall for it.

I should have listened.

Everyone tried to tell me, "He's too old for you."

"He's a bad guy."

But I didn't believe them.

Because I believed him.

For some reason. I can't figure it out now.

[JANIS KARPINSKI, BRIGADIER GENERAL, 800TH MP BRIGADE] The population was just simply growing, but nobody really had a plan on how you release a formerly known as suspected terrorist or an associate of a terrorist. General Wodjacowski told me after the first intake of prisoners that this was going to go on for several weeks and at the end of it we might have 1,500 or more security detainees that we would be responsible for. And I said, "Don't you think you should have shared that information with me, sir? You know, I mean we don't have any resources to provide for the 200 prisoners in the cells out at Abu Ghraib, and now you're going to give us 1,500 more. What's the release procedures?"

He said, "You are not to release anybody. Do you understand me? If any one of these prisoners gets released or ends up out on the street, I'm coming after you."

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] They would go out in the middle of the night and sweep up every single fighting age male and lock 'em all up. That's why you hear the stories about sons and fathers and, you know, nephews all getting locked up. That's what they would do. Imagine someone coming to your town and taking all the men in it. They would come in like on cattle trucks. It was like cattle. I mean, you come to the back door, I mean, you hear banging on the door, you know, "Bang, bang, bang." Take them a deuce-and-a-half truck full of scared individuals coming to jail, like "They come get me in the middle of the night! Mr.! Mr.! What? Am I in trouble? What did I do? I'm not terrorist."

You know, there's like taxi cab drivers, and welders, and like bakers. And they're at Abu Ghraib. We had kids. If we can't get the insurgent leader, we took their kid. "Akbar, I have your son. Your son is in jail. Turn yourself in and we'll let your son go."

I call that kidnapping.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] It got filled up so fast that we couldn't take the children out anymore, and they had to stay in their cells. You feel bad for them holding a child for no reason, just because of who your father was. You can only make their stay a little bit acceptable, I guess. You give them all the candy from the MREs to make their time go by better, I guess. But there's only so much you can do, so much you could feel.

The lights went out in the prison, so here we are in the dark.

I hear Misses! Misses! I go downstairs and flash my light on a 16 year old sitting down smacking ants.

Now these ants are Iraqi ants. Large. So large they could carry the family dog while giving you the finger.

All the ants in the prison came to this one boy's cell and decided to take over. All I could do was spray Lysol.

The ants laughed at me and kept going.

So here we were in the dark with one small flashlight beating ants with our shoes.

So that was the start of my shift.

And then stripping "The Fucked up" prisoners and handcuffing them to the bars.

I get to laugh at them and throw corn at them.

I kind of feel bad for these guys even if they are accused of killing U.S. soldiers.

We degrade them but we don't hit them, and that's a plus.

They sleep one hour, stay up for one hour, then sleep one hour.

This goes on for 72 hours while we fuck with them.

Most have been so scared they piss on themselves.

It's sad.

Pictures were taken. You have to see them.

A sandbag was put over their heads while it was soaked in hot sauce.

Okay, that's bad, but these guys have info.

We are trying to get them to talk.

That's all.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] The big word that always comes up for me is "surreal." Everything that you saw, everything that was going on ... a bunch of unprofessional schmucks that didn't know their damn job all thrown together, mixed up with a big-ass stick, and what you get out of it is the shit you see on the news from Abu Ghraib. It's disgusting. It pisses me off. Because the whole time we're screwing around, and not doing the damn job, Americans are dying.

Abu G had been hit by a mortar barrage, killed two Americans and wounded about 16. We went to do an interrogation on The Wolf cell leader of that group of people that mortared the prison. There were two female specialists. One was an interrogator, one was an analyst.

They took all of his clothes off and got him totally naked, which we weren't supposed to do.

When we got done with the interrogation I'm like, "So what's the scoop with the guy being naked? I mean, what's going on?" I'm trying to think how they put it. Their position on the females, their subservient role in their culture and trying to break that down so they will cooperate with the female interrogator they interrogate him nude. I went back and I asked my section sergeant and he's like, "Yeah, we're not really supposed to do that but we let the females do some things like that, you know, to get over the Arab culture thing." And I'm like, "You just said we weren't supposed to be doing that." And he's like, "Well, they're allowed to do it, but you can't do it." And I said, "Okay, what am I supposed to do?" And he's like, "Well, you know, if I was you I wouldn't be around that kind of stuff."

25 Oct 2003, 1700

request everything to be in writing

[KEN DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] It's not like they were trying to hide anything. And that's what stands out to me. Because if you know you're doing something wrong, dead wrong, you're going to hide it. You're going to do your best to conceal it so that people who know better don't see it. As I walk in, here's a guy in his black P.T. shorts and T-shirt and shower shoes, and there's another guy off just with his pants and his shirt. Each one had a naked detainee Someone says, "We're MI, we know what we're doing." And I'm like, "Okay." You know, because I had no idea, they're not wearing rank, I don't know what rank these people are.

Then they'll put their handcuffs above their heads and stretch them out that way, and stretch them out long, and then they started handcuffing them together. And the whole time they're yelling "Confess! Confess! Confess! You know you did it! Tell us what you did! Confess!" Then they start handcuffing them into what seem to be simulated sexual positions.

And I'm just like, I thought I had missed something. Come to find out, what's going on is these guys were accused of raping a teenager inside the jail. No military intelligence value Cruz is yelling at him, "Get undressed! Get undressed!" Then the guy's like "No, mister, no!" So after they're undressed they throw water down on the floor and they make them low-crawl, make him try to drag his genitals onto the concrete.

And I'm like, "What is going on here?" I said, "Is this the way you all interrogate people?" And he goes, "There's lots of different ways we interrogate people. So I said, "I had enough." And I left.

The next morning, the lieutenant's right out back and I said, "Sir, Military Intelligence over at the Hard Site, they are doing some pretty weird things with those detainees." He told me I had no business being over there. And he also told me, "Stay out of MI's way and let them do their job."

[ROMAN KROL, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE INTERROGATOR] Okay, on the right, in black trunks, is Cruz.

Right next to him, myself. To the left, against the wall, Graner, and we're looking at the two detainees handcuffed on the floor.

I can't see anything else, actually.

It was never intended as interrogation.

The yelling was just for show, I believe.

To show the spectators this would be done to anybody who breaks the rules.

Abu Ghraib was mortared almost every day. Our people were dying there, so my frustration level was really high, and when I heard about the detainees that raped the little boy, I just completely went nuts.

Right before I left I was so pissed off that I had a bottle of water, and I splashed some of them just to show, pretty much, my hate.

At one point there was a nerf ball brought in. Everybody was throwing to each other, playing catch.

Here, I'm going to get it.

Once I threw the ball, it hit one of them in the leg, actually. It's a nerf ball, so it can't bring any pain anyway.

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] Graner wanted me to take some pictures. He didn't tell me which ones to take or not to take so I was just walking around and I'd just take one, you know. M.I. came in and they got involved. They wanted to mess with them too. They didn't like it that they were raping a 15-year-old boy. They were roughing them up, having them run up and down the tier, crawl, run into walls, stuff like that. And then they handcuffed them together.

That's Graner with his hands on his hips and gloves on his hands.

The two guys in the background are the M.I. guys. They didn't want to be in the pictures.

They were mad but I was like, "Well, hey, you know, tell me, whatever. I'm just taking pictures."

[ROMAN KROL, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE INTERROGATOR] I'm not even going to comment on the picture-taking because the whole time I was there I didn't see any pictures being taken. Even though I was in a few of them, I didn't see a flash or anything because if I did, I would have said something to these guys.

First of all, there's a big sign "No Photography" and besides, photographing something like that is just stupid. I received a 10-month sentence, demotion to E-1 and bad-conduct discharge.

I was more humiliated by that sentence than actually punished. Eight months in jail for pouring water on somebody, throwing a nerf ball at somebody.

That's humiliating. People laugh at that.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] So I go back home to my prison cell, and I've got one of the TERPS, interpreter, sitting outside waiting on me.

And he's like "Mr. Dugan I'm so pissed. I'm just so pissed. I'm pissed off. The General that you guys did, he wanted to tell us where Ezai was." "Well, that's great." And he's like, "No, the interrogator wouldn't ask him where Ezai was." He's the vice-president of Iraq, Saddam's no. 2 guy. Ten times the General said, "I'll tell you where Ezai is." And then he never asked the question.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] He was standing just in front of his cell at attention. I mean, he wasn't handcuffed or anything. He was like a grandfather. Very respectful. They shaved his eyebrows for some reason and he was so upset. And I told him not to worry, that it made him look younger. I just felt really bad for the guy.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] Four days later we were going to do him, and the army kid takes off the sandbag and the dude looks like Yoda. I mean, he's got no eyebrows; he's got no hair. I'm like "Who the hell is that?" And he's like, "Mr. Frickin' General." And I'm like "Bullshit!" I thought he was playing a joke on me. "Damn it, I don't want this bullshit, I want to do this guy and I want to get this stuff," and he's like "This is the frickin' General! I'm not kidding you!" I never got him. That General wouldn't say nothing else about him. He had a serious resolve that he wasn't going to cooperate anymore.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] We got promoted from babysitters to condition setters. We got implemented into the plan. The Military Intelligence people would come up there and say, "Hey, play music at this time. Play it loud and if you got to, take the megaphone and stick it right in front of the door and turn it all the way up so the guy can't pray, he can't sleep, totally disorient him." So I played this song called "Hip hop hooray" over and over and over again. So "Hip hop hooray, ho!" That's what it sound like. After a while the Iraqis were saying, "Hey! Ho!" This is not working. So I changed it, and I put on heavy metal music. I put on Metallica. Like, "Enter the Sandman." It's a very loud song. Then they were screaming like "Ah, I don't like it!" But after a while they were numb to that. I guess they were so deaf from the guitar that they were able to sleep. Uh, go figure.

I put on country music. That worked. They couldn't stand it. Like, "Oh, my God! Allah, Allah! Cut it off!" By the time the interrogators would come to take them out of their cells, they were more than ready to go. Like, "Please take me."

[JEFFREY FROST, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Sometimes M.I. would come in, say, "Hey, we're going to interrogate this guy today. Get him out and you can start soften him up a little bit. Scream at him; yell at him; make him do P.T.; handcuff him in an awkward position for a while.

Completely strip him and have a female do it, because that would embarrass the person or humiliate them even more."

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] We didn't kill 'em. We didn't cut their heads off. We didn't shoot 'em. We didn't cut 'em and let them bleed to death.

Advantageous Comparison

Advantageous comparison is another way of making harmful conduct look good. How behavior is viewed is colored by what it is compared against. By exploiting the contrast principle, reprehensible acts can be made righteous. Terrorists see their behavior as acts of selfless martyrdom by comparing them with widespread cruelties inflicted on the people with whom they identify. The more flagrant the contrasting inhumanities, the more likely it is that one’s own destructive conduct will appear benevolent. For example, the massive destruction in Vietnam was minimized by portraying the American military intervention as saving the populous from Communist enslavement."

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

We just did what we were told to soften 'em up for interrogation. And we were told do anything short of killing them. We'd make them stand in awkward positions for hours at a time to stress 'em out and to strain 'em. And we would have them crawl up and down the tier. We'd pour cold water on 'em.

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Point at him and laugh at him while he was in the shower naked. Shower him with all his clothes on. Cut off all of his clothes with a knife. Burn him with a cigarette. We'd just do what they wanted us to do. If they want us to P.T. the guy, that's what we do. If they want us to keep him up, that's what we do. They say, "I want him to be awake." They say, "He's dirty, I want him to shower a lot."

Displacement of Responsibility

Moral control operates most strongly when people acknowledge that they cause harm by their detrimental actions. The second set of disengagement practices operates by obscuring, or minimizing the agentive role in the harm one causes. People will behave in ways they normally repudiate if a legitimate authority accepts responsibility for the effects of their conduct (Diener, 1977; Milgram, 1974). Under displaced responsibility, they view their actions as stemming from the dictates of authorities rather than being personally responsible for them. Because they are not the actual agent of their actions, they are spared self-condemning reactions.

Self-exemption from gross inhumanities by displacement of responsibility is most gruesomely revealed in socially sanctioned mass executions. Nazi prison commandants and their staffs divested themselves of personal responsibility for their unprecedented inhumanities (Andrus, 1969). They claimed they were simply carrying out orders. Self-exonerating obedience to horrific orders is similarly evident in military atrocities, such as the My Lai massacre (Kelman & Hamilton, 1989).

In psychological studies of disengagement of moral control by displacement of responsibility, authorities explicitly authorize injurious actions and hold themselves responsible for the harm caused by their followers. For example, Milgram (1974) got people to escalate their level of aggression by commanding them to do so and telling them that he took full responsibility for the consequences of their actions. As shown in Figure 2, the greater the legitimacy and closeness of the authority issuing injurious commands, the higher the level of obedient aggression.

The sanctioning of harmful conduct in everyday life differs in two important ways from the direct authorizing system examined by Milgram. Responsibility is rarely assumed that openly. Only obtuse authorities would leave themselves accusable of authorizing harmful acts. They usually invite and support harmful conduct in insidious ways for personal and social reasons. Through surreptitious sanctioning practices they can shield themselves from social condemnation should the courses of action go awry. They also have to live with themselves. Sanctioning by indirection enables them to protect against loss of self-respect for authorizing human cruelty."

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

Q. Did any of this seem weird?

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Not when you take into account that we're being told that that's helping to save lives, and you see that people are coming in from right outside the wire with their body parts missing, and they need to know who's doing it so they can stop it. And these are your battle buddies.

Exonerating Comparison

Exonerating comparison relies heavily on moral justification by utilitarian standards. The task of making violence morally acceptable from a utilitarian perspective is facilitated by two sets of judgments. First, nonviolent options are judged to be ineffective to achieve desired changes, thus removing them from consideration. Second, utilitarian analyses using advantageous comparisons with actual or anticipated threats by one’s adversaries affirm that one’s injurious actions will prevent more human suffering than they cause. The utilitarian cost-benefit calculus, however, can be quite slippery in specific applications. The future contains many uncertainties and ambiguities. Human predictive judgment is, therefore, subject to a lot of biases (Nisbett & Ross, 1980). As a result, calculations of long-term human costs and benefits are often suspect. There is much subjectivity in estimating the gravity of potential threats. Moreover, violence is often used as a weapon against small threats on the grounds that they will escalate and spread to where they will take a heavy toll on human suffering if left unchecked. The frequently invoked “domino effect” reflects this type of escalative projection error concerning the likely course of events. Judgment of gravity justifies choice of options. But preference for violent options often biases judgment of gravity.

Assessments of conflictful realities and the best means to deal with them can be flawed by biasing social processes as well as by inferential errors from uncertain information. The information on which judgments are made may be tainted by the policy biases of those gathering and interpreting it (March, 1982). The use of superficial similarities in the framing of issues can distort judgment of the justification of violent means (Gilovich, 1981). For example, in judging how the United States should respond to a totalitarian threat toward a small nation by another country, people advocated a more interventionist course of action when the international crisis was likened to another Munich, representing political appeasement to Nazi Germany, than when it was likened to another Vietnam, representing a disastrous military entanglement. "

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Gilligan was the one on the box with the wires. He was accused of killing two CID agents.

It was his box. He had to hold it. He had to stand on it. It was cold so he had a blanket on.

I mean, he was never physically ever touched that I saw. He was just very, very tired.

He kept giving us different names so Graner nicknamed him "Gilligan."

When I got there, he was in the shower. There was wires on his fingers and he was told he would be electrocuted if he fell off.

There was no electricity going through the wires, and to say, "Hey, if you fall off you're going to be electrocuted," I mean, that would keep anybody awake. So it was part of the sleep plan. We had to keep him awake.

Euphemistic Labeling

Language shapes thought patterns on which actions are based. Activities can take on very different appearances depending on what they are called. Not surprisingly, euphemistic language is widely used to make harmful conduct respectable and to reduce personal responsibility for it. Euphemizing is an injurious weapon. People behave much more cruelly when assaultive actions are verbally sanitized than when they are called aggression (Diener, Dineen, Endresen, Beaman, & Fraser, 1975).

In an insightful analysis of the language of nonresponsibility, Gambino (1973) identified the different varieties of euphemisms. One form relies on sanitizing language. By camouflaging pernicious activities in innocent or sanitizing parlance the activities loose much of their repugnancy. Soldiers “waste” people rather than kill them. Bombing missions are described as “servicing the target,” in the likeness of a public utility. The attacks become “clean, surgical strikes,” arousing imagery of curative activities. The civilians the bombs kill are linguistically converted to “collateral damage.” In an effort to sanitize state executions, a United States senator proclaimed that, “Capital punishment is our society’s recognition of the sanctity of human life.” This memorable verbal sanitization won him the uncoveted third-place award in the national Doublespeak competition.

Sanitizing euphemisms are also used extensively in unpleasant activities that people do from time to time. In the language of some government agencies, people are not fired, they are given a “career alternative enhancement,” as though they were receiving a promotion. Being disfellowshipped is getting one’s self fired by the Baptists. In the Watergate hearings, lies became “a different version of the facts.” An “involuntary conversion of a 727” is a plain old airplane crash. The television industry produces and markets some of the most brutal forms of human cruelty under the sanitized labels of “action and adventure” programming. The acid rain that is killing our lakes and forests is merely, “atmospheric deposition of anthropogenically derived substances.” The nuclear power industry has created its own specialized set of euphemisms for the injurious effects of nuclear mishaps. An explosion becomes an “energetic disassembly.” And a reactor accident is a “normal aberration.”

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

It would have been meaner if there was electricity and he could really be electrocuted. It was just words.

The wires were taken off after photos were taken.

You'll see Sergeant Frederick in it. That's the one I took.

And the one outside the shower looking in. I took that one.

He became one of our workers, so he was allowed out like every day. He was like, it was kind of fun. But I think it was proven he was innocent.

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] We'd give him an extra meal for helping out, cigarettes, that kind of stuff. He was about 25 -- 24, 25. Young guy.

Pretty decent.
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Re: Standard Operating Procedure, directed by Errol Morris

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 11:26 pm

Part 2 of 3

[BRENT PACK, ARMY SPECIAL AGENT, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION] Each of the pictures had file time stamps, but they were all off, anywhere from a year plus to a couple of hours. And every time they got copied to a CD from one computer to another, the times would change based on that computer's time setting.

But the one time setting that did stay constant is what we call metadata. Metadata's a big $2 word for information about information.

Pictures have information inside the file that tells you about when that file was created, what software created it, exposure settings and the date and time that the camera thought it was when it took the picture.

I was really elated to see that the metadata was still intact. The three main cameras belong to Graner, Harman and Frederick. Graner's camera, the Sony FD Mavica, that took most of the pictures.

There was a Sony Cybershot that I believe belonged to Harman and the Deluxe Classic Cam which belonged to Frederick.

I then realized that these people were taking pictures of the exact same incident almost at the exact same time. I found a total of eight separate time synch incidents where I could say, "This camera thought it was this time, this camera thought it was that time."

Once I was able to adjust it, all of the pictures seemed to line up.

There was a guard log where they recorded incidents that occurred at the jail. It actually confirmed that the timeline was accurate.

Sabrina Harman's camera thought it was 2002. I had to adjust her camera one year, nine months, 11 hours, 29 minutes. Fredericks and Graner's were only seven or eight hours off.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] Nobody really got any intelligence there. Very few of us. Most of our interrogators were 18-year-old kids that are reservists. And if you think about it, you got a 45 to a 65-year-old one, two, three or four-star general that you're going to be talking to. And you're 18 years old, just got out of high school, joined the army, and went through interrogator school. What the hell you going to ask that 55-year-old general that's seen the world and done everything and been everywhere? You know, these kids are intimidated as hell. And the generals and the colonels and these older guys know it and it's like, they laugh at them.

So I'm working this guy and not getting crap out of him. His brother was also captured with him.

So I went into the hallway and decided I would see what was going on with his brother. There are six interrogation booths and each one has a two-way mirror so you can view what's going on with the interrogation.

We got an army female and an army male playing grab-ass, and not asking the detainee questions.

There was a guy coming on to a girl and the girl being receptive when they're supposed to be interrogating this schmuck. And I said, "Hey, why don't we like switch guys." So, this new detainee's in my booth and I says, "Listen, I've been sitting here for two hours, and I've actually been sitting here for two days because I was standing outside the two-way mirror watching you with the other guys. Okay, I know you know all kinds of crap. And I know that you're pulling a lot of bullshit on these army kids."

I said, "I'm not going to put up with your bullshit. Okay? It takes me three minutes and 47 seconds to smoke this cigarette. I'm going to go outside, I'm going to smoke this cigarette, and when I come back in, you're going to tell me every damn thing I want to know. Do you understand me?" I said, "Do I look like I'm in the frickin' army to you?

And I put my fist through the plastic table and I went outside to smoke my cigarette. And after about a minute and a half, there was crying and yelling coming out of my booth and my TERP was standing there at the doorway and he's like "You scared the shit out of this guy. He don't know what you're going to do. He'll tell you anything you want. I mean, whatever you want to talk about."

So I walked back in there real calm and sat down in the corner and I said, "So, what's your decision?"

[JANIS KARPINSKI, BRIGADIER GENERAL, 800TH MP BRIGADE] My prisons were spread all over the place. So I was on the road quite a bit.

One time I arrived out at Abu Ghraib and Lieutenant Woods said to me, "Oh, ma'am, we have an interrogation going on. Would you like to come over and see it?" She took me over there and we stood in the hallway and I observed it, and it looked perfectly normal.

I've wondered many times if they didn't take me in there specifically so I would be able to say, "Yes, I saw an interrogation and yes, it looked perfectly normal."

[JEFFREY FROST, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] It's kind of funny how when, say, General Karpinski or some other bigshot would come look at the prison we'd have, you know, a dog and pony show. And everybody would get their mattresses back, everybody would get their clothes back, and then as soon as the people left, whoever was deprived of certain things got deprived of it again. That just seemed normal to deprive them of something if they're not cooperating with you.


FBI. Tax Force 121. The Other Government Agencies. That's what we called it: OGA. They had no rules.

We called them "The Ghosts," because they come in and you don't know who they are.

Whoever their prisoners were, you never logged in. "How's it going there, soldier? You know, here's this guy, don't log him in the book. He's not here, hasn't been here; just put him in a cell in there, and, you know, don't mark it. When the Red Cross comes here, move him to another place. When the Red Cross goes to that other place, move him back to where they were. You know, because they don't exist here." "I'm used to being out on the road, you know, hey Soldiers, go do this." "Right to that, Sergeant. Airborne." "See you later. We're done." But now we're part of this big, high-profile operation. You know, we're getting like the deck-of-card guys, the guys who were on the deck-of-cards. We're getting them. Like, "Whoa. We have a big job! Wow! We've got to guard these guys now?"

That's when things changed.

You take them to the shower room, put a sheet up over the door, stick them underneath the shower spigot, or stick them in the garbage pails with ice, and then have at it.

A burlap sack on their head, the wetness is sticking to your nose, sticking to your mouth. It makes them feel like they're drowning. Or open a window, it's like 40 degrees outside, and watch them disappear into themselves. For hours and hours and hours all you would hear is screaming and banging.

When they were done, eight to ten hours later, they'd bring the guy out. They'd be half-way coherent or unconscious. "Put him back in their cell and we'll be back for him tomorrow. " I know what it sounds like to hear skin smacked or punched. I know the difference between hearing someone screaming because they are upset and someone screaming because they are in pain. You know, I know the difference.

1 oga in 1B Shower not to be used until OGA is moved out 1A 34/5

04 Nov 2003

[ANTHONY DIAZ, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] It was early in the morning, like 4:30, around that time, so everything was silent. OGAs were, "Okay, we have another special prisoner here." He was wearing only a shirt. So he came in, he was shackled, handcuffed and everything, with a hood on. When he came in, we didn't ask nobody who this guy was, what he did. That wasn't our business. Two soldiers took him straight to the shower where he was interrogated by one OGA. He was there quite a while, I think he was there about an hour and a half. All of a sudden the OGA guy opened the door and said, "Can you help me here? Tie him a little higher, because he don't want to cooperate." Now, he's, I guess, you know he was just sagging.

[JEFFREY FROST, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] There were some CIA guys there, or I think they are CIA, well, yeah, they were, but at the time we didn't know what Agency they were with. They asked us to handcuff him to the window so he has to hold himself up 'cause he was playing Possum. And I'm just holding him by the jumpsuit. I'm not holding him under the arms or anything. And his jumpsuit is riding up his crotch and I commented and said, "Damn, this guy's pretty good at playing Possum 'cause I know I'd be howling like whatever with this riding up my crotch like his jumpsuit was." Everybody just kind of laughed and nobody really thought anything of it, and I remember how far back his arms were going, and it was just really an awkward position, and I again was like, "You know, this guy is pretty damn good 'cause his arms are almost about to break and I'm surprised they haven't broken. I'm waiting for the pop." And then all of a sudden, just like, I guess blood started pouring out of his nose and mouth, so we realized that something was wrong.

Diffusion of Responsibility

The exercise of moral control is also weakened when personal agency is obscured by diffusing responsibility for detrimental behavior. Kelman (1973) provides a discerning analysis of the different ways in which a sense of personal agency get obscured by diffusing personal accountability. There are several ways of doing it. A sense of responsibility can be diffused, and thereby diminished, by division of labor. Most enterprises require the services of many people, each performing subdivided jobs that seem harmless in themselves. After activities become routinized into detached subfunctions, people shift their attention from the morality of what they are doing to the operational details and efficiency of their specific job.

Group decision making is another common practice that gets otherwise considerate people to behave inhumanely. When everyone is responsible, no one really feels responsible. Social organizations go to great lengths to devise mechanisms for obscuring responsibility for decisions that will affect others adversely. Collective action is still another expedient for weakening moral control (Zimbardo, 1995). Any harm done by a group can always be attributed largely to the behavior of others (Bandura, Underwood, & Fromson, 1975). Figure 3 shows the level of harm inflicted on others on repeated occasions depending on whether it was done as a group or individually. People act more cruelly under group responsibility than when they hold themselves personally accountable for their actions.

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

[ANTHONY DIAZ, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] That's when I went and raised the hood. And that's the first time I saw his face. I was surprised because his face was totally messed up.

He's got a huge black eyes with bruises everywhere. And it was like, "Whoa! What happened to this guy?"

And one of his eye was open, so I kind of did the thing like here so he could move his eyes, and nothing, he was just looking down like this.

And I was like, "Whoa! This guy is not even alive."

This whole time we were messing with this guy, you know, carrying him and lifting him, and this entire time the guy was dead. I even got some blood on my uniform, 'cause he was dripping.

I kind of felt bad, you know, 'cause I know I'm not part of this but it kind of make you feel like you are 'cause you're there with the guy. Colonel Jordan, he was in charge of the M.I.s. He came in, the medics came in, Captain Reese came in, Captain Brinson, First Sergeant, Sergeant Snyder, everybody showed up. You had the entire chain of command right there trying to figure out what was going on.

[JEFFREY FROST, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] We checked on him and sure enough he had died.

And I walked out of the room, just kind of like "Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo."

Like nothing happened. And then I asked one of the CIA agents, and I was like "Well, what do you guys normally do in a situation like this?" So they were kind of like, not panicky but, you know, they were on their phones calling whoever to see what to do or whatnot.

What do we do with him? We can't take him out in a body bag because that may start a riot.

So we had to keep him there overnight.

And so we got a body bag, got a bunch of ice, iced him down, left him in the room where he was at, and then we shut and locked the door.

I remember saying to the NCO, "You need to take the spare key and hold on to it, or someone will probably go in there and, you know, mess with him." We should have just taken both keys and held on to them instead of leaving one there. But I guess he had to leave one there in case they wanted to come take the body that night or something.

It was pretty much supposed to be hush hush. Didn't want the word to spread around.


The guy they brought in died.

He was beat pretty bad. I'm not sure what happened.

It was on the shift before us.

They stuck him in a room next to where I was working last night and put him in a body bag on ice. How fucking gross!

He's already been defrosting for 24 hours.

Captain Brinson had a meeting in the main office with all of us. And he said there was a prisoner who had died in the shower, and he died of a heart attack.

Sergeant Frederick got the key, and we just checked him out.

He started to melt and he started to smell. He was there for at least 24 hours prior to us getting there. So he was there for a pretty long time.

His knees were bruised. His thighs were bruised by his genitals.

He had restraint marks on his wrists.

It was kind of obvious after you just kept looking that there was no way he died of a heart attack.

Q. You got into trouble because of the thumb.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] I can understand. It does look really bad. But whenever I would get into a photo, I never know what to do with my hands. Any kind of photo, I probably have a thumbs-up 'cause it's just something that automatically happens. Like when you get into a photo, you want to smile. It's just, I guess, something I do.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] He was a ghost detainee so he wasn't supposed to be there. They didn't want him to be in there when The Red Cross came, so they had to do something. So, someone came up with the idea to take him out of the body bag, dress him in the orange jumpsuit, put his dead body on a gurney, stick an IV in his dead arm, and take him out of the facility.

From that point on, we never heard anything of it. It was just, the guy died, they put him in the body bag, put him on a gurney, he was gone, go about your business. Keep working. Disappear. Dissolved into thin air. Whooosh!

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] They tried to charge me with destruction of government property, which I don't understand, and then maltreatment, of taking the photos of a dead guy. But, he's dead. I don't know how that's maltreatment. And then, altering evidence for removing the bandage from his eye to take a photo of it. And then I placed it back. When he died, they cleaned him all up, and then stuck the bandages on. So it's not really altering evidence, because they had already done that for me.

In order to make the other charges stick, they were going to have to bring in the photos, which they didn't want to bring up the dead guy at all, the OGA, because obviously they covered up a murder and that would just make them look bad, so they dropped all the charges pertaining to the OGA and the shower.

Riot reported over not at Ganci. Notes Due to the escape and riot the hard site continues to be in a state of lock down.

The meaning lock down was lifted for approximately 30 minutes prior to the Ganci riot then there was another lockdown. Note: Received seven inmates from the Ganci's Riot tonight moved to 1B on movement sheet of 4 ...

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] Camp Ganci had a huge riot. There was a female MP, she got smashed in the face with like a cinder block or something like that. They were going to break out of the tent encampments, get the MPs and hold them hostage. We brought them down the hallway, put them on the floor, and that's where I come in. I can't go to sleep at night worrying about the detainees trying to kill me, when I got people outside the walls trying to kill me. This has got to stop. These guys got to know, so I lost it. I threw the guys on the floor. I fell on the pile, like a WWF jumped on them a little bit.

I wanted to do more. I was mad. I'm like, "You hurt one of our soldiers, like that's it." I stepped on a finger, stepped on the guy's finger, stepped on the guy's toe. I wanted to hurt him, the gentleman who hit the female in the face with a brick. I wanted to hurt him really bad.

Attribution of Blame

Blaming one's adversaries or circumstances is still another expedient that can serve self-exonerative purposes. In this process, people view themselves as faultless victims driven to injurious conduct by forcible provocation. Punitive conduct is, thus, seen as a justifiable defensive reaction to belligerent provocations. Conflictful transactions typically involve reciprocally escalative acts. One can select from the chain of events a defensive act by the adversary and portray it as initiating provocation. Victims then get blamed for bringing suffering on themselves. Self-exoneration is also achievable by viewing one's harmful conduct as forced by compelling circumstances rather than as a personal decision. By fixing the blame on others or on circumstances, not only are one's own injurious actions excusable but one can even feel self-righteous in the process.

Justified abuse can have more devastating human consequences than acknowledged cruelty. Mistreatment that is not clothed in righteousness makes the perpetrator rather than the victim blameworthy. But when victims are convincingly blamed for their plight, they may eventually come to believe the degrading characterizations of themselves (Hallie, 1971). Exonerated inhumanity is, thus, more likely to instill self-contempt in victims than inhumanity that does not attempt to justify itself. Seeing victims suffer maltreatment for which they are held partially responsible leads observers to derogate them (Lerner & Miller, 1978). The devaluation and indignation aroused by ascribed culpability provides further moral justification for even greater maltreatment.

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

[JEREMY SIVITS, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] I finished my day in the motorpool, and I had generator detail that night. Just sitting there, at night, it gets very boring. The computer system was very slow, and I was waiting for an email to come up. And Sergeant Frederick walked in, he had to print out some papers and stuff, and we started talking. He got a call on the radio that he had some individuals he had to in-process. He said, "Come on, you walk down to the holding cell with me." So I walked down with him, and they had the seven individuals there. And I said, "Hey, Freddy, you want me to grab one of the detainees and take him down for you?" He said, "Yeah, go ahead." And as I'm getting closer to Tier 1 Alpha, I could hear Graner yelling. And I'm like, "Where do you guys want him?" And they said, "Just put him on the floor." So I pushed him onto the floor with the other guys, and that's when all the pictures and stuff started happening. And that's when Javal was stepping on the fingers and stuff, and on the toes, and Lynndie was also.

And that's when all the pictures started, and Graner asked me to take the staged photo of him with the one detainee where he was cradling the detainee's head, and he was acting like he was going to strike the detainee. He never struck him. As soon as I took the photograph, he laid the detainee down. And then they start the stripping of the detainees and taking more photographs. Graner walks over to one of the detainees, punches him in the temple, for what reason I don't know. I mean, hits the detainee hard.

And after he does that Sabrina matches up the numbers and says, "This guy's in here for rape."

So Graner rips the leg open on the jumpsuit that he had, and Sabrina writes, "I am a Rapeist" on him.

Moral Justification

One set of disengagement practices operates on the cognitive reconstruction of the behavior itself. People do not ordinarily engage in harmful conduct until they have justified to themselves the morality of their actions. In this process of moral justification, detrimental conduct is made personally and socially acceptable by portraying it as serving socially worthy or moral purposes. People then can act on a moral imperative and preserve their view of themselves as a moral agent while inflicting harm on others. Regional variations in the social sanctioning and use of violent means are predictable from moral justifications rooted in a subcultural code of honor (Cohen & Nisbett, 1994).

Rapid radical shifts in destructive behavior through moral justification are most strikingly revealed in military conduct (Kelman, 1973; Skeykill, 1928). The conversion of socialized people into dedicated fighters is achieved not by altering their personality structures, aggressive drives or moral standards. Rather, it is accomplished by cognitively redefining the morality of killing so that it can be done free from self-censure. Through moral justification of violent means, people see themselves as fighting ruthless oppressors, protecting their cherished values, preserving world peace, saving humanity from subjugation or honoring their country’s commitments. Just war tenets were devised to specify when the use of violent force is morally justified. However, given people’s dexterous facility for justifying violent means all kinds of inhumanities get clothed in moral wrappings.

Voltaire put it well when he said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Over the centuries, much destructive conduct has been perpetrated by ordinary, decent people in the name of righteous ideologies, religious principles and nationalistic imperatives (Kramer, 1990; Rapoport & Alexander, 1982; Reich, 1990). Widespread ethnic wars are producing atrocities of appalling proportions. When viewed from divergent perspectives the same violent acts are different things to different people. It is often proclaimed in conflicts of power that one group’s terroristic activity is another group’s liberation movement fought by heroic fighters. This is why moral appeals against violence usually fall on deaf ears. Adversaries sanctify their own militant actions, but condemn those of their antagonists as barbarity masquerading under a mask of outrageous moral reasoning. Each side feels morally superior to the other."

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

The guy hasn't moved for like two or three minutes. I kind of look at him and say, "Hey, Graner, something's wrong with that guy." And I walked over and lifted the sandbag up where I could see his eyes. The guy was unconscious. I said, "Graner, you knocked that dude out." And after he punched him, he kind of shook his hand and he said, "Ouch! Damn! That hurt!" And he didn't seem too concerned about it. And then I walked back over by Freddy. We were standing there, and Freddy looks at me and he says, "Hey, watch this!" He goes over, gets the guy that I had squirted down, lifts the guy up, marks an "X" on his chest, punches the guy right square in the chest. I'm like, "What? Who are you and what did you do to Freddy?"

Then they started the whole one-face-in-the-wall on his knees, and setting the other one on top of him.

They had flex cuffs which are more or less big zip ties. And I told Graner, "This guy is going to lose his hands if we don't get 'em off of him. They're purple." I said, "Well, I've got my gerber on me, I can probably get 'em with that, but we're going to have to stand him up."

It took a little while but I finally got 'em off of him, and then the blood started flowing back in his hands, and as far as I know, the guy kept his hands.

That's when Graner and Freddy started with the human pyramid thing. Graner told me that he was doing what he was told. That's why he was doing it. And as I was leaving the tier that night, I was told that I didn't see shit. And me, being the person that I am, I try to be friends with everybody, I said, "See what? I didn't see nothing." I was always asked by CID, "Why didn't you report this? Didn't I feel that it was morally wrong?" I said, "Yes, but when you're in war, things change." We were told, "No pictures of prisoners." I was asked to take it, I'm a nice guy, so I took it. I try not to have anybody mad at me. That's the way I've always been. But I guess being a nice guy doesn't always pay off.

Some people ask me now why I'm not as nice as I used to be. I say, "Put yourself in my shoes. Go through what I've went through the last 2-1/2 - 3 years. See how nice you'll be."

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Sivits just happened to stick around for maybe five minutes. I mean, he never hurt anyone. He got a year in jail for nothing. Just for being there. He shouldn't have gotten any time at all. I don't think he would have even been charged if he wasn't in that video.

Q. Who took the video?

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] I did. The last thing I remember was one guy standing and one guy kneeling. And the one guy had his hand on the other guy's head. And that's the last photo that I took. Then we left to use the phones.

It was Kelly's birthday, so I went to make a phone call.

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] Me and Megan were still upstairs in the office. We walked out and they were throwing them into a dog pile and taking pictures from the top tier.

About that time, Graner and Davis and Fredericks are jumping on the dog pile.

That's when I went downstairs with the camera. Graner said he wanted some taken down there, too.

Me, Freddy and Sabrina were taking pictures with three different cameras that night.

They were lined up against the wall and Graner started taking them one-by-one. We didn't know what he was doing. Nobody knew. He didn't say anything. And then he told us he was piling them in a pyramid.

And we're like, "Okay, why?" He's like, "To control 'em so they're all in one area."

So we're like, "Okay."

Freddy is the one that started them masturbating. I don't know why, but he did. He started the one, and then he wanted to see if the others would do it too, I guess. I don't know.

But he had them all doing it at the same time.

At one point, six of the guys stopped and the one guy kept doing it, for like 45 minutes. No joke. The one guy that was still masturbating, that was the one picture with me in it. He wanted me in it; I didn't want to be in it. I was like, "I'm not going over there."

Q. Who wanted you in it?

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] Freddy. And then Graner joined in. Graner was like, "Yeah, just come on." And I was like, "No, I don't want to go over there." And he's like, "Come on, just do it for me." And this and that.

And I'm like, "Fine."

Q. Was this your birthday?

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] They brought them in after midnight, so yeah.

Q. Which birthday?

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] 21st. I had heard Graner say "Well, this is your birthday present," or something. I don't know why he would have said that, because I really wouldn't have wanted that, but yeah. I mean, he used me, and even though I was stupid enough to fall for it, I mean, now I know what to look for.

At least he's moved on past me.

[BRENT PACK, ARMY SPECIAL AGENT, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION] This was the infamous seven-man naked Iraqi stacking.

The facial expressions kind of set the tone for what they were thinking and feeling at the time. You look in their eyes, and they look like they're having fun. This scene is what sealed their fate.

Pretty much everybody that participated is in the photograph at one time or another.

Here you see Graner in a punching motion.

Two cameras actually caught him at the exact same time from two totally different angles.

And again you see it where they have the seven-men stacked naked with the hoods over their heads.

You actually see both of the cameras inside each of the pictures.

It's not so much that you're there committing these acts of abuse. If you were in the pictures while this stuff was going on, you're going to be in trouble.

Q. Big trouble?

[BRENT PACK, ARMY SPECIAL AGENT, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION] If you make our President apologize to the world, I would say so, yeah.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] I haven't slept all night. I just can't sleep. Six prisoners escaped last night. That's eight we've lost in three nights. Something bad is going to happen here.

I hope I'm wrong. But if not, know I love you.

We might be under investigation. There's talk about it.

Yes, they do beat the prisoners. I don't think it's right. I never have.

That's why I take the pictures, to prove the story I tell to people.

No one would ever believe the shit that goes on.

No one.

If I want to keep taking pictures of these events, I have to fake a smile everytime. I hope I don't get into trouble for something I haven't done. I love you. Sabrina.

I guess reality hit that what was going on wasn't right which, of course, you know from the beginning but then it's your job. You just can't walk away and say, "Hey, I'm not coming back," or "I'm not doing this." Because either way, you're going to get screwed.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] We had Iraqi prison guards smuggle in a pistol, a 9 mm., and a brand-new bayonet.

The prison guard wrapped it up in a sheet, shimmied it out through his cell, the detainee went underneath his pillow, pulled out a 9 mm., hits R. Cafcart ? in the vest.

Sergeant Elliott had to stick the shotgun inside to get the guy to stop shooting, and all he hit him in was the leg, because he was in the corner praying like "Allah, Allah." He was willing to die.

All the Iraqi prison guards that were involved, they rounded them all up and fired some, but the Iraqis hired them right back.

Not only did you have to risk your life from shelling on the outside, you was risking your life dealing with unscreened Iraqi corrections guards. And detainees. So Strike 1, 2 & 3. One of them is going to take you out. Not all of them were bad, but a vast majority were bad. The guy who smuggled in the pistol I thought was a good guy, I thought was a good guard. He turned out to be Fedayeen. Smile in your face, stab you in the back.

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] They rushed in right away and took care of this guy who had just tried to kill us.

So, but it doesn't appear when you see a picture that that's what happened.

Your imagination can run wild when you just see blood.

The pictures only show you a fraction of a second.

You don't see forward and you don't see backward. You don't see outside the frame.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] This is the first time I've seen military police dogs here.

Two dogs with two owners go to a man against the wall.

The guy is scared out of his mind.

The dogs get closer.

The Iraqi starts screaming and runs straight to Graner, and one of the guys lets his dog loose, enough to bite him in the leg.

The guy is hysterical. The dog got another bite.

Blood was everywhere.

It was teeth marks that looked something like this.

One of our medics came and he taught me how to give stitches.

It was kind of fun, but I felt horrible for this guy.

The dogs should have never been there.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] One of the things an interrogator does every time, is the last paragraph of all your reports, is you evaluate the truthfulness and reliability of the information that was just given you. That's the very last paragraph of every report you ever write. So, if I get information through torture I have no way to verify anything because I would just assume that you are going to tell me whatever the hell you want so the pain will stop. But if I give you some carrots, and I give you some reasons to cooperate with me, usually you are going to get more righteous information.

[JANIS KARPINSKI, BRIGADIER GENERAL, 800TH MP BRIGADE] General Sanchez routinely subjected Colonel Pappas to this fingerpointing, poking a finger in his chest and saying, "I want Saddam. Find Saddam. Find Saddam.

Do you understand me? Find Saddam. Find Saddam at whatever the cost."


The final set of disengagement practices operates on the recipients of detrimental acts. The strength of moral self-censure depends partly on how the perpetrators view the people they mistreat. Correlative interpersonal experiences during formative years, in which people experience joys and suffer pain together, create the foundation for empathic responsiveness to the plight of others (Bandura, 1986). To perceive another in terms of common humanity activates empathetic emotional reactions through perceived similarity and a sense of social obligation (Bandura, 1992; McHugo, Smith, & Lanzetta, 1982). The joys and suffering of those with whom one identifies are more vicariously arousing than are those of strangers or of individuals who have been divested of human qualities. It is, therefore, difficult to mistreat humanized persons without suffering personal distress and self- condemnation.

Self-censure for cruel conduct can be disengaged by stripping people of human qualities. Once dehumanized, they are no longer viewed as persons with feelings, hopes and concerns but as subhuman objects (Keen, 1986; Kelman, 1973). They are portrayed as mindless "savages," "gooks," and the other despicable wretches. If dispossessing one's foes of humanness does not weaken self-censure, it can be eliminated by attributing demonic or bestial qualities to them. They become "satanic fiends," "degenerates," and other bestial creatures. It is easier to brutalize people when they are viewed as low animal forms, as when Greek torturers referred to their victims as "worms" (Gibson & Haritos-Fatouros, 1986).

During wartime, nations cast their enemies in the most dehumanized, demonic and bestial images to make it easier to kill them (Ivie, 1980). The process of dehumanization is an essential ingredient in the perpetration of inhumanities. Primo Levi (1987) reports an incident in which a Nazi camp commandant was asked why they went to such extreme lengths to degrade their victims, whom they were going to kill anyway. The commandant chillingly explained that it was not a matter of purposeless cruelty. Rather, the victims had to be degraded to the level of subhuman objects so that those who operated the gas chambers would be less burdened by distress.

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

If you poke your finger in somebody's chest long enough, they'll do whatever they need to do to get you to stop doing that.

It's a downward spiral. "This isn't working, try this. This worked in GTMO. This worked in Bagram. Try this. It's okay."

It doesn't stop the mortars. It doesn't get the information they want. And it doesn't find Saddam.

There wasn't any information they obtained in any interrogation or interview out at Abu Ghraib. It was soldiers on the ground who found Saddam.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] Are you ready for this? The farm that Saddam was hiding on, a little tiny farm right next to the Tigris River, Saddam knocked on the door and he said, "I'm Saddam Hussein. I'm the President of Iraq. I am the leader of Iraq and all the people of Iraq are my people. All the homes in Iraq are my homes."

And he went to the kitchen and he made himself a single egg, and he ate the egg, and he left. He came back around four hours later, and he's like, "I'm staying here." And the dude's wife like freaked.

Saddam was captured on the 13th, Sunday morning, and then on Monday I had to report to Colonel Pappas' office. He asked if we wanted to volunteer for a Special Projects team. He just got off the phone with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld and Sanchez had authorized all approach techniques on the high value detainees.

He said that we had the opportunity to break the insurgency right then, because the stuff that was captured was Saddam. And at that time, I believed it.

[BRENT PACK, ARMY SPECIAL AGENT, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION] You have to look at exactly what the pictures depict. It was important to separate those that were criminal acts and those things that were not criminal acts. That's what the prosecution had to focus on.

If somebody was physically injured, you know you have a criminal act.

Putting somebody into sexually humiliating positions, you have a criminal act.

Making them abuse themselves sexually, you have a criminal act.

Standing by and watching somebody hit their head on the wall, and taking photographs at the time, that's dereliction of duty, so it's a criminal act.

The individual with the wires tied to their hands and standing on a box, I see that as somebody who is being put into a stress position. I'm looking at it thinking that they don't look like they are real electrical wires. Standard Operating Procedure. That's all it is. [LC 1]

Does this one actually constitute a crime or is it standard operating procedure? That's probably standard operating procedure.

The panties on the head are an added touch, but it's no more than sleep deprivation.

They weren't being tortured, per se.

They were going through discomfort to try to aid in obtaining information.

I've been in the army for 20 years.

I've been through Desert Storm I.

I spent four months at Guantanamo Bay.

People that haven't been where I've been, I can't expect them to see the pictures the same way.

[JANIS KARPINSKI, BRIGADIER GENERAL, 800TH MP BRIGADE] I came back from a meeting, it was very late at night, I opened my classified email: "Ma'am, just wanted to let you know I'm going in to brief the CG on the progress of the investigation at Abu Ghraib. This involves the allegations of abuse and the photographs." And I sent an email back to him and I said, "I don't know what to say. First I've heard of it." I was preparing in my mind to hold a mini press conference to tell the truth and to tell it early, to say, "This is what we've uncovered. We're looking into it. Because we discipline ourselves. We're Americans. And we know right from wrong." General Sanchez said, "No, absolutely not. You're not to discuss this with anyone."

The fear of the truth silenced people.
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Re: Standard Operating Procedure, directed by Errol Morris

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 11:26 pm

Part 3 of 3

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] Everybody knew! Everybody that was inside of that prison, that stayed there, lived there, worked there -- they had the pictures. They would come over and get copies from Graner. And he had all of these discs, so he would make copies. "Here you go. Which ones do you want?" Everybody had a copy of the picture. Everybody knew.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] When those photographs came out, the infamous photographs, the day after, Colonel Pappas issued a battalion-wide amnesty period.

Any type of evidence was destroyed. "Burn it, throw it away, erase it off your hard-drive, and be done with it."

He just wiped out every last single defense witness, every last single person that would have been available to come forward and say, "Look, this is what I know" in one day. You know, after the amnesty period, who is going to want to come forward? Who is going to want to say, "Hey, I know something. I know what happened." No one.

Find a way to make it go away. And that's what they did. Sacrifice the little guys. That's how they cover it up.

I'm a 28-year-old young American. A volunteer soldier. And I'm going to get everything blamed on me.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] Well Sweetie you married a criminal. Yup, the pictures are out and I am under investigation as of 10:00 a.m. this morning. So much for turning those pictures in when I come home. I knew I'd be in trouble just by being there. But how else would you let people know the shit the Army does.

You'd think I'd be scared, but I'm not. I knew I'd go down with them. Wrong place wrong time.

What sucks is almost the entire company knows what happened, has seen the pictures, and have done nothing.

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] My husband is in prison right now.

And I can't move on from this until he comes home. So, that's pretty difficult.

This huge political monster caused Lynndie England 3 years, Ivan Frederick 8 years, and my husband 10 years.

[BRENT PACK, ARMY SPECIAL AGENT, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION] When I went through Desert Storm we were seen as the rescuers, the heroes. Our mission was to reclaim Kuwait. That was something that was honorable.

At the same time that Nayirah was telling Americans about Iraqi atrocities, the Pentagon began telling Americans about the looming Iraqi military threat. By mid-September, even before Nayirah's testimony, the Bush administration claimed that 250,000 Iraqi troops were in Kuwait and the surrounding region. But there was compelling evidence that the Iraqi military threat to the Saudis had either been vastly overstated by the United States or that Iraq had withdrawn its troops. In August, a Japanese newspaper approached Peter Zimmerman, a fellow with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, with photos of Kuwait taken by a Soviet commercial satellite company. Zimmerman showed the photos to various other experts and "all of us agreed we couldn't see anything in the way of military activity."

The media, however, was too cautious to run with a story saying that the Pentagon had exaggerated the Iraqi military threat. Nevertheless, ABC News pursued the story and bought a set of five Soviet satellite pictures of eastern Kuwait and southern Iraq, which were taken on September 13, at a time during which the United States asserted that the Iraqi military force was at full strength. According to Zimmerman, the photos were "astounding in their quality." But when he reviewed them with another expert, both of them were shocked not by what they saw, but by what they didn't see. "We turned to each other and we both said, 'There's nothing there,'" said Zimmerman. Nothing suggested an Iraqi military presence anywhere in Kuwait. "In fact," Newsweek reported, "all they could see, in crystal-clear detail, was the U.S. buildup in Saudi Arabia." Where were the Iraqi soldiers? The evidence strongly suggested that Cheney's presentation to Prince Bandar six weeks earlier vastly overstated the Iraqi threat -- or that the Iraqis had retreated.

ABC News, however, had neglected to obtain a photo showing one thirty-kilometer strip of land in Kuwait. Perhaps all the Iraqi troops were hiding in that sector. But an enterprising reporter in Florida named Jean Heller got her newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, to purchase the missing photo. It too showed no sign of the missing Iraqi troops. "The Pentagon kept saying the bad guys were there, but we don't see anything to indicate an Iraqi force in Kuwait of even twenty percent the size the administration claimed," Zimmerman told Heller.

As the story spread, the Pentagon's PR machine shifted into damage-control mode. A spokesman said the military "sticks by its numbers," then went to work discouraging ABC, CBS, and the Chicago Tribune from pursuing the story. ABC News's Mark Brender explained that the network dropped it partly because the photos were inconclusive, but also because there was "a sense that you would be bucking the trend. ... If you're going to stick your neck out and say that the number of Iraqi forces may not be as high as the administration is saying, then you better be able to say how many there are." One of the few major newspapers to suggest that Iraq never really showed up for battle en masse was Newsday, which, after the Gulf War was under way, reported that American troops had encountered a "phantom enemy." It noted that most of the huge Iraqi army, which was said to have half a million troops in Kuwait and southern Iraq, simply was nowhere to be seen. In addition, as if foreshadowing the Iraq War of 2003, Saddam Hussein's supposed chemical warfare never materialized.

One senior American commander told a Newsday reporter that the information about the Iraqi defenses put out before the war was highly exaggerated. "There was a great disinformation campaign surrounding this war," he said.

-- House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties," by Craig Unger

This war in Iraq, like Vietnam, will probably get remembered as the one time we were not the heroes, we were not the saviors. And these photographs will play a big part in that. War is a stressful time for people. They were getting shelled on a frequent basis at that prison. A young person with no experience in the world being thrown into something like that may get confused. We all see hindsight as 20-20 and I'm sure they all look back realizing what happened was wrong, and they played a part in something that was very embarrassing for the country, but at the time they were in a war zone where the rules get fuzzy sometimes. Lynndie England, I really feel sorry for that gal. It's obvious she is one of those young people that doesn't have much experience in life. There had been no indication that she would have been involved in anything like this, but she was in love. Ambuhl, she, well, she knew when the line was drawn and when it was time for her to disappear, because she would be present during some things and noticeably absent during others. So she was probably one of the smarter ones.

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] In the pictures that came out in the media, all you seen was me.

You didn't see Megan, because that was the cropped picture.

Graner told me he just wanted her out of the shot because it was interfering with his -- I don't know -- his picture! Maybe it was to secretly protect her, because now that I know that they were closer than what I thought at the time, maybe he was trying to protect her.

Q. When did he find out that you were pregnant?

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] When I found out on February 20th, I came back and told the first sergeant commander, and of course, they wanted to know who the father was. So they knew. And then I told him. At first he sounded excited, then he was just like he didn't want to have anything to do with me. He didn't want to have anything to do with the baby.

Once the story broke, and it came out that I was pregnant, he denied that the baby was his. He was accusing me of cheating on him, which I never did. So, if that's how he wants to play it, then that's fine with me. He'll never see him. It's his choice.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] I was in the mess hall. I look up and I saw myself and Dan Rather. And I'm like, "What the hell?" It's like, "Sergeant Javal Davis."

I'm like, "Whoa. That's me! Where the hell did they get this picture from?" They went to my high school. They acquired a picture of me from the newspaper when I was running track, going over a hurdle.

They cut my face out and showed me like this.

But in actuality, I was jumping over a hurdle. So they made me look like this mean-ass guy. They are showing naked people in the pyramid, and then they show a picture of me. I'm like, "Hold on. If you look at these pictures, do you see a black guy anywhere in any of these pictures?" There would be no me, no no-one else, no shock-the-world, no scandal, if there wasn't any photographs. It would have went away. It would have gone underneath a rock, and that would have been the end of it.


You can interpret them differently, but what the photograph depicts is what it is.

You can put any kind of meaning to it, but you are seeing what happened at that snapshot in time.

You can read emotion on their face, and things in their eyes.

But it's nothing that can be entered into fact.

All you can do is report what's in the picture.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] Somebody caught our Administration with their pants down. That's it. They're pissed off at that.

You can kill people off-camera. You can shoot people. You can blow their heads off. As long as its not on camera, you're okay. But if it's on camera, you're done. You know, torture didn't happen in those photographs. That was humiliation. That was softening up. Torture happened during interrogations. Guys go into interrogation and they are dead, and were killed, and they died. That's where the torture happened. We don't have photographs of that.

Disregard or Distortion of Consequences

It is easier to harm others when their suffering is not visible and when injurious actions are physically and temporally remote from their effects. Our death technologies have become highly lethal and depersonalized. We are now in the era of faceless warfare, in which mass destruction is delivered remotely with deadly accuracy by computer and laser controlled systems. When people can see and hear the suffering they cause, vicariously aroused distress and self-censure serve as self-restrainers (Bandura, 1992). As shown in Figure 4, people are less compliant to the injurious commands of authorities as the victims' pain becomes more evident and personalized (Milgram, 1974). Even a high sense of personal responsibility is a weak restrainer of injurious conduct when aggressors do not see the harm they inflict on their victims (Tilker, 1970).

A Pulitzer prize was awarded for a powerful photograph that captured the anguished cries of a girl whose clothes were burned off by the napalm bombing of her village in Vietnam. This single humanization of inflicted destruction probably did more to turn the American public against the war than the countless reports filed by journalists. The military now bans cameras and journalists from battlefield areas to block disturbing images of death and destruction."

-- Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] I just thought it was a bunch of schmuck MPs acting like idiots. I don't think so anymore. Not at all. I think we have a bunch of kids getting shammed. It's just cover-ups. And people are afraid of culpability and ramifications of their actions, so there's nobody saying crap. Except they are throwing a lot of people under the bus.

[JANIS KARPINSKI, BRIGADIER GENERAL, 800TH MP BRIGADE] I received a phone call from a Pentagon reporter who said, "You were relieved from command." So I said, "I haven't heard about it." I didn't hear from General Helmley. He didn't call me. He didn't summon me to Washington, D.C. to be in front of his desk so he could relieve me.

This is cowardice of a different kind.

You're afraid to look Janis Karpinski in the eye?

I got a letter ten days later from his office relieving me from command of the 800th MP Brigade.

JEREMY SIVITS, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] My name was a good name in the military until I did what I did. My uncle died in Vietnam 13 years to the day when I was born. My dad has two bronze stars for valor from Vietnam. My grandfather's got a bronze star from Vietnam. And then I come along and get involved in that? That just put that name in the mud.

[MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] You're taught from the very beginning that you have to follow your orders and if you don't, you're going to get in trouble, and if you do, obviously, you end up in trouble. You know, it's easy for retired colonels and generals and majors, whatever, to stand there and say, "Well, these people should have known an illegal order and they should have stood up to these lieutenant colonels and majors, and they should have stood up to them at the time in a war zone where, you know, lives are at stake. It's just kind of unrealistic to think that that would happen.

[JAVAL DAVIS, SERGEANT MILITARY POLICE] You were getting shelled every day, shot at every day. Detainees putting together shanks, weapons, starting riots. You know, this guy blew up like ten of my buddies. He needs to get his behind kicked. I know what I can do, and I think I know what I can't do. I think I know what I can't do. But I see these guys doing this, and I see the CIA guys coming in and doing this, you know, after a while it's like, "You know what, it's free rein. Just don't kill 'em." I was not the same person there that I am sitting in this chair, or that I was before I got there.

[SABRINA HARMAN, SPECIALIST MILITARY POLICE] I don't know what I could have done different. I could have said, "Screw you, I'm not working here," and just gone to jail for disobeying an order, I guess. I don't know. I'm sure everybody can do something different, but I just don't know what I would have done different, put in the same situation.

If I could back all the way up, I wouldn't have joined the military. That's what I would have done different. It's just not worth it. You go through all that trouble to start back where you were when you first went in, trying to get into school, trying to get ... it just wasn't worth it.

[LYNNDIE ENGLAND, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MILITARY POLICE] I just want to go on with life. You know, get a job. Raise my son. I don't think I have a lot of choices. I can't change anything. And if I did, I wouldn't have Carter. And I wouldn't trade him for the world. So I wouldn't want to go back and change anything. It's how the world turns, aint it? People backstabbing other people. Unfairness.

It's drama! It's life! Live it!

Now I just gotta move on.

[TIM DUGAN, CIVILIAN INTERROGATOR CACI CORPORATION] I don't know. I swear to God, I don't know. I'm so frickin' confused about the shit that happened there. I go over it in my head every day. And I dream about it every frickin' night. I dream about all kinds of things. Most of them aren't good. You know, before I thought about breaking the back of the frickin' insurgency, and how stupid we were, and how we could have fixed this shit, and how we could have saved frickin' lives. But really, there's not a snowball's chance in hell you could fix any of that. If we leave, they are killing each other, and they are not killing us. If we stay, they are killing each other and they are killing us. That's the end result of this whole fucking debacle.

To the east side of Abu Ghraib was a huge date palm forest.

Within five or ten minutes after sun-up millions of frickin' birds took off out of the date palms and just blacked out the sunrise to the east where I'm lookin'. And they fly north, northwest to go over the top corner of the post. And I'd try to get out of my booth, or take a break, a cigarette break, around sunset, because those birds came back every night about 30 minutes, 15 minutes before sunset, and landed back in the date palms. So I started my day every day at least watching those guys, the birdies take off, and at least thinking something in the world was still normal.

They could fly away from Abu G.

They came back every night, but they could fly away every morning.

It helped deal with the weirdness.

Charles Graner is currently serving a ten year sentence in prison and the U.S. Military will not allow him to be interviewed.

Ivan "Chip" Frederick was sentenced to 8 years in prison and was paroled in October 2007.

No one above the rank of Staff Sergeant has served time in prison for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.


JAVAL DAVIS, Sergeant, Military Police
KEN DAVIS, Sergeant, Military Police
WALTER (TONY) DIAZ, Sergeant, Military Police
TIM DUGAN, Civilian Interrogator, CACI Corp.
LYNNDIE ENGLAND, Private First Class, Military Police
JEFFERY FROST, Specialist, Military Police
MEGAN AMBUHL GRANER, Specialist, Military Police
SABRINA HARMAN, Specialist, Military Police
JANIS KARPINSKI, Brigadier General, 800th MP Brigade
ROMAN KROL, Specialist, Military Intelligence
BRENT PACK, Army Special Agent, Criminal Investigation Division
JEREMY SIVITS, Specialist, Military Police


Librarian's Comment 1:

For an answer to the question why the Abu Ghraib scandal produced so few indictments, and none of officers above the rank of Sergeant, we need look no further than the person of Brent Pack, Army "Special Agent," who manages to use the three-word term, "Standard Operating Procedure," as an all-purpose whitewash that equates to exoneration. Taking his cue from the Bush administration approach to jurisprudence that elevated terminology over reality by defining torture as "something that American soldiers did not do," Agent Brent Pack looks directly at acts defined as torture by the Army Field Manual 34-52 on Intelligence Interrogation, and sees only "Standard Operating Procedure." FM 34-52 specifically defines the following acts as torture:

Examples of physical torture include --
• Electric shock.
• Infliction of pain through chemicals or bondage (other than legitimate use of restraints to prevent escape).
• Forcing an individual to stand, sit, or kneel in abnormal positions for prolonged periods of time.
• Food deprivation.
• Any form of beating.
Examples of mental torture include --
• Mock executions.
• Abnormal sleep deprivation.
• Chemically induced psychosis.

The U.N. Convention Against Torture and the criminal law of the United States, also defines these acts as torture. The The Fay-Jones Report confirms that, of these abuses defined as torture by the Army Field Manual, the following took place at Abu Ghraib.

c. (U) The “sleep adjustment” technique was used by MI as soon as the Tier 1A block opened. This was another source of confusion and misunderstanding between MPs and MI which contributed to an environment that allowed detainee abuse, as well as its perpetuation for as long as it continued. Sleep adjustment was brought with the 519 MI BN from Afghanistan. It is also a method used at GTMO. (See paragraph 3.b.(5)). At Abu Ghraib, however, the MPs were not trained, nor informed as to how they actually should do the sleep adjustment. The MPs were just told to keep a detainee awake for a time specified by the interrogator. The MPs used their own judgment as to how to keep them awake. Those techniques included taking the detainees out of their cells, stripping them and giving them cold showers. CPT Wood stated she did not know this was going on and thought the detainees were being kept awake by the MPs banging on the cell doors, yelling, and playing loud music. When one MI Soldier inquired about water being thrown on a naked detainee he was told that it was an MP discipline technique. Again, who was allowed to do what and how exactly they were to do it was totally unclear. Neither of the communities (MI and MP) knew what the other could and could not do. (Reference Annex B, Appendix 1, WOOD, JOYNER)

d. (U) This investigation found no evidence of confusion regarding actual physical abuse, such as hitting, kicking, slapping, punching, and foot stomping. Everyone we spoke to knew it was prohibited conduct except for one Soldier. (Reference Annex B, Appendix 1, SOLDIER- 29). Physical discomfort from exposure to cold and heat or denial of food and water is not as clear-cut and can become physical or moral coercion at the extreme. Such abuse did occur at Abu Ghraib, such as detainees being left naked in their cells during severe cold weather without blankets. In Tier 1A some of the excesses regarding physical discomfort were being done as directed by MI and some were being done by MPs for reasons not related to interrogation. (See paragraph 5.e.-h.)

e. (U) The physical and sexual abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib are by far the most serious. The abuses spanned from direct physical assault, such as delivering head blows rendering detainees unconscious, to sexual posing and forced participation in group masturbation. At the extremes were the death of a detainee in OGA custody, an alleged rape committed by a US translator and observed by a female Soldier, and the alleged sexual assault of an unknown female.

The Fay-Jones Report also confirms that the following abuses were commonplace at Abu Ghraib, which are prohibited by the Geneva Convention IV, Army Policy, and the UCMJ, as Humiliating and Degrading Treatments:

(3) (U) Humiliating and Degrading Treatments. Actions that are intended to degrade or humiliate a detainee are prohibited by GC IV, Army policy and the UCMJ. The following are examples of such behavior that occurred at Abu Ghraib, which violate applicable laws and regulations.

(4) (U) Nakedness. Numerous statements, as well as the ICRC report, discuss the seemingly common practice of keeping detainees in a state of undress. A number of statements indicate that clothing was taken away as a punishment for either not cooperating with interrogators or with MPs. In addition, male internees were naked in the presence of female Soldiers. Many of the Soldiers who witnessed the nakedness were told that this was an accepted practice. Under the circumstances, however, the nakedness was clearly degrading and humiliating.

(5) (U) Photographs. A multitude of photographs show detainees in various states of undress, often in degrading positions.

(6) (U) Simulated Sexual Positions. A number of Soldiers describe incidents where detainees were placed in simulated sexual positions with other internees. Many of these incidents were also photographed.


(10) (U) Incident #10. Six Photographs of DETAINEE-15, depict him standing on a box with simulated electrical wires attached to his fingers and a hood over his head. These photographs were taken between 2145 and 2315 on 4 November 2003. DETAINEE-15 described a female making him stand on the box, telling him if he fell off he would be electrocuted, and a “tall black man” as putting the wires on his fingers and penis. From the CID investigation into abuse at Abu Ghraib it was determined SGT J. Davis, SPC Harman, CPL Graner, and SSG Frederick, 372 MP CO, were present during this abuse. DETAINEE-15 was not an MI Hold and it is unlikely MI had knowledge of this abuse


(1) (U) Incident #33. There is also ample evidence of detainees being forced to wear women’s underwear, sometimes on their heads. These cases appear to be a form of humiliation, either for MP control or MI “ego down.” DETAINEE-07 and DETAINEE-05 both claimed they were stripped of their clothing and forced to wear women’s underwear on their heads. CIVILIAN-15 (CACI) and CIVILIAN-19 (CACI), a CJTF-7 analyst, alleged CIVILIAN-21 bragged and laughed about shaving a detainee and forcing him to wear red women’s underwear. Several photographs include unidentified detainees with underwear on their heads. Such photos show abuse and constitute sexual humiliation of detainees.


h. (U) Incidents of Detainee Abuse Using Isolation. Isolation is a valid interrogation technique which required approval by the CJTF-7 Commander. We identified documentation of four instances where isolation was approved by LTG Sanchez. LTG Sanchez stated he had approved 25 instances of isolation. This investigation, however, found numerous incidents of chronic confusion by both MI and MPs at all levels of command, up through CJTF-7, between the definitions of “isolation” and “segregation.” Since these terms were commonly interchanged, we conclude Segregation was used far more often than Isolation. Segregation is a valid procedure to limit collaboration between detainees. This is what was employed most often in Tier 1A (putting a detainee in a cell by himself vice in a communal cell as was common outside the Hard Site) and was sometimes incorrectly referred to as “isolation.” Tier 1A did have isolation cells with solid doors which could be closed as well as a small room (closet) which was referred to as the isolation “Hole.” Use of these rooms should have been closely controlled and monitored by MI and MP leaders. They were not, however, which subjected the detainees to excessive cold in the winter and heat in the summer. There was obviously poor air quality, no monitoring of time limits, no frequent checks on the physical condition of the detainee, and no medical screening, all of which added up to detainee abuse. A review of interrogation reports identified ten references to “putting people in the Hole,” “taking them out of the Hole,” or consideration of isolation. These occurred between 15 September 2003 and 3 January 2004. (Reference Annex B, Appendix 1, SANCHEZ)

(U) These incidents all indicate the routine and repetitive use of total isolation and light deprivation. Documentation of this technique in the interrogation reports implies those employing it thought it was authorized. The manner it was applied is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, CJTF-7 policy, and Army policy.

In a report that was released neither to the U.S. Congress nor the public, but only to the "Coalition Forces" that were committing torture and degrading acts, the Red Cross documented the commission of numerous acts prohibited under International Humanitarian Law at Abu Ghraib. Quoting from The Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on the Treatment by the Coalition Forces of Prisoners of War and Other Protected Persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq During Arrest, Internment and Interrogation, February 2004:

3.2 Military Intelligence section, "Abu Ghraib Correctional Facility"

27. In mid-October 2003, the ICRC visited persons deprived of their liberty undergoing interrogation by military intelligence officers in Unit 1A, the "isolation section" of "Abu Ghraib" Correctional Facility. Most of these persons deprived of their liberty had been arrested in early October. During the visit, ICRC delegates directly witnessed and documented a variety of methods used to secure the cooperation of the persons deprived of their liberty with their interrogators. In particular they witnessed the practice of keeping persons deprived of their liberty completely naked in totally empty concrete cells and in total darkness, allegedly for several consecutive days. Upon witnessing such cases, the ICRC interrupted its visits and requested an explanation from the authorities. The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was "part of the process". The process appeared to be a given-and-take policy whereby persons deprived of their liberty were "drip-fed" with new items (clothing, bedding, hygiene articles, lit cell, etc.) in exchange for their "cooperation". The ICRC also visited other person deprived of their liberty held in total darkness, others in dimly lit cells who had been allowed to dress following periods during which they had been held naked. Several had been given women's underwear to wear under their jumpsuit (men's underwear was not distributed), which they felt to be humiliating.

The ICRC documented other forms of ill-treatment, usually combined with those described above, including threats, insults, verbal violence, sleep deprivation caused by the playing of loud music or constant light in cells devoid of windows, tight handcuffing with flexi-cuffs causing lesions and wounds around the wrists. Punishment included being made to walk in the corridors handcuffed and naked, or with women's underwear on the head, or being handcuffed either dressed or naked to the bed bars or cell door. Some persons deprived of their liberty presented physical marks and psychological symptoms, which were compatible with these allegations. The ICRC medical delegate examine persons deprived of their liberty presenting signs of concentration difficulties, memory problems, verbal expression difficulties, incoherent speech, acute anxiety reactions, abnormal behavior and suicidal tendencies. These symptoms appeared to have been caused by the methods and duration of interrogation. One person held in isolation that ICRC examined, was unresponsive to verbal and painful stimuli. His heart rate was 120 beats per minute and his respiratory rate 18 per minute. He was diagnosed as suffering from somatoform (mental) disorder, specifically a conversion disorder, most likely due to the ill-treatment he was subjected to during interrogation.

The take-home lesson of Agent Pack's role in the Abu Ghraib investigation seems to be that if you don't want to discover any crimes, you should certainly not put a lawyer familiar with criminal law in charge of the investigation. Pack's whitewashing of the evidence by the bland application of the term "Standard Operating Procedure," recalls the days of Vietnam, when the same exact term was used to describe the My-Lai massacre, in which hundreds of Vietnamese civilians were murdered over the course of a single insane afternoon, a crime for which only Lieutenant Calley was ultimately convicted. Indeed, reflecting on the meaning of "Standard Operating Procedure," it should be clear that when torture becomes "standard," the search for the persons responsible for promulgating or tolerating the adoption of such a standard should not stop with sergeants, lieutenants, captains, colonels, majors, or generals, and should continue all the way to the person of the commander in chief and his legal advisers, such as Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and John Addington, and Dr. Evil himself, Dick Cheney. For the analysis that should have been applied to the investigation, see Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody -- Report of the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate:

The abuse of detainees in U.S. 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.

"The Absolute Prohibition of Torture and Necessary and Appropriate Sanctions," by Jordan J. Paust:


Among specific interrogation tactics used on detained persons and authorized by President Bush and/or Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Rice, Attorney General Ashcroft, and several others within the Bush Administration that manifestly and unavoidably constitute torture are water-boarding or a related inducement of suffocation, use of dogs to create intense fear, threatening to kill the detainee or family members, and the cold cell or a related inducement of hypothermia. With respect to these and other unlawful interrogation tactics authorized by the Bush Administration, the Committee Against Torture declared in 2006 that the United States

should rescind any interrogation technique, including methods involving sexual humiliation, ‘water boarding,’ ‘short shackling’ [e.g., shackling a detainee to a hook in the floor], and using dogs to induce fear, that constitute torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in all places of detention under its de facto effective control, in order to comply with its obligations under the Convention.

Although the intentional use of sexual violence and rape as tactics are recognizably torture, some forms of sexual humiliation that were authorized and used might not have constituted severe pain or suffering. Nonetheless, they can be manifestly inhumane or degrading and, therefore, equally unlawful. Previously, the Committee condemned the following tactics as either torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment proscribed by the Convention: (1) restraining in very painful conditions, (2) hooding under special conditions, (3) sounding of loud music for prolonged periods, (4) sleep deprivation for prolonged periods, (5) threats, including death threats, (6) violent shaking, and (7) using cold air to chill.

Many of these illegal tactics, including water-boarding and the “cold cell,” were addressed and expressly and/or tacitly approved during several meetings of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee in the White House during 2002 and 2003 that were attended by Dick Cheney, his lawyer David Addington, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, John Ashcroft, and others who facilitated their approval and use, including John Yoo.With a typical smug defiance, Cheney admitted that “he was directly involved in approving severe interrogation methods . . . including . . . ‘waterboarding’” and that he was “involved in helping get the process cleared.” With respect to the configurative contributions of his team, President Bush was quoted as stating “yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.”

American Bar Association Report to the House of Delegates:

The photographs from Abu Ghraib show that detainees in Iraq have been deprived of CAT's protections against both torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that also amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment under the U.S. Constitution and of the standard of treatment established for the military under the UCMJ ...

and The Association of the Bar of the City of New York Committee on International Human Rights Committee on Military Affairs and Justice's Report, Human Rights Standards Applicable to the United States' Interrogation of Detainees:

Other International Legal Standards which Bind the United States

While there is a dearth of U.S. case law applying CAT’s prohibition against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the interrogation context, there is a wealth of international law sources which offer guidance in interpreting CAT. Some of these international legal standards are, without question, binding on the U.S., such as: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “ICCPR”), [15] the law of jus cogens and customary international law. Another international legal instrument which has been ratified by the U.S. and is relevant to the interrogation practices being examined by this Report is the Inter-American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man. [16] Other sources, such as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, [17] also provide guidance.



Relevant Legal Standards

Like CAT, the ICCPR expressly prohibits both torture and CID. Specifically, Article 7 of the ICCPR provides: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” [119] However, the ICCPR goes further than CAT in its non-derogability provision, expressly stating that neither torture nor CID treatment can be justified by exceptional circumstances such as war, internal political stability or other public emergencies. (See ICCPR, Art. 4). Article 10 also provides that: “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

The Human Rights Committee, established under Article 28, adjudicates complaints filed by individuals or states parties alleging violations of the ICCPR. The Committee has found the following conduct to violate Article 7’s prohibition against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: threatening a victim with torture, prolonged solitary confinement and incommunicado detention, and repeated beatings. [120] Moreover, the Human Rights Committee has specifically criticized interrogation procedures such as handcuffing, hooding, shaking and sleep deprivation as violations of Article 7 in any circumstances. [121]



Relevant Legal Standards

The U.S. is a member of the Organization of American States (the “OAS”). Article XXV of The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (the “American Declaration”), which was adopted by the Ninth International Conference of the OAS in 1948, provides:

Every individual who has been deprived of his liberty has the right to have the legality of his detention ascertained without delay by a court, and the right to be tried without undue delay or, otherwise, to be released. He also has the right to humane treatment during the time he is in custody. ...

With respect to the treatment of detainees, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the “Inter-American Commission”) – which represents all member countries of the OAS and was established under Chapter VII of the American Convention – has determined that, “when the State holds a person in detention and under its exclusive control, it becomes the guarantor of that person’s safety and rights.” [129] In this regard, the Commission has found the following practices to be violations of Article 5 of the American Convention: threats to summon family members and pressure them to “talk”; threats to kill detainees; blindfolding detainees and forcing them to run around; “prolonged isolation and deprivation of communication”; solitary confinement; confining detainees in small cells with other prisoners; keeping detainees in cells that are damp and/or without adequate ventilation; keeping detainees in cells without beds; forcing detainees to sleep on the floor or on newspaper; depriving detainees of necessary hygiene facilities; beatings with rifles; and kicks in various parts of the body, especially in the stomach. [130] ...

On March 12, 2002, in response to a petition challenging detentions at Guantánamo Bay coordinated by the Center for Constitutional Rights, [142] the Inter-American Commission adopted precautionary measures addressed to the United States concerning the Guantánamo detainees. [143] Specifically, the Commission asked the U.S. “to take the urgent measures necessary to have the legal status of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay determined by a competent tribunal.” [144] In so doing, the Inter-American Commission explained:

[W]here persons find themselves within the authority and control of a state and where a circumstance of armed conflict may be involved, their fundamental rights may be determined in part by reference to international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law. Where it may be considered that the protections of international humanitarian law do not apply, however, such persons remain the beneficiaries at least of the non-derogable protections under international human rights law. In short, no person under the authority and control of a state, regardless of his or her circumstances, is devoid of legal protection for his or her fundamental and non-derogable human rights. [145]

With regard to the Guantánamo Bay detainees in particular, the Inter-American Commission observed that: “[T]he information available suggests that the detainees remain entirely at the unfettered discretion of the United States government. Absent clarification of the legal status of the detainees, the Commission considers that the rights and protections to which they may be entitled under international or domestic law cannot be said to be the subject of effective legal protection by the State.” [146] The Inter-American Commission further noted that, regardless of the legal status of the Guantánamo Bay detainees, their legal protections “may in no case fall below the minimal standards of non-derogable rights.” [147] Thereafter, the Commission issued a renewed request to the U.S. government for precautionary measures, stating that new factual allegations regarding torture or other ill-treatment of detainees “raise questions concerning the extent to which the United States’ policies and practices in detaining and interrogating persons in connection with its anti-terrorist initiatives clearly and absolutely prohibit treatment that may amount to torture or may otherwise be cruel, inhuman or degrading as defined under international norms.” [148]


U.S. ratification of the ICCPR and CAT are clear pronouncements that we condemn the practice of torture and CID treatment and that we consider ourselves legally bound to prohibit such conduct. Indeed, in 1999, the United States issued a report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture categorically affirming that:

Every act constituting torture under the Convention constitutes a criminal offense under the law of the United States. No official of the Government, federal, state or local, civilian or military, is authorized to commit or to instruct anyone else to commit torture. Nor may any official condone or tolerate torture in any form. No exceptional circumstances may be invoked as justification for torture. United States law contains no provision permitting otherwise prohibited acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to be employed on grounds of exigent circumstance (for example, during a “state of public emergency”) or on orders from a superior officer or public authority, and the protective mechanisms of an independent judiciary are not subject to suspension. [156]

Furthermore, the United States has enacted the Torture Victim Protection Act, [157] has imposed civil liability for acts of torture regardless of where such acts take place, [158] and has enacted the Torture Victims Relief Act, providing for monetary assistance for torture victims. [159] As previously discussed, not only does the U.S. Constitution prohibit cruel and unusual punishment or treatment by state officials (including under the military justice system), but almost all of the U.S. State constitutions have similar prohibitions. [160] Finally, a number of federal judicial proceedings have recognized that the right to be free from torture as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is a norm of customary international law. [161]

In the State Department Country Reports On Human Rights Practices, for example, the United States has expressly characterized the following types of conduct – some of which are allegedly occurring at U.S. detention centers – as “torture” or “other abuse”: tying detainees in painful positions; forcing detainees to stand for long periods of time; incommunicado detention; depriving detainees of sleep; dousing naked detainees with cold water; denial of access to medical attention; interrogation techniques designed to intimidate or disorient; subjecting a detainee to loud music; forcing a detainee to squat or to assume “stressful, uncomfortable or painful” positions for “prolonged periods of time”; long periods of imprisonment in darkened rooms; verbal threats; and instilling detainees with the false belief that they are to be killed. [162] The following types of conduct have been defined as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment: stripping; confinement in severely overcrowded cells; beating; imprisonment in small containers; and threats against family members of detainees. [163]


Notwithstanding the clear legal prohibitions against the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in U.S. and international law, we considered whether, in a post-September 11 world, the threat posed by terrorists to the United States could ever justify the use of prohibited interrogation practices. We sought to answer the question of whether there are any circumstances in which torture and CID treatment in the interrogation of detainees should be permitted.

For additional guidance in answering these questions, we looked to the experiences of Northern Ireland and Israel, other places where the struggle between fighting terrorism and upholding the rule of law has been waged. Both the European Court of Human Rights and the Israeli Supreme Court have confronted the contradictory demands of national security and human rights against the backdrop of terrorism. The legal debate that infuses these courts’ seminal decisions on the use of torture and CID treatment in the interrogation of terrorist suspects offers guidance to the United States in interpreting CAT. These courts have ruled that there are no exceptions to the prohibition against torture and CID treatment. Their rulings express the conviction that the torture and CID treatment of detainees – even when those detainees are suspected terrorists – cannot be justified. ...

The most important of these decisions is The Republic of Ireland. [166] The Republic of Ireland case was decided in a legal and political environment conditioned by several years of terrorism in Northern Ireland perpetrated by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Loyalist groups. By March 1975, over 1,100 people had been killed, over 11,500 injured and £140 million worth of property destroyed. [167] To combat a campaign of violence being carried out by the IRA, in 1971, the Northern Ireland Government introduced regulations providing authorities with extrajudicial powers, including arrest for interrogation purposes and internment. [168]

The Republic of Ireland Decision is a landmark legal discussion of whether specific interrogation practices committed by British security forces against IRA detainees constituted torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. The impetus for the ECHR’s decision was the Republic of Ireland’s application before the European Commission of Human Rights alleging, among other things, that various interrogation practices – including specific practices referred to as the “five techniques” – amounted to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, in contravention of Article 3 of the European Convention. [169] The “five techniques” – described by the ECHR as methods of “disorientation” or “sensory deprivation” – include a number of practices allegedly being used today by U.S. interrogators:

• Wall-standing: Forcing a detainee to remain spread-eagled against a wall with his fingers placed high above his head against the wall, his legs spread apart and his feet positioned such that he must stand on his toes with the weight of his body resting on his fingers;
• Hooding: Keeping a dark bag over a detainee’s head at all times, except during interrogation;
• Subjection to noise: Holding a detainee in a room where there is a continuous loud and hissing noise;
• Deprivation of sleep; and
• Deprivation of food and drink. [170]

The European Commission of Human Rights unanimously found that the “five techniques” constituted torture ...
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