The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Karen

Your relationship with government is simple: government knows everything about you, and you know nothing about government. In practice this means government can do whatever it wants to you before you know it's going to happen. Government policy makers think this is a good way of ensuring citizen compliance. Thus, all of these investigations are retrospective -- they look back at the squirrely shit that government has pulled, and occasionally wring their hands about trying to avoid it happening in the future. Not inspiring reading, but necessary if you are to face the cold reality that Big Brother is more than watching.

Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:47 pm

"Second Bybee Memo"

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Legal Counsel

Office of the Assistant Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530

August 1, 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR JOHN RIZZO
ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

RE: Interrogation of al Qaeda Operative

You have asked for this Office's views on whether certain proposed conduct would violate the prohibition against torture found at Section 2340A of title 18 of the United States Code. You have asked for this advice in the course of conducting interrogations of Abu Zubaydah. As we understand it, Zubaydah is one of the highest ranking members of the al Qaeda terrorist organization, with which the United States is currently engaged in an international armed conflict following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. This letter memorializes our previous oral advice, given on July 24, 2002 and July 26, 2002, that the proposed conduct would not violate this prohibition

I.

Our advice is based upon, the following facts, which you have provided to us. We also understand that you do not have any facts in your possession contrary to the facts outlined here, and this opinion is limited to these facts. If these facts were to change, this advice would not necessarily apply. Zubaydah is currently being held by the United States. The interrogation team is certain that he has additional information that he refuses to divulge. Specifically, he is withholding information regarding terrorist networks in the United States or in Saudi Arabia and information regarding plans to conduct attacks within the United States or against our interests overseas. Zubaydah has become accustomed to a certain level of treatment and displays no signs of willingness to disclose further information. Moreover, your intelligence indicates that there is currently a level of "chatter" equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks. In light of the information you believe Zubaydah has and the high level of threat you believe now exists, you wish to move the interrogations into what you have described, as an "increased pressure phase."

As part of this increased pressure phase, Zubaydah will have contact only with a new interrogation specialist, whom he has not met previously, and the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape ("SERE") training psychologist who has been involved with the interrogations since they began. This phase will likely last no more than several days but could last up to thirty days. In this phase, you would like to employ ten techniques that you believe will dislocate his expectations regarding the treatment he believes he will receive and encourage him to disclose the crucial information mentioned above. These ten techniques are: (1) attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap (insult slap), (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) insects placed in a confinement box, and (10) the waterboard. You have informed us that the use of these techniques would be on an as-needed basis and that not all of these techniques will necessarily be used. The interrogation team would use these techniques in some combination to convince Zubaydah that the only way he can influence his surrounding environment is through cooperation. You have, however, informed us that vou expect these techniques to be used in some sort of escalating fashion, culminating with the waterboard, though not necessarily ending with this technique. Moreover, you have also orally informed us that although some of these techniques may be used with more than once, that repetition will not be substantial because the techniques generally lose their effectiveness after several repetitions. You have also informed us that Zabaydah sustained a wound during his capture, which is being treated.

Based on the facts you have given, us, we understand each of these techniques to be as follows. The attention grasp consists of grasping the individual with both hands, one hand on each side of the collar opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the same motion as the grasp, the individual is drawn toward the interrogator.

For walling, a flexible false wall will be constructed. The individual is placed with his heels touching the wall. The interrogator pulls the individual forward and then quickly and firmly pushes the individual into the wall. It is the individual's shoulder blades that hit the wall. During this motion, the head and neck are supported with a rolled hood or towel that provides a c-collar effect to help prevent whiplash. To further reduce the probability of injury, the individual is allowed to rebound from the flexible wall. You have orally informed us that the false wall is in part constructed to create a loud sound when the individual hits it, which, will further shock or surprise in the individual. In part, the idea is to create a sound that will make the impact seem far worse than it is and that will be far worse than any injury that might result from the action.

The facial hold is used to hold the head immobile. One open palm is placed on either side of the individual's face. The fingertips are kept well away from the individual's eyes.

With the facial slap or insult slap, the interrogator slaps the individual's face with fingers slightly spread. The hand, makes contact with the area directly between the tip of the individual's chin and the bottom of the corresponding earlobe. The interrogator invades the individual's personal space. The goal of the facial slap is not to inflict physical pain that is severe or lasting. Instead, the purpose of the facial slap is to induce shock, surprise, and/or humiliation.

Cramped confinement involves the placement of the individual in a confined space, the dimensions of which restrict the individual's movement. The confined space is usually dark. The duration of confinement varies based upon the size of the container. For the larger confined space, the individual can stand up or sit down; the smaller space is large enough for the subject to sit down. Confinement in the larger space can last up to eighteen hours; for the smaller space, confinement lasts for no more than two hours.

Wall standing is used to induce muscle fatigue. The individual stands about four to five feet from a wall, with his feet spread approximately to shoulder width. His arms are stretched out in front of him, with his fingers resting on the wall. His fingers support all of his bodyweight. The individual is not permitted to move or reposition his hands or feet.

A variety of stress positions may be used. You have informed us that these positions are not designed to produce the pain associated with contortions or twisting of the body. Rather, somewhat like walling, they are designed to produce the physical discomfort associated with muscle fatigue. Two particular stress positions are likely to be used on Zubaydah: (1) sitting on the floor with legs extended straight out in front of him with his arms raised above his head; and (2) kneeling on the floor while leaning back at a 45 degree angle. You have also orally informed us that through observing Zubaydah in captivity, you have noted that he appears to be quite flexible despite his wound.

Sleep deprivation may be used. You have indicated that your purpose in using this technique is to reduce the individual's ability to think on his feet and, through the discomfort associated with lack of sleep, to motivate him to cooperate. The effect of such sleep deprivation will generally remit after one or two nights of uninterrupted sleep. You have informed us that your research has revealed that in rare instances, some individuals who are already predisposed to psychological problems may experience abnormal reactions to sleep deprivation. Even in those cases, however, reactions abate after the individual is permitted to sleep. Moreover, personnel with medical training are available to and will intervene in the unlikely event of an abnormal reaction. You have orally informed us that you would not deprive Zubaydah of sleep for more than eleven days at a time and that you have previously kept him awake for 72 hours, from which no mental or physical harm resulted.

You would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect into the box with him. You would, however, place a harmless insect in the box. You have, orally informed us that you would in fact place a harmless insect such as a caterpillar in the box with him. [Big delete]

Finally, you would like to use a technique called the "waterboard." In this procedure, the individual is bound securely to an inclined bench, which is approximately four feet by seven feet. The individual's feet are generally elevated. A cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes. Water is then applied to the cloth in a controlled manner. As this is done, the cloth is lowered until it covers both the nose and mouth. Once the cloth is saturated and completely covers the mouth and nose, air flow is slightly restricted for 20 to 40 seconds due to the presence of the cloth. This causes an increase in carbon dioxide level in the individual's blood. This increase in the carbon dioxide level stimulates increased effort to breathe. This effort plus the cloth produces the perception of "suffocation and incipient panic," i.e., the perception, of drowning. The individual does not breathe any water into his lungs. During those 20 to 40 seconds, water is continuously applied from a height of twelve to twenty-four inches. After this period, the cloth is lifted, and the individual is allowed to breathe unimpeded for three or four full breaths. The sensation of drowning is immediately relieved by the removal of the cloth. The-procedure may then be repeated. The water is usually applied from a canteen cup or small watering can with a spout. You have orally informed us that this procedure triggers an automatic physiological sensation of drowning that the individual cannot control even though he may be aware that he is in fact not drowning. You have also orally informed us that it is likely that this procedure would not last more than 20 minutes in any one application.

We also understand that a medical expert with SERE experience will be present throughout this phase and that the procedures will be stopped if deemed medically necessary to prevent severe mental or physical harm to Zubaydah. As mentioned above, Zubaydah suffered an injury during his capture. You have informed us that steps will be taken to ensure that this injury is not in any way exacerbated by the use of these methods and that adequate medical attention will be given to ensure that it will heal properly.

II.

In this part, we review the context within which these procedures will be applied. You have informed us that you have taken various steps to ascertain what effect, if any, these techniques would have on Zubaydah's mental health. These same techniques, with the exception of the insect in the cramped, confined space, have been used and continue to be used, on some members of our military personnel during their SERE training. Became of the use of these procedures in training our own military personnel to resist interrogations, you have consulted with various individuals who have extensive experience in the use of these techniques. You have done so in order to ensure that no prolonged mental harm would result from the use of these proposed procedures.

Through your consultation with various individuals responsible tor such training, you have learned that these techniques have been [Delete] conduct without any reported [delete] mental [delete] the SERE school, [big delete] has reported that, during the seven-year period that he spent in those positions, there were two requests from Congress for information concerning alleged injuries resulting from the training. One of these inquiries was prompted by the temporary physical injury a trainee sustained as result of being placed in a confinement box. The other inquiry involved claims that the SERE training caused two individuals to engage in criminal behavior, namely, felony shoplifting and downloading child pornography onto a military computer. According to this official, these claims were found to be baseless. Moreover, he has indicated that during the three and a half years he spent as [delete] [delete] of the SERE program, he trained 10,000 students. Of those students, only two dropped out of the training following the use of these techniques. Although on rare occasions some students temporarily postponed the remainder of their training and received psychological counseling, those students were able to finish the program without any indication of subsequent mental health effects.

You have informed us that you have consulted with [delete] who has ten years of experience with SERE training [big delete]. He stated that, during those ten years, insofar as he is aware, none of the individuals who completed the program suffered any adverse mental health effects. He informed you that there was one person who did not complete the training. That person experienced an adverse mental health reaction that lasted only two hours. After those two hours, the individual's symptoms spontaneously dissipated without requiring treatment or counseling and no other symptoms were ever reported by this individual. According to the information you have provided to us, this assessment of the use of these procedures includes the use of the waterboard.

Additionally, you received a memorandum from the [Big delete] which you supplied to us. [Delete] has experience with the use of all of these [delete] a course of conduct, with the exception of the insect in the confinement box and the waterboard. This memorandum confirms that the use of these procedures has not resulted in any reported instances of prolonged mental harm, and very few instances of immediate and temporary adverse psychological responses to the training. [Delete] reported that a small minority of students have had temporary adverse psychological reactions during training. Of the 26,829 students trained from 1992 through 2001 in the Air Force SERE training, 4.3 percent of those students had contact with psychology services. Of those 4.3 percent, only 3.2 percent were pulled from the program for psychological reasons. Thus, out of the students trained overall, only [delete] percent were pulled from the program for psychological reasons. Furthermore, although [delete] indicated that surveys of students having completed this training are not done, he expressed confidence that the training did not cause any long-term psychological impact. He based his conclusion on the debriefing of students that is done after the training. More importantly, he based this assessment on the fact that although training is required to be extremely stressful in order to be effective, very few complaints have been made regarding the training. During his tenure, in which 10,000 students were trained, no congressional complaints have been made. While there was one Inspector General complaint, it was not due to psychological concerns. Moreover, he was aware of only one letter inquiring about the long-term impact of these techniques from an individual trained over twenty years ago. He found that it was impossible to attribute this individual's symptoms to his training. [Delete] concluded that if there are any long-term psychological effects of the United States Air Force training using the procedures outlined above they "are certainly minimal."

With respect to the waterboard, you have also orally informed us that the Navy continues to use it in training. You have informed us that your on-site psychologists, who have extensive experience with the use of the waterboard in Navy training, have not encountered any significant long-term mental health consequences from its use. Your on-site psychologists have also indicated that JPRA has likewise not reported any significant long-term mental health consequences from the use of the waterboard. You have informed us that other services ceased use of the waterboard because it was so successful as an interrogation technique, but not because of any concerns over any harm, physical or mental, caused by it. It was also reported to be almost 100 percent effective in producing cooperation among the trainees. [Delete] also indicated that he had observed the use of the waterboard in Navy training some ten to twelve times. Each time it resulted in cooperation but it did not result in any physical harm to the student.

You have also reviewed the relevant literature and found no empirical data on the effect of these techniques, with the exception of sleep deprivation. With respect to sleep deprivation, you have informed us that is not uncommon for someone to be deprived of sleep for 72 hours and still perform excellently on visual-spatial motor tasks and short-term memory tests. Although some individuals may experience hallucinations, according to the literature you surveyed, those who experience such psychotic symptoms have almost always had such episodes prior to the sleep deprivation. You have indicated the studies of lengthy sleep deprivation showed no psychosis, loosening of thoughts, flattening of emotions, delusions, or paranoid ideas. In one case, even after eleven days of deprivation, no psychosis or permanent brain damaged occurred. In fact the individual reported feeling almost back to normal after one night's sleep. Further, based on the experiences with its use in military training (where it is induced for up to 48 hours), you found that rarely, if ever, will the individual suffer harm after the sleep deprivation is discontinued. Instead, the effects remit after a few good nights of sleep.

You have taken the additional step of consulting with U.S. interrogations experts, and other individuals with oversight over the SERE training process. None of these individuals was aware of any prolonged psychological effect caused by the use of any of the above techniques either separately or as a course of conduct. Moreover, you consulted with outside psychologists who reported that they were unaware of any cases where long-term problems have occurred as a result of these techniques.

Moreover, in consulting with a number of mental health experts, you have learned that the effect of any of these procedures will be dependant on the individual's personal history, cultural history and psychological tendencies. To that end, you have informed us that you have completed a psychological assessment of Zubadyah. This assessment is based on interviews with Zubaydah, observations of him, and information collected from other sources such as intelligence and press reports. Our understanding of Zubaydah's psychological profile, which we set forth below, is based on that assessment.

According to this assessment, Zubaydah, though only 31, rose quickly from very low level mujahedin to third or fourth man in al Qaeda. He has served as Osama Bin Laden's senior lieutenant. In that capacity, he has managed a network of training camps. He has been instrumental in the training of operatives for al Qaeda, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist elements inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. He acted as the Deputy Camp Commander for al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, personally approving entry and graduation of all trainees during 1999-2000. From 1996 until 1999, he approved all individuals going in and out of Afghanistan to the training camps. Further, no one went in and out of Peshawar, Pakistan without his knowledge and approval. He also acted as al Qaeda's coordinator of external contacts and foreign communications. Additionally, he has acted as al Qaeda's counter-intelligence officer and has been trusted to find spies within the organization

Zubaydah has been involved in every major terrorist operation carried out by al Qaeda. He was a planner for the Millennium plot to attack U.S. and Israeli targets during the Millennium celebrations in Jordan. Two of the central figures in this plot who were arrested have identified Zubaydah as the supporter of their cell and the plot. He also served as a planner for the Paris Embassy plot in 2001. Moreover, he was one of the planners of the September 11 attacks. Prior to his capture, he was engaged in planning future terrorist attacks against U.S. interests.

Your psychological assessment indicates that it is believed Zubaydah wrote al Qaeda's manual on resistance techniques. You also believe that his experiences in al Qaeda make him well-acquainted with and well-versed in such techniques. As part of his role in al Qaeda, Zubaydah visited individuals in prison and helped them upon their release. Through this contact and activities with other al Qaeda mujahedin, you believe that he knows many stories of capture, interrogation, and resistance to such interrogation. Additionally, he has spoken with Ayman al-Zawahiri, and you believe it is likely that the two discussed Zawahiri's experiences as a prisoner of the Russians and the Egyptians.

Zubaydah stated during interviews that he thinks of any activity outside of jihad as "silly." He has indicated that his heart and mind are devoted to serving Allah and Islam through jihad and he has stated that he has no doubts or regrets about committing himself to jihad. Zubaydah believes that the global victory of Islam is inevitable. You have informed us that he continues to express his unabated desire to kill Americans and Jews.

Your psychological assessment describes his personality as follows. He is "a highly self-directed individual who prizes his independence." He has "narcissistic features," which are evidenced in the attention he pays to his personal appearance and his "obvious 'efforts' to demonstrate that he is really a rather "humble and regular guy.'" He is "somewhat compulsive" in how he organizes his environment and business. He is confident, self-assured, and possesses an air of authority. While he admits to at times wrestling with how to determine who is an "innocent," he has acknowledged celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center. He is intelligent and intellectually curious. He displays "excellent self-discipline." The assessment describes him as a perfectionist, persistent, private, and highly capable in his social interactions. He is very guarded about opening up to others and your assessment repeatedly emphasizes that he tends not to trust others easily. He is also "quick to recognize and assess the moods and motivations of others." Furthermore, he is proud of his ability to lie and deceive others successfully. Through his deception he has, among other things, prevented the location of al Qaeda safehouses and even acquired a United Nations refugee identification card.

According to your reports, Zubaydah does not have any pre-existing mental conditions or problems that would make him likely to suffer prolonged mental harm from your proposed interrogation methods. Through reading his diaries and interviewing him, you have found no history of "mood disturbance or other psychiatric pathology[,]" "thought disorder[,].... enduring mood or mental health problems." He is in fact "remarkably resilient and confident, that he can overcome adversity." When he encounters stress or low mood, this appears to last only for a short time. He deals with stress by assessing its source, evaluating the coping resources available to him, and then taking action. Your assessment notes that he is "generally self-sufficient and relies on his understanding and application of religious and psychological principles, intelligence and discipline to avoid and overcome problems." Moreover, you have found that he has a "reliable and durable support system" in his faith, "the blessings of religious leaders, and camaraderie of like-minded mujahedin brothers." During detention, Zubaydah has managed his mood, remaining at most points "circumspect, calm, controlled, and deliberate." He has maintained this demeanor during aggressive interrogations and reductions in sleep. You describe that in an initial confrontational incident, Zubaydah showed signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal, which you think was possibly fear. Although this incident led him to disclose intelligence information, he was able to quickly regain his composure, his air of confidence, and his "strong resolve" not to reveal any information.

Overall you summarize his primary strengths as the following: ability to focus, goal-directed discipline, intelligence, emotional resilience, street savvy, ability to organize and manage people, keen observation skills, fluid adaptability (can anticipate and adapt under duress and with minimal resources), capacity to assess and exploit the needs of others, and ability to adjust goals to emerging opportunities.

You anticipate that he will draw upon his vast knowledge of interrogation techniques to cope with the interrogation. Your assessment indicates that Zubaydah may be willing to die to protect the most important information that he holds. Nonetheless, you are of the view that his belief that Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable may provide the chance that Zubaydah will give information and rationalize it solely as a temporary setback. Additionally, you believe he may be willing to disclose some information, particularly information he deems to not be be critical, but which may ultimately be useful to us when pieced together with other intelligence information you have gained.

III.

Section 2340A makes it a criminal offense for any person "outside of the United States [to] commit[] or attémpt[] to commit torture." Section 2340(1) defines torture as:

an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody of physical control.


18 U.S.C. § 2340(1). As we outlined in our opinion on standards of conduct under Section 2340A, a violation of 2340 requires a showing that: (1) the torture occurred outside the United States; (2) the defendant acted under the color of law; (3) the victim was within the defendant's custody or control; (4) the defendant specifically intended to inflict severe pain or suffering; and (5) that the acted inflicted severe pain or suffering. See Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency, from Jay S. Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel Re: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A at 3 (August 1, 2002) ("Section 2340A Memorandum"). You have asked us to assume that Zubayadah is being held outside the United States, Zubayadah is within U.S. custody, and the interrogators are acting under the color of law. At issue is whether the last two elements would be met by the use of the proposed procedures, namely, whether those using these procedures would have the requisite mental state and whether these procedures would inflict severe pain or suffering within the meaning of the statute.

Severe Pain or Suffering. In order for pain or suffering to rise to the level of torture, the statute requires that it be severe. As we have previously explained, this reaches only extreme acts. See id. at 13. Nonetheless, drawing upon cases under the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), which has a definition of torture that is similar to Section 2340's definition, we found that a single event of sufficiently intense pain may fall within this prohibition. See id. at 26. As a result, we have analyzed each of these techniques separately. In further drawing upon those cases, we also have found that courts tend to take a totality-of-the-circumstances approach and consider an entire course of conduct to determine whether torture has occurred. See id. at 27.Therefore, in addition to considering each technique separately, we consider them together as a course of conduct.

Section 2340 defines torture as the infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering. We will consider physical pain and mental pain separately. See 18 U.S.C. § 2340(1). With respect to physical pain, we previously concluded that "severe pain" within the meaning of Section 2340 is pain that is difficult for the individual to endure and is of an intensity akin to the pain accompanying serious physical injury. See Section 2340A Memorandum at 6. Drawing upon the TVPA precedent, we have noted that examples of acts inflicting severe pain that typify torture are, among other things, severe beatings with weapons such as clubs, and the burning of prisoners. See id at 24. We conclude below that none of the proposed techniques inflicts such pain.

The facial hold and the attention grasp involve no physical pain. In the absence of such pain it is obvious that they cannot be said to inflict severe physical pain or suffering, The stress positions and wall standing both may result in muscle fatigue. Each involves the sustained holding of a position. In wall standing, it will be holding a position in which all of the individual's body weight is placed on his finger tips. The stress positions will likely include sitting on the floor with legs extended straight out in front and arms raised above the head, and kneeling on the floor and leaning back at a 45 degree angle. Any pain associated with muscle fatigue is not of the intensity sufficient to amount to "severe physical pain or suffering" under the statute, nor, despite its discomfort, can it be said to be difficult to endure. Moreover, you have orally informed us that no stress position will be used that could interfere with the healing of Zubaydah's wound. Therefore, we conclude that these techniques involve discomfort that falls far below the threshold of severe physical pain.

Similarly, although the confinement boxes (both small and large) are physically uncomfortable because their size restricts movement, they are not so small as to require the individual to contort his body to sit (small box) or stand (large box). You have also orally informed us that despite his wound, Zubaydah remains quite flexible, which would substantially reduce any pain associated with being placed in the box. We have no information from the medical experts you have consulted that the limited duration for which the individual is kept in the boxes causes any substantial physical pain. As a result, we do not think the use of these boxes can be said to cause pain that is of the intensity associated with serious physical injury.

The use of one of these boxes with the introduction of an insect does not alter this assessment. As we understand it, no actually harmful insect will be placed in the box. Thus, though the introduction of an insect may produce trepidation in Zubaydah (which we discuss below), it certainly does not cause physical pain.

As for sleep deprivation, it is clear that depriving someone of sleep does not involve severe physical pain within the meaning of the statute. While sleep deprivation may involve some physical discomfort, such as the fatigue or the discomfort experienced in the difficulty of keeping one's eyes open, these effects remit after the individual is permitted to sleep. Based on the facts you have provided us, we are not aware of any evidence that sleep deprivation results in severe physical pain or suffering. As a result, its use does not violate Section 2340A.

Even those techniques that involve physical contact between the interrogator and the individual do not result in severe pain. The facial slap and walling contain precautions to ensure that no pain even approaching this level results. The slap is delivered with fingers slightly spread, which you have explained to us is designed to be less painful than a closed-hand slap. The slap is also delivered to the fleshy part of the face, further reducing any risk of physical damage or serious pain. The facial slap does not produce pain that is difficult to endure. Likewise, walling involves quickly pulling the person forward and then thrusting him against a flexible false wall. You have informed us that the sound of hitting the wall will actually be far worse than any possible injury to the individual. The use of the rolled towel around the neck also reduces any risk of injury. While it may hurt to be pushed against the wall, any pain experienced is not of the intensity associated with serious physical injury.

As we understand it, when the waterboard is used, the subject's body responds as if the subject were drowning - even though the subject may be well aware that he is in fact not drowning. You have informed us that this procedure does not inflict actual physical harm. Thus, although the subject may experience the fear or panic associated with the feeling of drowning, the waterboard does not inflict physical pain. As we explained in the Section 2340A Memorandum, "pain and suffering" as used in Section 2340 is best understood as a single concept, not distinct concepts of "pain" as distinguished from "suffering." See Section 2340A Memorandum at 6 n.3. The waterboard, which inflicts no pain or actual harm whatsoever, does not, in our view inflict "severe pain or suffering." Even if one were to parse the statute more finely to attempt to treat "suffering" as a distinct concept, the waterboard could not be said to inflict severe suffering. The waterboard is simply a controlled acute episode, lacking the connotation of a protracted period of time generally given to suffering.

Finally, as we discussed above, you have informed us that in determining which procedures to use and how you will use them, you have selected techniques that will not harm Zubaydah's wound. You have also indicated that numerous steps will be taken to ensure that none of these procedures in any way interferes with the proper healing of Zubaydah's wound. You have also indicated that, should it appear at any time that Zuhaydah is experiencing severe pain or suffering, the medical personnel on hand will STOP the use of any technique.

Even when all of these methods are considered combined in an overall course of conduct, they still would not inflict severe physical pain or suffering. As discussed above, a number of these acts result in no physical pain, others produce only physical discomfort. You have indicated that these acts will not be used with substantial repetition, so that there is no possibility that severe physical pain could arise from such repetition. Accordingly, we conclude that these acts neither separately nor as part of a course of conduct would inflict severe physical pain or suffering within the meaning of the statute.

We next consider whether the use of these techniques would inflict severe mental pain or suffering within the meaning of Section 2340. Section 2340 defines severe mental pain or suffering as "the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from" one of several predicate acts. 18 U.S.C. § 2340(2). [Delete] predicate acts are: (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that any of the preceding acts will be done to another person. See 18 U.S.C. § 2340(2)(A)-(D). As we have explained, this list of predicate acts is exclusive. Sec Section 2340A Memorandum at 8. No other acts can support a charge under Section 2340A based on the infliction of severe menial pain or suffering. See id. Thus, if the methods that you have described do not either in and of themselves constitute one of these acts or as a course of conduct fulfill the predicate act requirement, the prohibition has not been violated. See id. Before addressing these techniques, we note that it is plain that none of these procedures involves a threat to any third party, the use of any kind of drugs, or for the reasons described above, the infliction of severe physical pain. Thus, the question is whether any of these acts, separately or as a course of conduct, constitutes a threat of severe physical pain or suffering, a procedure designed to disrupt profoundly the senses, or a threat of imminent death. As we previously explained, whether an action constitutes a threat must be assessed from the standpoint of a reasonable person in the subject's position. See id. at 9.

No argument can be made that the attention grasp or the facial hold constitute threats of imminent death or are procedures designed to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality. In general the grasp and the facial hold will startle the subject, produce fear, or even insult him. As you have informed us, the use of these techniques is not accompanied by a specific verbal threat of severe physical pain or suffering. To the extent that these techniques could be considered a threat of severe physical pain or suffering, such a threat would have to be inferred from the acts themselves. Because these actions themselves involve no pain, neither could be interpreted by a reasonable person in Zubaydah's position to constitute a threat of severe pain or suffering. Accordingly, these two techniques are not predicate acts within the meaning of Section 2340.

The facial slap likewise falls outside the set of predicate acts. It plainly is not a threat of imminent death, under Section 2340(2)(C), or a procedure designed to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality under Section 2340(2)(B). Though it may hurt, as discussed above, the effect is one of smarting or stinging and surprise or humiliation, but not severe pain. Nor does it alone constitute a threat of severe pain or suffering, under Section 2340(2)(A). Like the facial hold and the attention grasp, the use of this slap is not accompanied by a specific verbal threat of further escalating violence. Additionally, you have informed us that in one use this technique will typically involve at most two slaps. Certainly, the use of this slap may dislodge any expectation that Zubaydah had that he would not be touched in a physically aggressive manner. Nonetheless, this alteration in his expectations could hardly be construed by a reasonable person in his situation to be tantamount to a threat of severe physical pain or suffering. At most, this technique suggests that the circumstances of his confinement and interrogation have changed. Therefore, the facial slap is not within the statute's exclusive list of predicate acts.

Walling plainly is not a procedure calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality. While walling involves what might be characterized as rough handling, it does not involve the threat of imminent death or, as discussed above, the infliction of severe physical pain. Moreover, once again we understand that use of this technique will not be accompanied by any specific verbal threat that violence will ensue absent cooperation. Thus, like, the facial slap, walling can only constitute,a threat of severe physical pain if a reasonable person would infer such a threat from the use of the technique itself. Walling does not in and of itself inflict severe pain or suffering. Like the facial slap, walling may alter the subject's expectation as to the treatment he believes he will receive. Nonetheless, the character of the action falls so far short of inflicting severe pain or suffering within the meaning of the statute that even if he inferred that greater aggressiveness was to follow, the type of actions that could be reasonably he anticipated would still fall below anything sufficient to inflict severe physical pain or suffering under the statute. Thus, we conclude that this technique falls outside the proscribed predicate acts.

Like walling, stress positions and wall-standing are not procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses, nor are they threats of imminent death. These procedures, as discussed above, involve the use of muscle fatigue to encourage cooperation and do not themselves constitute the infliction of severe physical pain or suffering. Moreover, there is no aspect of violence to either technique that remotely suggests future severe pain or suffering from which such a threat of future harm could be inferred. They simply involve forcing the subject to remain in uncomfortable positions. While these acts may indicate to the subject that he may be placed in these positions again if he does not disclose information, the use of these techniques would not suggest to a reasonable person in the subject's position that he is being threatened with severe pain or suffering. Accordingly, we conclude that these two procedures do not constitute any of the predicate acts set forth in Section 2340(2).

As with the other techniques discussed so far, cramped confinement is not a threat of imminent death. It may be argued that, focusing in part on the fact that the boxes will be without light, placement in these boxes would constitute a procedure designed to disrupt profoundly the senses. As we explained in our recent opinion, however, to "disrupt profoundly the senses" a technique must produce an extreme effect in the subject. See Section 2340A Memorandum at 10-12. We have previously concluded that this requires that the procedure cause substantial interference with the individual's cognitive abilities or fundamentally alter his personality. See id. at 11. Moreover, the statute requires that such procedures must be calculated to produce this effect. See id at 10; 18 U.S.C. § 2340(2)(B).

With respect to the small confinement box, you have informed us that he would spend at most two hours in this box. You have informed us that your purpose in using these boxes is not to interfere with his senses or his personality, but to cause him physical discomfort that will encourage him to disclose critical information. Moreover, your imposition of time limitations on the use of either of the boxes also indicates that the use of these boxes is not designed or calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality. For the larger box, in which he can both stand and sit, he may be placed in this box for up to eighteen hours at a time, while you have informed us that he will never spend more than an hour at time in the smaller box. These time limits further ensure that no profound disruption of the senses or personality, were it even possible, would result. As such, the use of the confinement boxes does not constitute a procedure calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

Nor does the use of the boxes threaten Zubaydah with severe physical pain or suffering. While additional time spent in the boxes may be threatened, their use is not accompanied by any express threats of severe physical pain or suffering. Like the stress positions and walling, placement in the boxes is physically uncomfortable but any such discomfort does not rise to the level of severe physical pain or suffering. Accordingly, a reasonable person in the subject's position would not infer from the use of this technique that severe physical pain is the next step in his interrogator's treatment of him. Therefore, we conclude that the use of the confinement boxes does not fall within the statute's required predicate acts.

In addition to using the confinement boxes alone, you also would like to introduce an insect into one of the boxes with Zubaydah. As we understand it, you plan to inform Zubaydah that you are going to place a stinging insect into the box, but you will actually place a harmless insect in the box, such as a caterpillar. If you do so, to ensure that you are outside the predicate act requirement, you must inform him that the insects will not have a sting that would produce death or severe pain. If, however, you were to place the insect in the box without informing him that you are doing so, then, in order to not commit a predicate act, you should not affirmatively lead him to believe that any insect's [delete] which has a sting known to produce severe pain or suffering or even cause his death. [Big delete] so long as you [delete] of the approaches we have described, the insect's placement in the box would not constitute a threat of severe physical pain or suffering to a reasonable person in his position. An individual placed in a box, even an individual with a fear of insects, would not reasonably feel threatened with severe physical pain or suffering if a caterpillar was placed in the box. Further, you have informed us that you are not aware that Zubaydah has any allergies to insects, and you have not informed us of any other factors that would cause a reasonable person in that same situation to believe that an unknown insect would cause him severe physical pain or death. Thus, we conclude that the placement of the insect in the confinement box with Zubaydah would not constitute a predicate act.

Sleep deprivation also dearly does not involve a threat of imminent death. Although it produces physical discomfort, it cannot be said to constitute a threat of severe physical pain or suffering from the perspective of a reasonable person in Zubaydah's position. Nor could sleep deprivation constitute a procedure calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses, so long as sleep deprivation (as you have informed us is your intent) is used for limited periods, before hallucinations or other profound disruptions of the senses would occur. To be sure, sleep deprivation may reduce the subject's ability to think on his feet. Indeed, you indicate that this is the intended result. His mere reduced ability to evade your questions and resist answering does not, however, rise to the level of disruption required by the statute. As we explained above, a disruption within the meaning of the statute is an extreme one, substantially interfering with an individual's cognitive abilities, for example, inducing hallucinations, or driving him to engage in uncharacteristic self-destructive behavior. See infra 13; Section 2340A. Memorandum at II. Therefore, the limited use of sleep deprivation does not constitute one of the required predicate [delete]

We find that the use of the waterboard constitutes a threat of imminent death. Ás you have explained the waterboard procedure to us, it creates in the subject the uncontrollable physiological sensation that the subject is drowning. Although the procedure will be monitored by personnel with medical training and extensive SÉRE school experience with this procedure who will ensure the subject's mental and physical safety, the subject is not aware of any of these precautions. From the vantage point of any reasonable person undergoing this procedure in such circumstances, he would feel as if he is drowning at very moment of the procedure due to the uncontrollable physiological sensation he is experiencing. Thus, this procedure cannot be viewed as too uncertain to satisfy the imminence requirement. Accordingly, it constitutes a threat of imminent death and fulfills the predicate act requirement under the statute.

Although the waterboard constitutes a threat of imminent, death, prolonged mental harm must nonetheless result to violate the statutory prohibition on infliction of severe mental pain or suffering. See Section 2340A Memorandum at 7. We have previously concluded that prolonged mental harm is mental harm of some lasting duration, e.g., mental harm lasting months or years. See id. Prolonged mental harm is not simply the stress experienced in, for example, an interrogation by state police. See id. Based on your research into the use of these methods at the SERE school and consultation with others with expertise in the field of psychology and interrogation, you do not anticipate that any prolonged mental harm would result from the use of the waterboard. Indeed, you have advised us that the relief is almost immediate when the cloth is removed from the nose and mouth. In the absence of prolonged mental harm, no severe mental pain or suffering would have been inflicted, and the use of these procedures would not constitute torture within the meaning of the statute.

When these acts are considered as a course of conduct, we are unsure whether these acts may constitute a threat of severe physical pain or suffering. You have indicated to us that you have not determined either the order or the precise timing for implementing these procedures. It is conceivable that these procedures could be used in a course of escalating conduct, moving incrementally and rapidly from least physically intrusive, e.g., facial hold, to the most physical contact, e.g., walling or the waterboard. As we understand it, based on his treatment so far, Zubaydah has come to expect that no physical harm will be done to him. By using these techniques in increasing intensity and in rapid succession, the goal would be to dislodge this expectation. Based on the facts you have provided to us, we cannot say definitively that the entire course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to believe that he is being threatened with severe pain or suffering within the meaning of section 2340. On the other hand, however, under certain circumstances—for example, rapid escalation in the use of these techniques culminating in the waterboard (which we acknowledge constitutes a threat of imminent death) accompanied by verbal, or other suggestions that physical violence will follow—might cause a reasonable person to believe that they are faced with such a threat. Without more information, we are uncertain whether the course of conduct would constitute a predicate act under Section 2340(2).

Even if the course of conduct were thought to pose a threat of physical pain or suffering, it would nevertheless—on the facts before us—not constitute a violation of Section 2340A. Not only must the course of conduct be a predicate act, but also those who use the procedure must actually cause prolonged mental harm. Based on the information that you have provided to us, indicating that no evidence exists that this course of conduct produces any prolonged mental harm, we conclude that a course of conduct using these procedures and culminating in the waterboard would not violate Section 2340A.

Specific Intent. To violate the statute, an individual must have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering. Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture. As we previously opined, to have the required specific intent, an individual must expressly intend to cause such severe pain or suffering. See Section 2340A Memorandum at 3 citing Carter v. United States, 530 U.S. 255. 267 (2000). We have further found that if a defendant acts with the good faith belief that his actions will not cause such suffering, he has not acted with specific intent. See id at. 4 citing South Atl. Lmtd. Ptrshp. of Tenn. v. Reise, 218 F.3d 518. 531 (4th Cir. 2002). A defendant acts in good faith when he has an honest belief that his actions will not result in severe pain or suffering. See id. citing Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 202 (1991). Although an honest belief need not be reasonable, such a belief is easier to establish where there is a reasonable basis for it. See id. at 5. Good faith may be established by, among other thing's, the reliance on the advice of experts. See id. at 8.

Based on the information you have provided us, we believe that those carrying out these procedures would not have the specific intent to inflict severe physical pain or suffering. The objective of these techniques is not to cause severe physical pain. First, the constant presence of personnel with medical training who have the authority to stop the interrogation should it appear it is medically necessary indicates that it is not your intent to cause severe physical pain. The personnel on site have extensive experience with these specific techniques as they are used in SERE school training. Second, you have informed us that you are taking steps to ensure that Zubaydah's injury is not worsened or his recovery impeded by the use of these techniques.

Third, as you have described them, to us, the proposed techniques involving physical contact between the interrogator and Zubaydah actually contain precautions to prevent any serious physical harm to Zubaydah. In "walling," a rolled hood or towel will be used to prevent whiplash and he will be permitted to rebound from the flexible wall to reduce the likelihood of injury. Similarly, in the "facial hold," the fingertips will be kept well away from the his eyes to ensure that there is no injury to them. The purpose of that facial hold is not to injure him but to hold the head immobile. Additionally, while the stress positions and wall standing will undoubtedly result in physical discomfort by tiring the muscles, it is obvious that these positions are not intended to produce the kind of extreme pain required by the statute.

Furthermore no specific intent to cause severe mental pain or suffering appears to be present. As we explained in our recent opinion, an individual must have the specific intent to cause prolonged mental harm in order to have the specific intent to inflict severe mental pain or suffering. See Section 2340A Memorandum at 8. Prolonged mental harm is substantial mental harm of a sustained duration, e.g., harm lasting months or even years after the acts were inflicted upon the prisoner. As we indicated above, a good faith belief can negate this element. Accordingly, if an individual conducting the interrogation has a good faith belief that the procedure he will apply, separately or together, would not result in prolonged menial harm, that individual lacks the requisite specific intent. This conclusion concerning specific intent is further bolstered by the due diligence that has been conducted concerning the effects of these interrogation procedures.

The mental health experts that you have consulted have indicated that the psychological impact of a course of conduct must be assessed with reference to the subject's psychological history and current mental health status. The healthier the individual, the less likely that the use of any one procedure or set of procedures as a course of conduct will result in prolonged mental harm. A comprehensive psychological profile of Zubaydah has been created. In creating this profile, your personnel drew on direct interviews, Zubaydah's diaries, observation of Zubaydah since his [delete] reports. [Big delete]

As we indicated above, you have informed us that your proposed interrogation methods have been used and continue to be used in SERE training. It is our understanding that these techniques are not used one by one in isolation, but as a full course of conduct to resemble a real interrogation. Thus, the information, derived from SERE training bears both upon the impact of the use of the individual techniques and upon their use as a course of conduct. You have found that the use of these methods together or separately, including the use of the waterboard, has not resulted in any negative long-term, mental health consequences. The continued use of these methods without mental health consequences to the trainees indicates that it is highly improbable that such consequences would result here. Because you have conducted the due diligence to determine that these procedures, either alone or in combination, do not produce prolonged mental harm, we believe that you de not meet the specific intent requirement necessary to violate Section 2340A.

You have also informed us that you have reviewed the relevant literature on the subject and consulted with outside psychologists. Your review of the literature uncovered no empirical data on the use of these procedures, with the exception of sleep deprivation for which no long-term health consequences resulted. The outside psychologists with whom you consulted indicated were unaware of any cases where long-term problems have occurred as a result of these techniques.

As described above, it appears you have conducted an extensive inquiry to ascertain what impact, if any, these procedures individually and as a course of conduct would have on Zubaydah. You have consulted with interrogation experts, including those with substantial SERE school experience, consulted with outside psychologists, completed a psychological assessment and reviewed the relevant literature on this topic. Based on this inquiry, you believe that the use of the procedures, including the waterboard, and as a course of conduct would not result in prolonged mental harm. Reliance on this information about Zubaydah and about the effect of the use of these techniques more generally demonstrates the presence of a good faith belief that no prolonged mental harm will result from using these methods in the interrogation of Zubaydah. Moreover, we think that this represents not only an honest belief but also a reasonable belief based on the information that you have supplied to us. Thus, we believe that the specific intent to inflict prolonged mental is not present, and consequently, there is no specific intent to inflict severe mental pain or suffering. Accordingly, we conclude that on the facts in this case the use of these methods separately or a course of conduct would not violate Section 2340A.

Based on the foregoing, and based on the facts that you have provided, we conclude that the interrogation procedures that you propose would not violate Section 2340A. We wish to emphasize that this is our best reading of the law; however, you should be aware that there are no cases construing this statute; just as there have been no prosecutions brought under it.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Jay S. Bybee
Assistant Attorney General
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

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MEMO 15

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Legal Counsel

Office of the Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530

August 1, 2002

The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales
Counsel to the President
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Judge Gonzales:

You have requested the views of our Office concerning the legality, under international law, of interrogation methods to be used during the current war on terrorism. More specifically, you have asked whether interrogation methods used on captured al Qaeda operatives, which do not violate the prohibition on torture found in 18 U.S.C. § 2340-2340A, would either: a) violate our obligations under the Torture Convention, [1] or b) create the basis for a prosecution under the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). [2] We believe that interrogation methods that comply with § 2340 would not violate our international obligations under the Torture Convention, because of a specific understanding attached by the United States to its instrument of ratification. We also conclude that actions taken as part of the interrogation of al Qaeda operatives cannot fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC, although it would be impossible to control the actions of a rogue prosecutor or judge. This letter summarizes our views; a memorandum opinion will follow that will more fully explain our reasoning.

I.

Section 2340A makes it a criminal offense for any person "outside the United States [to] commit[] or attempt[] to commit torture." [3] The act of torture is defined as an:

act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.


18 U.S.C.A. § 2340(1); see id. § 2340A. Thus, to convict a defendant of torture, the prosecution must establish that: (1) the torture occurred outside the United States; (2) the defendant acted under the color of law; (3) the victim was within the defendant's custody or physical control; (4) the defendant specifically intended to cause severe physical or mental pain or suffering; and (5) that the act inflicted severe physical or mental pain or suffering. See also S. Exec. Rep. No. 101-30, at 6 (1990) ("For an act to be 'torture,' it must ... cause severe pain and suffering, and be intended to cause severe pain and suffering."). As we have explained elsewhere, in order to violate the statute a defendant must have specific intention to inflict severe pain or suffering -- in other words, "the infliction of such pain must be the defendant's precise objective." See Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President, from: Jay S. Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A at 3 (August 1, 2002).

Section 2340 further defines "severe mental pain or suffering" as:

the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from --

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, or mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(C) the threat of imminent death; or

(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.


18 U.S.C. § 2340(2). As we have explained, in order to inflict severe mental or suffering, a defendant both must commit one of the four predicate acts, such as threatening imminent death, and intend to cause "prolonged mental harm."

II.

You have asked whether interrogation methods used on al Qaeda operatives that comply with 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A neveretheless could violate the United States' obligations under the Torture Convention. The Torture Convention defines torture as:

any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or4 acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.


Article 1(1) (emphasis added).

Despite the apparent differences in language between the Convention and § 2340, international law clearly could not hold the United States to an obligation different than that expressed in § 2340. When it acceded to the Convention, the United States attached to its instrument of ratification a clear understanding that defined torture in the exact terms used by § 2340. The first Bush administration submitted the following understanding of the treaty:

The United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental pain caused by or resulting from (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.


S. Exec. Rep. No. 10-30, at 36. The Senate approved the Convention based on this understanding, and the United States including the understanding in its instrument of ratification. [4]

This understanding accomplished two things. First, it made crystal clear that the intent requirement for torture was specific intent. By its terms, the Torture Convention might be read to require only general intent although we believe the better argument is that that the Convention's use of the phrase "intentionally inflicted" also created a specific intent-type standard. Second, it added form and substance to the otherwise amorphous concept of mental pain or suffering. In so doing, this understanding ensure that mental torture would rise to a severity comparable to that required in the context of physical torture.

It is one of the core principles of international law that in treaty relations a nation is not bound without its consent. Under international law, a reservation made when ratifying a treaty validly alters or modifies the treaty obligation, subject to certain conditions that will be discussed below. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, May 23, 1969, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331 (entered into force Jan. 27, 1980); 1 Restatement of the Law (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the [see alternative text ending this paragraph below] one nation, Germany appears to have commented on the United States' reservations, and even Germany did not oppose any U.S. reservation outright.

Thus, we conclude that the Bush administration's understanding created a valid and effective reservation to the Torture Convention. Even if it were otherwise, there is no international court to review the conduct of the United States under the Convention. In an additional reservation, the United States refused to accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ (which, in any event, could hear only a case brought by another state, not by an individual) to adjudicate cases under the Convention. Although the Convention creates a Committee to monitor compliance, it can only conduct studies and has no enforcement powers.

III.

You have also asked whether interrogations of al Qaeda operatives could be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution by the ICC. We believe that the ICC cannot take action based on such interrogations.

First, as noted earlier, one of the most established principles of international law is that a state cannot be bound by treaties to which it has not consented. Although President Clinton signed the Rome Statute, the United States has withdrawn its signature from the agreement before submitting it to the Senate for advice and consent -- effectively terminating it. The United States, therefore, cannot be bound by the provisions of the ICC Treaty nor can U.S. nationals be subject to ICC prosecution. We acknowledge, however, that the binding nature of the ICC treaty on non-parties is a complicated issue and do not attempt to definitively answer it here.

Second. even if the ICC could in some way act upon the United States and its citizens, interrogation of an al Qaeda operative could not constitute a crime under the Rome Statute. Even if certain interrogation methods being contemplated amounted to torture (and we have no facts that indicate that they would), the Rome Statute makes torture a crime subject to the ICC's jurisdiction in only two contexts. Under article 7 of the Rome Statute, torture may fall under the ICC's jurisdiction as a crime against humanity if it is committed as "part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against any civilian population." Here, however, the interrogation of al Qaeda operatives is not occurring as part of such an attack. The United States' campaign against al Qaeda is an attack on a non-state terrorist organization, not a civilian population. If anything, the interrogations are taking place to elicit information that could prevent attacks on civilian populations.

Under article 8 of the Rome statute, torture can fall within the ICC's jurisdiction as a war crime. In order to constitute a war crime, torture must be committed against "persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Conventions." Rome Statute, art. 8. On February 27, 2002, the President determined that neither members of the al Qaeda terrorist network nor Taliban soldiers were entitled to the legal status of prisoners of war under the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 6 U.S.T. 3517 ("GPW"). As we have explained elsewhere, members of al Qaeda cannot receive the protections accorded to POWs under GPW because al Qaeda is a non-state terrorist organization that has not signed the Conventions. Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President and William J. Haynes, II, General Counsel, Department of Defense, from Jay S. Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees at 8 (Jan. 22, 2002). The President has appropriately determined that al Qaeda members are not POWs under the GPW, but rather are illegal combatants, who are not entitled to the protections of any of the Geneva Conventions. Interrogation of al Qaeda members, therefore, cannot constitute a war crime because article 8 of the Rome Statute applies only to those protected by the Geneva Conventions.

We cannot guarantee, however, that the ICC would decline to investigate and prosecute interrogations of al Qaeda members. By the terms of the Rome Statute, the ICC is not checked by any other international body, not to mention any democratically-elected or accountable one. Indeed, recent events indicate that some nations even believe that the ICC is not subject to the authority of the United Nations Security Council. It is possible that an ICC official would ignore the clear limitations imposed by the Rome Statute, or at least disagree with the President's interpretation of GPW. Of course, the problem of the "rogue prosecutor" is not limited to questions about the interrogation of al Qaeda operatives, but is a potential risk for any number of actions that have been undertaken during the Afghanistan campaign, such as the collateral loss of civilian life in the bombing of legitimate military targets. Our Office can only provide the best reading of international law on the merits. We cannot predict the political actions of international institutions.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
John C. Yoo
Deputy Assistant Attorney General

_______________

Notes:

1. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20 (1988), 1465 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force June 26, 1987)

2. U.N. Doc. A/CONF.183/9 (1998), reprinted in 37 I.L.M. 999 (1998) [hereinafter ICC Statute].

3. If convicted of torture, a defendant faces a fine or up to twenty years' imprisonment or both. If, however, the act resulted in the victim's death, a defendant may be sentenced to life imprisonment or to death. See 18 U.S.C.A. § 2340A(a). Whether death results from the act also affects the applicable statute of limitations. Where death does not result, the statute of limitations is eight years; if death results, there is no statute of limitations. See 18 U.S.C.A. § 3286(b) (West Supp. 2002); id. § 2332b(g)(5)(B) (West Supp. 2002). Section 2340A as originally enacted did not provide for the death penalty as a punishment. See Omnibus Crime Bill, Pub. L. No. 103-322, Title VI, Section 60020, 108 Stat. 1979 (1994) (amending section 2340A to provide for the death penalty); H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 103-711, at 388 (1994) (noting that the act added the death penalty as a penalty for torture).

Most recently, the USA Patriot Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001), amended section 2340A to expressly codify the offense of conspiracy to commit torture. Congress enacted this amendment as part of a broader effort to ensure that individuals engaged in the planning of terrorist activities could be prosecuted irrespective of where the activities took place. See H.R. Rep. No. 107-236, at 70 (2001) (discussing the addition of "conspiracy" as a separate offense for a variety of "Federal terrorism offense[s]").

4. See http://www.un.org/Depts/Treaty/final/ts ... /iv_9.html.

_______________

Librarian's Comment:
There must have been two versions of this document. See alternative text with extra footnotes below.

Alternative Text:

United States § 313 (1987). [5] The right to enter reservations applies to multilateral international agreements just as in the more familiar context of bilateral agreements. Id. Under international law, therefore, the United States thus is bound only by the text of the Torture Convention as modified by the first Bush administration's understanding. [6] As is obvious from its text, Congress codified the understanding almost verbatim when it enacted § 2340. The United States' obligation under the Torture Convention is thus identical to the standard set by § 2340. Conduct that does not violate the latter does not violate the former. Put another way, so long as the interrogation methods do not violate § 2340, they also do not violate our international obligations under the Torture Convention.

Although the Vienna Convention on Treaties recognizes several exceptions to the right to make reservations, none of them apply here. [7] First, a reservation is valid and effective unless it purports to defeat the object and purpose of the treaty. Vienna Convention, art. 19. Our initial research indicates that international law has provided little guidance regarding the meaning of the "object and purpose" test. Nonetheless, it is clear that here the United States had not defeated the object and purpose of the Torture Convention. The United States nowhere reserved the right to conduct torture; in fact, it enacted Section 2340 to expand the prohibition on torture in its domestic criminal law. Rather than defeat the object of the Torture Convention, the United States simply accepted its prohibition and attempted, through the Bush administration's understanding, to make clear the scope and meaning of the treaty's obligations.

Second, a treaty reservation will not be valid if the treaty itself prohibits states from taking reservations. The Torture Convention nowhere prohibits state parties from entering reservations. To be sure, two provisions of the Torture Convention -- the competence of the Committee Against Torture, art. 28, and the mandatory jurisdction of the International Court of Justice, art. 30 -- specifically note that nations may take reservations from their terms. Nonetheless, the Convention contains no provision that explicitly attempts to preclude states from exercising their basic right under international law to enter reservations to other provisions. Without such a provision, we do not believe that the Torture Convention precludes reservations.

Third, in regard to multilateral agreements, a treaty reservation may not be valid if it is objected to in a timely manner by other states. Vienna Convention art. 20. If another state does not object within a certain period of time, it is deemed to have acquiesced in the reservation. Even if, however, another nation objects, that only means that the provision of the treaty to which the reservation applies is not in force between the two nations -- unless the objecting nation opposes entry into force of the treaty as a whole between the two nations. Id. art 21(3). Here, no nation appears to have objected to the United States' further definition of torture. Only one nation, Germany appears to have commented on the United States' reservations, and even Germany did not oppose any U.S. reservation outright.

_______________

Notes:

5. Although, under domestic law, the Bush administration's definition of torture was categorized as an "understanding," it was deposited with the instrument of ratification as a condition of the United States' ratification, and so under international law we consider it to be a reservation if it indeed modifies the Torture Convention standard. See Restatement (Third) at § 313 cmt. g.

6. Further, if we are correct in our suggestion that the Torture Convention itself creates a heightened intent standard, then the understanding attached by the Bush Administration is less a modification of the Convention's obligations and more of an explanation of how the United States would implement its somewhat ambiguous terms.

7. It should be noted that the United States is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention, although it has said that it considers some of its provisions to be customary international law.
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:51 pm

MEMO 16

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER
3511 NW 91ST AVENUE
MIAMI, FL. 33172-1217

SCCDR

25 October 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC 20318-9999

SUBJECT: Counter-Resistance Techniques

1. The activities of Joint Task Force 170 have yielded critical intelligence support for forces in combat, combatant commanders, and other intelligence/law enforcement entities prosecuting the War on Terrorism. However, despite our best efforts, some detainees have tenaciously resisted our current interrogation methods. Our respective staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Joint Task Force 170 have been trying to identify counter-resistant techniques that we can lawfully employ.

2. I am forwarding Joint Task Force 170's proposed counter-resistance techniques. I believe the first two categories of techniques are legal and humane. I am uncertain whether all the techniques in the third category are legal under U.S. law, given the absence of judicial interpretation of the U.S. torture statute. I am particularly troubled by the use of implied or expressed threats of death of the detainee or his family. However, I desire to have as many options as possible at my disposal and therefore request that Department of Defense and Department of Justice lawyers review the third category of techniques.

3. As part of any review of Joint Task Force 170's proposed strategy, I welcome any suggested interrogation methods that others may propose. I believe we should provide our interrogators with as many legally permissible tools as possible.

4. Although I am cognizant of the important policy ramifications of some of these proposed techniques, I firmly believe that we must quickly provide Joint Task Force 170 counter-resistance techniques to maximize the value of our intelligence collection mission.

Encls
James T. Hill
General, US Army

Commander

1. JTF 170 CDR Memo
dtd 11 October, 2002
2. JTF 170 SJA Memo
dtd 11 October, 2002
3. JTF 170 J-2 Memo
dtd 11 October, 2002

Declassify Under the Authority of Executive Order 12958 by Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense By William P. Marriott, CAPT, UNSN
June 21, 2004

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:51 pm

MEMO 17

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
JOINT TASK FORCE 170
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA
APO AE 09860

JTF 170-CG

11 October 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR Commander, United States Southern Command, 3511 NW 91st Avenue, Miami, Florida 33172-1217

SUBJECT: Counter-Resistance Strategies

1. Request that you approve the interrogation techniques delineated in the enclosed Counter-Resistance Strategies memorandum. I have reviewed this memorandum and the legal review provided to me by the JTF-170 Staff Judge Advocate and concur with the legal analysis provided.

2. I am fully aware of the techniques currently employed to gain valuable intelligence in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Although these techniques have resulted in significant exploitable intelligence, the same methods have become less effective over time. I believe the methods and techniques delineated in the accompanying J-2 memorandum will enhance our efforts to extract additional information. Based on the analysis provided by the JTF-170 SJA, I have concluded that these techniques do not violate U.S. or international laws.

3. My point of contact for this issue is LTC Jerald Phifer at DSN 660-3476.

MICHAEL E. DUNLAVEY
Major General, USA
Commanding

2 Encls.
1. JTF 170-J2 Memo, 11 Oct 02
2. JTF 170-SJA Memo, 11 Oct 02
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:52 pm

MEMO 18

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
JOINT TASK FORCE 170
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA
APO AE 09860

JTF 170-SJA

11 October 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR Commander, Joint Task Force 170

SUBJ: Legal Review of Aggressive Interrogation Techniques

1. I have reviewed the memorandum on Counter-Resistance Strategies, dated 11 Oct 02, and agree that the proposed strategies do not violate applicable federal law. Attached is a more detailed legal analysis that addresses the proposal.

2. I recommend that interrogators be properly trained in the use of the approved methods of interrogation, and that interrogations involving category II and III methods under a legal review prior to their commencement.

3. This matter is forwarded to you for your recommendation and action

DIANE E. BEAVER
LTC, USA
Staff Judge Advocate

2 Encls.
1. JTF 170-J2 Memo, 11 Oct 02
2. JTF 170-SJA Memo, 11 Oct 02
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:52 pm

MEMO 19

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
JOINT TASK FORCE 170
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA
APO AE 09860

JTF-J2

11 October 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR Commander, Joint Task Force 170

SUBJECT: Request for approval of Counter-Resistance Strategies

1. (U) PROBLEM: The current guidelines for interrogation procedures at GTMO limit the ability of interrogators to counter advanced resistance.

2. (U) Request approval for use of the following interrogation plan.

a. Category I techniques. During the initial category of interrogation the detainee should be provided a chair and the environment should be generally comfortable. The format of the interrogation is the direct approach. The use of rewards like cookies or cigarettes may be helpful. If the detainee is determined by the interrogator to be uncooperative, the interrogator may use the following techniques.

(1) Yelling at the detainee (not directly in his ear or to the level that it would cause physical pain or hearing problems)

(2) Techniques of deception:

(a) Multiple interrogator techniques.

(b) Interrogator identity. The interviewer may identify himself as a citizen of a foreign nation or as an interrogator from a country with a reputation for harsh treatment of detainees.

b. Category II techniques. With the permission of the OIC, Interrogation Section, the interrogator may use the following techniques.

(1) The use of stress positions (like standing), for a maximum of four hours.

(2) The use of falsified documents or reports.

(3) Use of the isolation facility for up to 30 days. Request must be made to through the OIC, Interrogation Section, to the Director, Joint Interrogation Group (JIG). Extensions beyond the initial 30 days must be approved by the Commanding General For selected detainees, the OIC, Interrogation Section, will approve all contacts with the detainee, to include medical visits of a non-emergent nature.

(4) Interrogating the detainee in an environment other than the standard interrogation booth

(5) Deprivation of light and auditory stimuli

(6) The detainee may also have a hood placed over his head during transportation and questioning. The hood should not restrict breathing in any way and the detainee should be under direct observation when hooded.

(7) The use of 20 hour interrogations

(8) Removal of all comfort items (including religious items)

(9) Switching the detainee from hot rations to MREs

(1) Removal of clothing

(11) Forced grooming (shaving of facial hair etc ...)

(12) Using detainees individual phobias (such as fear of dogs) to induce stress.

c. Category III techniques. Techniques in this category may be used only by submitting a request through the Director, JIG, for approval of the Commanding General with appropriate legal review and information to Commander, USSOUTHCOM. These techniques are required for a very small percentage of the most uncooperative detainees (less than 3%). The following techniques and other aversive techniques, such as those used in U.S. military interrogation resistance training or by other U.S. government agencies, may be utilized in a carefully coordinated manner to help interrogate exceptionally resistant detainees. Any of these techniques that require more than light grabbing, poking, or pushing, will be administered only by individuals specifically trained in their safe application.

(1) The use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent for him and/or his family.

(2) Exposure to cold weather or water (with appropriate medical monitoring).

(3) Use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation.

(4) Use of mild, non-injurious physical contact such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger, and light pushing.

3. (U) The POC for this memorandum is the undersigned at 3476.

JERALD PHIFER
LTC, USA
Director, J2
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:53 pm

MEMO 20

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
JOINT TASK FORCE 170
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA
APO AE 09360

JTF 170-SJA

11 October 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR Commander, Joint Task Force 170

SUBJECT: Legal Brief on Proposed Counter-Resistance Strategies

1. (S/NF) ISSUE: To ensure the security of the United States and its Allies, more aggressive interrogation techniques than the ones presently used, such as the methods proposed in the attached recommendation, may be required in order to obtain information from detainees that are resisting interrogation efforts and are suspected of having significant information essential to national security. This legal brief references the recommendations outlined in the JTF-170-J2 memorandum, dated 11 October 2002.

2. (S/NF) FACTS: The detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO), are not protected by the Geneva Conventions (GC). Nonetheless, DoD interrogators trained to apply the Geneva Conventions have been using commonly approved methods of interrogation such as rapport building through the direct approach, rewards, the multiple interrogator approach, and the use of deception. However, because detainees have been able to communicate among themselves and debrief each other about their respective interrogations, their interrogation resistance strategies have become more sophisticated. Compounding this problem is the fact that there is no established clear policy for interrogation limits and operations at GTMO, and many interrogators have felt in the past that they could not do anything that could be considered "controversial." In accordance with President Bush's 7 February 2002 directive, the detainees are not Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW). They must be treated humanely and, subject to military necessity, in accordance with the principles of GC.

3. (S/NF) DISCUSSION: The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has not adopted specific guidelines regarding interrogation techniques for detainee operations at GTMO. While the procedures outlined in Army FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation (28 September 1992) are utilized, they are constrained by, and conform to the GC and applicable international law, and therefore are not binding. Since the detainees are not EPWs, the Geneva Conventions limitations that ordinarily would govern captured enemy personnel interrogations are not binding on U.S. personnel conducting detainee interrogations at GTMO. Consequently, in the absence of specific binding guidance, and in accordance with the President's directive to treat the detainees humanely, we must look to applicable international and domestic law in order to determine the legality of the more aggressive interrogation techniques recommended in the J2 proposal.

a. (U) International Law: Although no international body of law directly applies, the more notable international treaties and relevant law are listed below.

(1) (U) In November of 1994, the United States ratified The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. However, the United State took a reservation to Article 16, which defined cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment, by instead deferring to the current standard articulated in the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Therefore, the United States is only prohibited from committing these acts that would otherwise be prohibited under the United States Constitutional Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment. The United States ratified the treaty with the understanding that the convention would not be self-executing, that is, that it would not create a private cause of action in U.S. Courts. This convention is the principal U.N. treaty regarding torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.

(2) (U) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by the United States in 1992, prohibits inhumane treatment in Article 7, and arbitrary arrest and detention in Article 9. The United States ratified it on the condition that it would not be self-executing, and it took a reservation to Article 7 that we would only be bound to the extent that the United States Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

(3) (U) The American Convention on Human Rights forbids inhumane treatment, arbitrary imprisonment, and requires the state to promptly inform detainees of the charges against them, to review their pretrial confinement, and to conduct a trial within a reasonable time. The United States signed the convention on 1 June 1977, but never ratified it.

(4) (U) The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court and criminalized inhumane treatment, unlawful deportation, and imprisonment. The United States not only failed to ratify the Rome Statute, but also later withdrew from it.

(5) (U) The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, prohibits inhumane or degrading punishment, arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile. Although international declarations may provide evidence of customary international law (which is considered binding on all nations even without a treat), they are not enforceable by themselves.

(6) (U) There is some European case law stemming from the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of torture. The Court ruled on allegations of torture and other forms of inhumane treatment by the British in the Northern Ireland conflict. The British authorities developed practices of interrogation such as forcing detainees to stand for long hours, placing black hoods over their heads, holding the detainees prior to interrogation in a room with continuing loud noise, and depriving them of sleep, food, and water. The European Court concluded that these acts did not rise to the level of torture as defined in the Convention Against Torture, because torture was defined as an aggravated form of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. However, the Court did find that these techniques constituted cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. Nonetheless, and as previously mentioned, not only is the United States not a part of the European Human Rights Court, but as previously stated, it only ratified the definition of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment consistent with the U.S. Constitution. See also Mehjnovic v. Vuckovic, 198 F. Supp. 2d 1322 (N.D. Geor. 2002); Committee Against Torture v. Israel, Supreme Court of Israel, 6 Sep 99, 7 BHRC 31; Ireland v UK (1978), 2 EHRR 25.

b. (U) Domestic Law; Although the detainee interrogations are not occurring in the continental United States, U.S. personnel conductin said interrogations are still bound by applicable Federal Law, specifically, the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, 18 U.S.C. 2340, and for military interrogators, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

(1) (U) The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. There is a lack of Eighth Amendment case law relating in the context of interrogations, as most of the Eighth Amendment litigation in federal court involves either the death penalty, or 42 U.S.C. 1983 actions from inmates based on prison conditions. The Eighth Amendment applies as to whether or not torture or inhumane treatment has occurred under the federal torture statute. (footnote marker) [1]

(a) (U) A principal case in the confinement context that is instructive regarding Eighth Amendment analysis (which is relevant because the United States adopted the Convention Against Torture, Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment, it do so deferring to the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution) and conditions of confinement if a U.S. court were to examine the issue is Hudson v McMillian, 503 U.S. 1 (1992). The issue in Hudson stemmed from a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging that a prison inmate suffered minor bruises, facial swelling, loosened teeth, and a cracked dental plate resulting from a beating by prison guards while he was cuffed and shackled. In this case the Court held that there was no governmental interest in beating an inmate in such a manner. The Court further ruled that the use of excessive physical force against a prisoner might constitute cruel and unusual punishment, even though the inmate does not suffer serious injury.

(b) (U) In Hudson, the Court relied on Whitley v. Alberts, 475 U.S. 312 (1986), as the seminal case that establishes whether a constitutional violation has occurred. The Court stated that the extent of the injury sufered by an inmate is only one of the factors to be considered, but that there is no significant injury requirement in order to establish an Eighth Amendment violation, and that the absence of serious injury is relevant to, but does not end, the Eighth Amendment inquiry. The Court based its decision on the "...settled rule that the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain ... constitutes cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eight Amendment. " Whitley at 319, quoting Ingraham v Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 670 (1977). The Hudson Court then held that in the excessive force or conditions of confinement context, the Right Amendment violation test delineated by the Supreme Court in Hudson is that when prison officials maliciously and sadistically use force to cause harm, contemporary standards of decency are always violated, whether or not significant injury is evident. The extent of injury suffered by an inmate is one factor that may suggest whether the use of force could plausibly have been thought necessary in a particular situation, but the question of whether the measure taken inflicted unnecessary and wanton pain and suffering, ultimately turns on whether force was applied in a good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically for the very (emphasis added) purpose of causing harm If so, the Eighth Amendment claim will prevail.

(c) (U) At the District Court level, the typical conditions of confinement claims involve a disturbance of the inmate's physical comfort, such as sleep deprivation or loud noise. The Eighth Circuit ruled in Singh v Holcomb, 1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 24790, that an allegation by an inmate that he was constantly deprived of sleep which resulted in emotional distress, loss of memory, headaches, and poor concentration, did not show either the extreme deprivation level, or the officials' culpable state of mind required to fulfill the objective component of an Eighth Amendment conditions-of-confinement claim.

(d) (U) In another sleep deprivation case alleging an Eighth Amendment violation, the Eighth Circuit established a totality of the circumstance test, and stated that if a particular condition of detention is reasonable related to a legitimate governmental objective, it does not, without more, amount to punishment. In Ferguson v. Cape Girardeau County, 88 F. 3d 647 (8th Cir. 1996), the complainant was confined to a 5-1/2 by 5-1/2 foot cell without a toilet or sink, and was forced to sleep on a mat on the floor under bright lights that were on twenty-four hours a day. His Eighth Amendment claim was not successful because he was able to sleep at some point, and because he was kept under those conditions due to a concern for his health, as well as the perceived danger that he presented. This totality of the circumstances test has also been adopted by the Ninth Circuit. In Green v CSO Strack, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 14451, the Court held that threats of bodily injury are insufficient to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment, and that sleep deprivation did not rise to a constitutional violation where the prisoner failed to present evidence that he either lost sleep or was otherwise harmed.

(e) (U) Ultimately, an Eighth Amendment analysis is based primarily on whether the government had a good faith legitimate governmental interest, and did not act maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm.

(2) (U) The torture statute (18 U.S.C. 2340) is the United States' codification of the signed and ratified provisions of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and pursuant to subsection 2340B, does not create any substantive or procedural rights enforceable by law by any party to any civil proceeding.

(a) (U) The statute provides that "whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life."

(b) (U) Torture is defined as "an act committed by a person acting under color of law specifically intended (emphasis added) to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incident to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control." The statute defines "sever mental pain or suffering" as "the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting (emphasis added) from the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of sever physical pain or suffering; or the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses of the personality; or the threat of imminent death; or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality."

(c) (U) Case law in the context of the federal torture statute and interrogations is also lacking, as the majority of the case law involving torture relates to either the illegality of brutal tactics used by the police to obtain confessions (in which the Court simply states that these confessions will be deemed as involuntary for the purposes of admissibility and due process, but does not actually address torture or the Eighth Amendment), or the Alien Torts Claim Act, in which federal courts have defined that certain uses of force (such as kidnapping, beating and raping of a nun with the consent or acquiescence of a public official, See Ortiz v Gramajo, 886 F. Supp 162 (D. Mass. 1995)) constituted torture. However, no case law on point within the context of 18 USC 2340.

(3) (U) Finally, U.S. military personnel are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The punitive articles that could potentially be violated depending on the circumstances and results of an interrogation are: Article 93 (cruelty and maltreatment), Article 118 (murder), Article 119 (manslaughter), Article 124 (maiming), Article 128 (assault), Article 134 (communicating a threat, and negligent homicide), and the inchoate offenses of attempt (Article 80), conspiracy (Article 81), accessory after the fact (Article 78), and solicitation (Article 82). Article 128 is the article most likely to be violated because a simple assault can be consummated by an unlawful demonstration of violence which creates in the mind of another a reasonable apprehension of receiving immediate bodily harm, and a specific intent to actually inflict bodily harm is not required.

4. (S/NF) ANALYSIS: The counter-resistance techniques proposed in the JTF-170-J2 memorandum are lawful because they do not violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution or the federal torture state as explained below. An international law analysis is not required for the current proposal because the Geneva Conventions do not apply to these detainees since they are not EPWs.

(a) (S/NF) Based on the Supreme Court framework utilized to assess whether a public official has violated the Eighth Amendment, so long as the force used could plausibly have been thought necessary in a particular situation to achieve a legitimate governmental objective, and it was applied in a good faith effort and not maliciously or sadistically for the very purpose causing harm, the proposed techniques are likely to pass constitutional muster. The federal torture statute will not be violated so long as any of the proposed strategies are not specifically intended to cause severe physical pain or suffering or prolonged mental harm. Assuming that severe physical pain is not inflicted, absent any evidence that any of these strategies will in fact cause prolonged and long lasting mental harm, the proposed methods will not violate the statute.

(b) (S/NF) Regarding the Uniform Code of Military Justice; the proposal to grab, poke in the chest, push lightly, and place a wet towel or hood over the detainee's head would constitute a per se violation of Article 128 (Assault). Threatening a detainee with death may also constitute a violation of Article 128, or also Article 134 (communicating a threat). It would be advisable to have permission or immunity in advance from the convening authority, for military members utilizing these methods.

(c) (S/NF) Specifically, with regard to Category I techniques, the use of mild and fear related approaches such as yelling at the detainee is not illegal because in order to communicate a threat, there must also exist an intent to injure. Yelling at the detainee is legal so long as the yelling is not done with the intent to cause severe physical damage or prolonged mental harm. Techniques of deception such as multiple interrogator techniques, and deception regarding interrogator identity are all permissible methods of interrogation, since there is no legal requirement to be truthful while conducting an interrogation.

(d) (S/NF) With regard to Category II methods, the use of stress positions such as the proposed standing for four hours, the use of isolation for up to thirty days, and interrogating the detainees in an environment other than the standard interrogation booth are all legally permissible so long as no severe physical pain is inflicted and prolonged mental harm intended, and because there is a legitimate governmental objective in obtaining the information necessary that the high value detainees on which these methods would be utilized poseess, for the protection of the national security of the United States, its citizens, and allies. Furthermore, these methods would not be utilized for the "very malicious and sadistic purpose of causing harm." and absent medical evidence to the contrary, there is no evidence that prolonged mental harm would result from the use of these strategies. The use of falsified documents is legally permissible because interrogators may use deception to achieve their purpose.

(e) (S/NF) The deprivation of light and auditory stimuli, the placement of a hood over the detainee's head during transportation and questioning, and the use of 20 hour interrogations are all legally permissible so long as there is an important governmental objective, and it is not done for the purpose of causing harm or with the intent to cause prolonged mental suffering. There is no legal requirement that detainees must receive four hours of sleep per night, but if a U.S. Court ever had to rule on this procedure, in order to pass Eighth Amendment scrutiny, and as a cautionary measure, they should receive some amount of sleep so that no sever physical or mental harm will result. Removal of comfort items is permissible because there is no legal requirement to provide comfort items. The requirement is to provide adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care. The issue of removing published religious items or materials would be relevant if these were United States citizens with a First Amendment right. Such is not the case with the detainees. Forced grooming and removal of clothing are not illegal, so long as it is not done to punish or cause harm, as there is a legitimate governmental objective to obtain information, maintain health standards in the camp and protect both the detainees and the guards. There is no illegality in removing hot meals because there is no specific requirement to provide hot meals, only adequate food. The use of the detainee's phobias is equally permissible.

(f) (S/NF) With respect to the Category III advanced counter-resistance strategies, the use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent is not illegal for the same aforementioned reasons that there is a compelling governmental interest and it is not done intentionally to cause prolonged harm. However, caution should be utilized with this technique because the torture statute specifically mentions making death threats as an example of inflicting mental pain and suffering. Exposure to cold weather or water is permissible with appropriate medical monitoring. The use of a wet towel to induce the misperception of suffocation would also be permissible if not done with the specific intent to cause prolonged mental harm, and absent medical evidence that it would. Caution should be exercised with this method, as foreign courts have already advised about the potential mental harm that this method may cause. The use of physical contact with the detainee, such as pushing and poking will technically constitute an assault under Article 128, UCMJ.

5. (S/NF) RECOMMENDATION: I recommend that the propose methods of interrogation be approved, and that the interrogators be properly trained in the use of the approved methods of interrogation. Since the law requires examination of all facts under a totality of circumstances test, I further recommend that all proposed interrogations involving category II and III methods must undergo a legal, medical, behavioral science, and intelligence review prior to their commencement.

6. (U) POC: Captain Michael Bordera, x3536.

DIANE E BEAVER
LTC, USA
Staff Judge Advocate

Declassify Under the Authority of Executive Order 12958
By Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense
By William P. Marriott, CAPT, USN
June 21, 2004

UNCLASSIFIED

_______________

Notes:

1. Notwithstanding the argument that U.S. personnel are bound by the Constitution, the detainees confined at GTMO have no jurisdictional standing to bring section 1983 action alleging an Eighth Amendment violation in U.S. Federal Court
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:54 pm

MEMO 21

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN

GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
1000 DEFENSE PENTAGON
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301-1000

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

November 27, 2002 (1:00 PM)

DEPSEC _____

ACTION MEMO

FOR: SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

FROM: William J. Haynes II, General Counsel

SUBJECT: Counter-Resistance Techniques

The Commander of USSOUTHCOM has forwarded a request by the Commander of Joint Task Force 170 (now JTF GTMO) for approval of counter-resistance techniques to aid in the interrogation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Tab A).

The request contains three categories of counter-resistance techniques, with the first category the least aggressive and the third category the most aggressive (Tab B).

I have discussed this with the deputy, Doug Feith and General Myers. I believe that all join in my recommendation that, as a matter of policy, you authorize the Commander of USSOUTHCOM to employ, in his discretion, only Categories I and II and the fourth technique listed in Category III ("Use of mild, non-injurious physical contact such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger, and light pushing").

While all Category III techniques may be legally available, we believe that, as a matter of policy, a blanket approval of Category III techniques is not warranted at this time. Our Armed Forces are trained to a standard of interrogation that reflects a tradition of restraint.

RECOMMENDATION: That SECDEF approve the USSOUTHCOM Commander's use of those counter-resistance techniques listed in Categories I and II and the fourth technique listed in Category III during the interrogation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

SECDEF DECISION

Approved signed by Donald Rumsfield Disapproved _____ Other _____ handwritten note: However, I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours? D.R.
Attachments
As stated

cc: CJCS, USD(P)

Declassified Under Authority of Executive Order 12958 By Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense William P. Marriott, CAPT. USN
June 18, 2004
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:54 pm

MEMO 22

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
1000 DEFENSE PENTAGON
WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1000
JAN 15 2003

MEMORANDUM FOR THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

SUBJECT: Detainee Interrogations (U)

(U) Establish a working group within the Department of Defense to assess the legal, policy, and operational issues relating to the interrogations of detainees held by the U.S. Armed Forces in the war on terrorism.

(U) The working group should consist of experts from your Office, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Military Departments, and the Joint Staff. The working group should address and make recommendations as warranted on the following issues:

(U) Legal considerations raised by interrogation of detainees held by U.S. Armed Forces.

(U) Policy considerations with respect to the choice of interrogation techniques, including:
(U) contribution to intelligence collection

(U) effect on treatment of captures US military personnel

(U) effect on detainee prosecutions

(U) historical role of US armed forces in conducting interrogations

(U) Recommendations for employment of particular interrogation techniques by DoD interrogators.

(U) You should report your assessment and recommendations to me within 15 days.

Classified by: Secretary Rumsfeld
Reason: 1.5(c)
Declassify on: 10 years

Declassify Under the Authority of Executive Order 12958
By Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense
By William P. Marriott, CAPT, USN
June 21, 2004

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:55 pm

MEMO 23

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
1000 DEFENSE PENTAGON
WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1000
JAN 15 2003

MEMORANDUM FOR COMMANDER USSOUTHCOM

SUBJECT: Counter-Resistance Techniques (U)

(U) My December 2, 2002, approval of the use of all Category II techniques and one Category III technique during interrogations at Guantanamo is hereby rescinded. Should you determine that particular techniques in either of these categories are warranted in an individual case, you should forward that request to me. Such a request should include a thorough justification for the employment of those techniques and a detailed plan for the use of such techniques.

(U) In all interrogations, you should continue the humane treatment of detainees, regardless of the type of interrogation technique employed.

(U) Attached is a memo to the General Counsel setting in motion a study to be completed within 15 days. After my review, I will provide further guidance.

Classified by: Secretary Rumsfeld
Reason: 1.5(c)
Declassify on: 10 years

Declassify Under the Authority of Executive Order 12958
By Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense
By William P. Marriott, CAPT, USN
June 21, 2004

[Signed Donald Rumsfeld]

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET/NOFORN
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