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 8:51 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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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

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

MEMO 24

Unclassified When Attachment is Removed

GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
1600 DEFENSE PENTAGON
WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1600

JAN 17 2003

MEMORANDUM FOR THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

SUBJECT: Working Group to Assess Legal, Policy, and Operational Issues Relating to Interrogation of Detainees Held by the U.S. Armed Forces in the War on Terrorism (U)

(U) You are hereby designated as the Chair of an intradepartmental working group and my executive agent to prepare an assessment and recommendations for me that are responsive to the attached memorandum of the Secretary of Defense, "Detainee Interrogations," dated January 15, 2003. In carrying out these responsibilities, you should call upon the resources of the offices of those indicated as recipients of copies of this memorandum, including requesting their participation, or that of members of their staffs, in this working group.

(U) Please provide me with periodic updates as available. I expect your effort to address and provide recommendations, as warranted, pertaining to the issues set out in the Secretary's memorandum. Your analysis should take into account the various potential geographic locations where U.S. Armed Forces may hold detainees.

(U) You should provide your assessment and recommendations to me by January 29, 2003. I appreciate your willingness to assume this important responsibility.

William J. Haynes II

Attachment:
As stated.
cc:
Under Secretary of Defense (Policy)
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense (SO/LIC)
General Counsel of the Department of the Army
General Counsel of the Department of the Navy
Director of the Joint Staff
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Counsel for the Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Judge Advocate General of the Army
The Judge Advocate General of the Navy
The Judge Advocate General of the Air Force
Staff Judge Advocate for the Commandant of the Marine Corps
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Re: The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Ka

Postby admin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:57 pm

PART 1 OF 3

MEMO 25

SECRET/NOFORN
UNCLASSIFIED WHEN SEPARATED FROM ATTACHMENT
DRAFT

Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism: Assessment of Legal, Historical, Policy, and Operational Considerations

6 March 2003

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

II. International Law

(U) The following discussion addresses the requirements of international law, as it pertains to the Armed Forces of the United States, as interpreted by the United States. As will be apparent in other sections of this analysis, other nations and international bodies may take a more restrictive view, which may affect our policy analysis and thus is considered elsewhere.

A. The Geneva Conventions

(U) The laws of war contain obligations relevant to the issue of interrogation techniques and methods. It should be noted, however, that it is the position of the U.S. Government that none of the provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949 (Third Geneva Convention) apply to al Qaida detainees because, inter alia, al Qaida is not a High Contracting Party to the Convention. [1] As to the Taliban, the U.S. Position is that the provisions of Geneva apply to our present conflict with the Taliban, but that Taliban detainees do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of the Geneva Convention. [2] The Department of Justice has opined that the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Personnel in time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention) does not apply to unlawful combatants.

B. The 1994 Convention Against Torture

(U) The United States’ primary obligation concerning torture and related practices derives from the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly referred to as “the Torture Convention”). The United States Ratified the Convention in 1994, but did so with a variety of Reservations and Understandings.

(U) Article 1 of the Convention defines the term “torture” for purpose of the treaty. The United States conditioned its ratification of the treaty on an understanding 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 harm caused by or resulting from (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; (4) or 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. [4]


(U) Article 2 of the Convention requires the Parties to “take effective legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction”. The U.S. Government believed existing state and federal criminal law was adequate to fulfill this obligation, and did not enact implementing legislation. Article 2 also provides that acts of torture cannot be justified on the grounds of exigent circumstances, such as state of war or public emergency, or on orders from a superior officer or public authority. [5] The United States did not have an Understanding or Reservation relating to this provision.

(U) Article 3 of the Convention contains an obligation not to expel, return, or extradite a person to another state where there are “substantial grounds” for believing that the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture. The U.S. understanding relating to this article is that it only applies “if it is more likely than not” that the person would be tortured.

(U) Under Article 5, the Parties are obligated to establish jurisdiction over acts of torture when committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that state, or by its nationals wherever committed. The “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States” under 18 U.S.C. § 7 satisfies the U.S. obligation to establish jurisdiction over torture committed in territory under U.S. jurisdiction or on board a U.S. registered ship or aircraft. However, the additional requirement of Article 5 concerning jurisdiction over acts or torture by U.S. nationals “wherever committed” needed legislative implementation. Chapter 113C of Title 18 of the U.S. Code provides federal criminal jurisdiction over an extraterritorial act or attempted act of torture if the offender is a U.S. national. The statute defines “torture” consistent with the U.S. Understanding on Article 1 of the Torture Convention.

(U) The United States is obligated under Article 10 of the Convention to ensure that law enforcement and military personnel involved in interrogations are educated and informed regarding the prohibition against torture. Under Article 11, systematic reviews of interrogation rules, methods, and practices are also required.

(U) In addition to torture, the Convention prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment within territories under a Party’s jurisdiction (Art 16). Primarily because the meaning of the term “degrading treatment” was vague and ambiguous, the United States imposed a Reservation on this article to the effect that it considers itself ******************* that such treatment or punishment means the cruel, unusual and inhuman treatment or punishment prohibited by the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (see discussion infra, in the Domestic Law section),

(U) In sum, the obligations under the Torture Convention apply to the interrogation of unlawful combatant detainees, but the Torture Convention prohibits torture only as defined in the U.S. Understanding, and prohibits “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and punishment” only to the extent of the U.S. Reservation relating to the U.S. Constitution.

(U) An additional treaty to which the United States is a party is the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, ratified by the United States in 1992. Article 7 of this treaty provides that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The United States’ ratification of the Covenant was subject to a Reservation that “the United States considers itself bound by Article 7 only to the extent that cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment means the cruel and unusual treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and/or Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States.” Under this treaty, a “human Rights Committee” may, with the consent of the Party in question, consider allegations that such Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Covenant. The United States has maintained consistently that the Covenant does not apply outside the United States or its special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and that it does not apply to operations of the military during an international armed conflict.

C. Customary International Law

(U) The Department of Justice has concluded that customary international law cannot bind the Executive Branch under the Constitution, because it is not a federal law. [6] In particular, the Department of Justice has opined that “under clear Supreme Court precedent, any presidential decision in the current conflict concerning the detention and trial of al-Qaida or Taliban militia prisoners would constitute a “controlling” Executive act that would immediately and completely override any customary international law”. [7]

III. Domestic Law

A. Federal Criminal Law

1. Torture Statute


(U) 18 U.S.C. § 2340 defines as torture any “act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain…” The intent required is the intent to inflict severe physical or mental pain. 18 U.S.C. § 2340A requires that the offense occur “outside the United States”. Jurisdiction over the offense extends to any national of the United States or any alleged offender present in the United States, and could, therefore, reach military members, civilian employees of the United States, or contractor employees. [8] The “United States” is defined to include all areas under the jurisdiction of the United States, including the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction (SMTJ) of the United States. SMTJ is a statutory creation [9] that extends the criminal jurisdiction of the United States for designated crimes to defined areas. [10] The effect is to grant federal court criminal jurisdiction for the specifically identified crimes.

(U) Guantanamo Bay Naval Station (GTMO) is included within the definition of the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and accordingly, is within the United States for purposes of § 2340. Thus, the Torture Statute does not apply to the conduct of U.S. personnel at GTMO. That GTMO is within the SMTJ of the United States is manifested by the prosecution of civilian dependents and employees living in GTMO in Federal District Courts based on SMTJ jurisdiction and Department of Justice opinion [11] and the clear intention of Congress as reflected in the 2001 amendment to the SMTJ. The USA Patriot Act (2001) amended § 7 to add subsection 9, which provides:

“With respect to offenses committed by or against a national of the United States as that term is used in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act—

(A) the premises of United States diplomatic, consular, military or other United States Government missions or entities in foreign States, including the buildings, parts of buildings, and land appurtenant or ancillary thereto or used for purposes of maintaining those missions or entities, irrespective of ownership; and

(B) residences in foreign States and the land appurtenant or ancillary thereto, irrespective of ownership, used for purposes of those missions or entities or used by United States personnel assigned to those missions or entities.

Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to supercede any treaty or international agreement with which this paragraph conflicts. This paragraph does not apply with respect to an offense committed by a person described in section 3261(a) of this title.


(U) Any person who commits an enumerated offense in a location that is considered within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction is subject tot the jurisdiction of the United States.

(U) For the purposes of this discussion, it is assumed that an interrogation done for official purposes is under “color of law” and that detainees are in DOD’s custody or control.

(U) Although Section 2340 does not apply to interrogations at GTMO, it would apply to U.S. operations outside U.S. jurisdiction, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case involved. The following analysis is relevant to such activities.

(U) To convict a defendant of torture, the prosecution must establish that: (1) the torture occurred outside the United States; (2) the defendant acted under 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.”)

a. “Specifically Intended”

(U) To violate Section 2340A, the statute requires that severe pain and suffering must be inflicted with specific intent. See U.S.C. § 2340(1). In order for a defendant to have acted with specific intent, he must have expressly intended to achieve the forbidden act. See United States v. Carter, 530 U.S. 255, 269 (2000); Black’s Law Dictionary at 814 (7th ed. 1999) (defining specific intent as “[t]he intent to accomplish the precise criminal act that one is later charged with”). For example, in Ratzlaf v. United States, 510 U.S. 135, 141 (1994), the statute at issue was construed to require that the defendant act with the “specific intent to commit the crime”. (Internal quotation marks and citation omitted). As a result, the defendant had to act with the express “purpose to disobey the law” in order for the mens rea element to be satisfied. Ibid. (Internal quotation marks and citation omitted.)

(U) Here, because Section 2340 requires that a defendant act with the specific intent to inflict severe pain, the infliction of such pain must be the defendant’s precise objective. If the statute had required only general intent, it would be sufficient to establish guilt by showing the defendant “possessed knowledge with respect to the actus reus of the crime.” Carter, 530 U.S. at 268. If the defendant acted knowing that severe pain or suffering was reasonably likely to result from his actions, but no more, he would have acted only with general intent. See id at 269 Black’s Law Dictionary: 813 (7th ed. 1999) (explaining that general intent “usu[ally] takes the form of recklessness (involving actual awareness of a risk and the culpable taking of that risk) or negligence ( involving blameworthy inadvertence)”). The Supreme Court has used the following example to illustrate the difference between these two mental states:

[A] person entered a bank and took money from a teller at gunpoint, but deliberately failed to make a quick getaway from the bank in the hope of being arrested so that he would be returned to prison and treated for alcoholism. Though this defendant knowingly engaged in the acts of using force and taking money (satisfying “general intent”), he did not intend permanently to deprive the bank of its possession of the money (failing to satisfy “specific intent”).


Carter, 530 U.S. at 268 (citing 1 W. Lafave & A. Scott, Substantive Criminal Law § 3.5, at 315 (1986).

(U) As a theoretical matter, therefore, knowledge alone that a particular result is certain to occur does not constitute specific intent. As the Supreme Court explained in the context of murder, “the…common law of homicide distinguishes…between a person who knows that another person will be killed as a result of his conduct and a person who acts with the specific purpose of taking another’s life[.]” United States v. Bailey, 444 U.S. 394, 405 (1980). “Put differently, the law distinguishes actions taken ‘because of’ a given end from actions taken ‘in spite’ of their unintended but foreseen consequences.” Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793, 802-03 (1997). Thus, even if the defendant knows that severe pain will result from his actions, if causing such harm is not his objective, he lacks the requisite specific intent even though the defendant did not act in good faith. Instead, a defendant is guilty of torture only if he acts with the express purpose of inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person within his custody or physical control. While as a theoretical matter such knowledge does not constitute specific intent, juries are permitted to infer from the factual circumstances that such intent is present. See, e.g., United States v. Godwin, 272 F.3d 659, 666 (4th Cir, 2001); United States v. Karro, 257 F.3d 112, 118 (2d Cir. 2001); United States v. Wood, 207 F.3d 1222, 1232 (10th Cir. 2000); Henderson v. United States, 202 F.2d 400, 403 (6th Cir. 1953). Therefore when a defendant knows that his actions will produce the prohibited result, a jury will in all likelihood conclude that the defendant acted with specific intent.

(U) Further, a showing that an individual acted with a good faith belief that his conduct would not produce the result that the law prohibits negates specific interest. See, e.g. South Atl. Lmtd. Ptrshp. Of Tenn v. Reise, 218 F.3d 518, 531 (4th Cir. 2002). Where a defendant acts in good faith, he acts with an honest belief that he has not engaged in the proscribed conduct. See Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 202 (1991); United States v. Mancuso, 42 F.3d 836, 837 (4th Cir. 1994). For example, in the context of mail fraud, if an individual honestly believes that the material transmitted is truthful, he has not acted with the required intent to deceive or mislead. See e.g. United States v. Sayakhom, 186 F.3d 928 939-40 (9th Cir. 1999). A good faith belief need not be a reasonable one. See Cheek, 498 U.S. at 202.

(U) Although a defendant theoretically could hold an unreasonable belief that his acts would not constitute the actions prohibited by the statute, even though they would as a certainty produce the prohibited effects, as a matter of practice in the federal criminal justice system, it is highly unlikely that a jury would acquit in such a situation. Where a defendant holds an unreasonable belief, he will confront the problem of providing to the jury that he actually held that belief. As the Supreme Court noted in Cheek, “the more unreasonable the asserted beliefs or misunderstandings are, the more likely the jury…will find that the government has carried its burden of providing knowledge”. Id at 203-04. As explained above, a jury will be permitted to infer that the defendant held the requisite specific intent. As a matter of proof, therefore, a good faith defense will prove more compelling when a resonable basis exists for the defendant’s belief.

b. “Severe Pain or Suffering”

(U) The key statutory phrase in the definition of torture is the statement that acts amount to torture if they cause “severe physical or mental pain or suffering”. In examining the meaning of a statute, its text must be the starting point. See INS v. Phinpathya, 464 U.S. 183, 189 (1984) (“This Court has noted on numerous occasions that in all cases involving statutory construction, our starting point must be the language employed by Congress…and we assume that the legislative purpose is expressed by the ordinary meaning of the words used.”) (internal quotations and citations omitted). Section 2340 makes plain that the infliction of pain or suffering per sem whether it is physical or mental, is insufficient to amount to torture. Instead, the text provides that pain or suffering must be “severe.” The statute does not, however, define the term “severe”. “In the absence of such a definition, we construe a statutory term in accordance with its ordinary or natural meaning.” FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 476 (1994). The dictionary defines “severe” as “[u]nsparing in exaction, punishment, or censure” or “[i]nflicting discomfort or pain hard to endure; sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; extreme; as severe pain, anguish, torture”. Webster’s New International Dictionary 2295 (2d ed. 1935); see American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 1653 (3d ed. 1992) (“extremely violent or grievous: severe pain”) (emphasis in original); IX The Oxford English Diction"4TY 572 (1978) (“Of pain, suffering, loss or the like: Grievous, extreme” and “of circumstances…hard to sustain or endure”). Thus, the adjective “severe” conveys that the pain or suffering must be of such a high level of intensity that the pain is difficult for the subject to endure.

c. “Severe Mental Pain or Suffering”

(U) Section 2340 gives further guidance as to the meaning of “severe mental pain or suffering,” as distinguished from severe physical pain and suffering. The statute 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, of 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). In order to prove “severe mental pain or suffering”, the statute requires proof of “prolonged mental harm” that was caused by or resulted from one of four enumerated acts. We consider each of these elements.

i. “Prolonged Mental Harm”

(U) As an initial matter, Section 2340(2) requires that the severe mental pain must be evidenced by “prolonged mental harm”. To prolong is to “lengthen in time” or to “extend the duration of, to draw out”. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 1815 (1988); Webster’s New International Dictionary 1980 (2d ed. 1935). Accordingly, “prolong” adds a temporal dimension to the harm to the individual, namely, that the harm must be one that is endured over some period of time. Put another way, the acts giving rise to the harm must cause some lasting, though not necessarily permanent, damage. For example, the mental strain experienced by an individual during a length and intense interrogation such as one that state or local police might conduct upon a criminal suspect, would not violate Section 2340(2). On the other hand, the development of a mental disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, which can last months or even years, or even chronic depression, which can also last for a considerable period of time is untreated, might satisfy the prolonged hard requirement. See American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 426, 439-45 (4th ed. 1994) (“DSM-IV”). See also Craig Haney & Mona Lynch, Regulating Prisons of the Future: A Psychological Analysis of Supermax and Solitary Confinement, 23 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 477, 509 (1977) (noting that posttraumatic stress disorder is frequently found in torture victims); cf Sana Loue, Immigration Law and Health § 10:46 (2001) (recommending evaluating for post-traumatic stress disorder immigrant-client who has experienced torture). [12] By contrast to “severe pain” the phrase “prolonged mental harm” appears nowhere else in the U.S. Code nor does it appear in relevant medical literature or international human rights reports.

(U) Not only must the mental harm be prolonged to amount to severe mental pain and suffering, but also it must be caused by or result from one of the acts listed in the statute. In the absence of a catchall provision, the most natural reading of the predicate acts listed in Section 2340(2)(A)(D) is that Congress intended the list to be exhaustive. In other words, other acts not included within Section 2340(2)’s enumeration are not within the statutory prohibition. See Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit, 507 U.S. 163, 168 (1993) (“Expressio unius est exclusion alterius”); Norman Singer, 2A Sutherland on Statutory Construction § 47, 23 (6th ed. 2000) (“[W]here a form of conduct the manner of its performance and operation, and the persons and things to which it refers are designated, there is an inference that all omissions should be understood as exclusions.”) (footnotes omitted). We conclude that torture within the meaning of the statute requires the specific intent to cause prolonged mental harm by one of those acts listed in Section 2340(2).

(U) A defendant must specifically intend to cause prolonged mental harm for the defendant to have committed torture. It could be argued that a defendant needs to have specific intent only to commit the predicate acts that give rise to prolonged mental harm. Under that view, so long as the defendant specifically intended to, for example, threaten a victim with imminent death, he would have sufficient mens rea for a conviction. According to this view, it would be further necessary for a conviction to show only that the victim factually suffered prolonged mental harm, rather than that the defendant intended to cause it. We believe that this approach is contrary to the text of the statute. The statute requires that the defendant specifically intend to inflict severe mental pain or suffering. Because that statute requires this mental state with respect to the infliction of severe mental pain and because is expressly defines severe mental pain in terms of prolonged mental harm, that mental state must be present with respect to prolonged mental harm. To read the statute otherwise would read the phrase “prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from” out of the definition of “severe mental pain or suffering”.

(U) A defendant could negate a showing of specific intent to cause severe mental pain or suffering by showing that he had acted in good faith that his conduct would not amount to the acts prohibited by the statute. Thus, if as defendant has a good faith belief that his actions will not result in prolonged mental harm, he lacks the mental state necessary for his actions to constitute torture. A defendant could show that he acted in good faith by taking such steps as surveying professional literature, consulting with experts, or reviewing evidence gained from past experience. See, e.g., Ratlzlaf, 510 U.S. at 142 n.10 (noting that where the statute required that the defendant act with the specific intent to violate the law, the specific intent element “might be negated by, e.g., proof that defendant relied in good faith on advice of counsel.”) (citations omitted). All of these steps would allow that he had drawn on the relevant body of knowledge concerning the result proscribed by the statute, namely prolonged mental harm. Because the presence of good faith would negate the specific intent element of torture, good faith may be a complete defense to such a charge. See, e.g., United States v. Wall, 130 F. 3d 739, 746 (6th Cir. 1997); United States v. Casperson, 773 f.2d 216, 222.23 (8th Cir. 1985).

ii. Harm Caused By Or Resulting From Predicate Acts

(U) Section 2340(2) sets forth four basic categories of predicate acts. The first category is the “intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering”. The might at first appear superfluous because the statute already provides that the infliction of severe physical pain or suffering can amount to torture. This provision, however, actually captures the infliction of physical pain or suffering when the defendant inflicts physical pain or suffering with general intent rather than the specific intent that is required where severe physical pain or suffering alone is the basis for the charge. Hence, this subsection reaches the infliction of severe physical pain or suffering when it is only the means of causing prolonged mental harm. Or put another way, a defendant has committed torture when he intentionally inflicts severe physical pain or suffering with the specific intent of causing prolonged mental harm. As for the acts themselves, acts that cause “severe physical pain or suffering” can satisfy this provision.

(U) Additionally, the threat of inflicting such pain is a predicate act under the statute. A threat may be implicit or explicit. See, e.g., United States v. Sachdev, 279 F.3d 25, 29 (1st Cir. 2002). In criminal law, courts generally determine whether and individual’s word or actions constitute a threat by examining whether a reasonable person in the same circumstances would conclude that a threat had been made. See, e.g., Watts v. United States, 394 U.S. 705, 708 (1969) (holding that whether a statement constituted a threat against the president’s life had to be determined in light of all the surrounding circumstances); Sachdev, 279 F.3d at 29 (“a reasonable person in defendant’s position would perceive there to be a threat, explicit or implied, of physical injury”); United States v. Khorrami, 895 F2.d 1186, 1190 (7th Cir. 1990) (to establish that a threat was made, the statement must be made “in a context or under such circumstances wherein a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom the maker communicates a statement as a serious expression of an intention to inflict bodily harm upon [another individual]”) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); United States v. Peterson, 483 F.2d 1222, 1230 (D.C. Cir. 1973) (perception of threat of imminent harm necessary to establish self-defense had to be “objectively reasonable in light of the surrounding circumstances”). Based on this common approach, we believe that the existence of a threat of severe pain or suffering should be assessed from the standpoint of a reasonable person in the same circumstances.

(U) Second, Section 2340(2)(B) provides that prolonged mental harm, constituting torture, can be caused by “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”. The statute provides no further definition of what constitutes a mind-altering substance. The phrase “mind-altering substances” is found nowhere else in the U.S. Code, nor is it found in dictionaries. It is, however, a commonly used synonym for drugs. See, e.g. United States v. Kingsley, 241 F.3d 828, 834 (6th Cir.) (referring to controlled substances as “mind-altering substance[s]”), cert. denied, 122 S. Ct. 137 (2001); Hogue V. Johnson, 131 f.3d 466, 501 (5th Cir. 1997) (referring to drugs and alcohol as “mind-altering substance[s]”), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1014 (1998). In addition, the phrase appears in a number of state statutes, and the context in which it appears confirms this understanding of the phrase. See, e.g., Cal. Penal Code § 3500 (c) (West Supp. 2000)(“Psychotropic drugs also include mind-altering…drugs…”); Minn. Stat. Ann. § 260B.201(b) (West Supp. 2002) (“‘chemical dependency treatment’” define as programs designed to “reduce[e] the risk of the use of alcohol, drugs, or other mind-altering substances”).

(U) This subparagraph, section 2340(2)(B), however, does not preclude any and all use of drugs. Instead, it prohibits the use of drugs that “disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality”. To be sure, one could argue that this phrase applies only to “other procedures”, not the application of mind-altering substances. We reject this interpretation because the terms of Section 2340(2) expressly indicate that the qualifying phrase applies to both “other procedures” and the “application of mind-altering substances”. The word “other” modifies “procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses”. As an adjective, “other” indicates that the term or phrase it modifies is the remainder of several things. See Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 1598 (1986) (defining “other” as “being the one (as of two or more) remaining or not included”). Or put another way, “other” signals that the words to which it attaches are of the same kind, type, or class as the more specific item previously listed. Moreover, where a statute couple words or phrases together, it “denotes an intention that they should be understood in the same general sense.” Norman Singer, 2A Sutherland on Statutory Construction § 47:16 (6th ed. 2000); see also Beecham v. United States, 511 U.S. 368, 371 (1994) (“that several items in a list share an attribute counsels in favor of interpreting the other items as possessing that attribute as well.”). Thus, the pairing of mind-altering substances with procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the sense or personality and the use of “other” to modify “procedures” shows that the use of such substances must also cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality.

(U) For drugs or procedures to rise to the level of “disrupt[ing] profoundly the sense or personality”, they must produce an extreme effect. And by requiring that they be “calculated” to produce such an effect, the statute requires that the defendant has consciously designed the acts to produce such an effect. 28 U.S.C. § 2340(2)(B). The word “disrupt” is defined as “to break asunder; to part forcibly; rend,” imbuing the verb with a connotation of violence. Webster’s New International Dictionary 753 (2d ed 1935); see Webster’s Third new International Dictionary 656 (1986) (defining disrupt as “to break apart: Rupture” or “destroy the unity or wholeness of”); IV the Oxford English Dictionary 832 (1989) (defining disrupt as “[t]o break or burst asunder, to break in pieces; to separate forcibly”). Moreover, disruption of the senses or personality alone is insufficient to fall within the scope of this subsection; instead, that disruption must be profound. The word “profound” has a number of meanings, all of which convey a significant depth. Webster’s New International Dictionary 1977 (2 ed. 1935 defines profound as: “Of very great depth; extending far below the surface or top; unfathomable[;]…[c]oming from, reaching to, or situated at a depth of more than ordinary depth; not superficial; deep-seated; chiefly with reference to the body; as a profound sigh, wounded, or pain[;]…[c]haracterized by intensity, as of feeling or quality; deeply felt or realized; as, profound respect, fear, or melancholy; hence, encompassing; thoroughgoing; complete; as, profound sleep, silence, or ignorance.” See Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 1812 (1986) (“having very great depth: extending far below the surface…not superficial”). Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1545 (2d ed. 1999) also defines profound as “originating in or penetrating to the depths of one’s being” or “pervasive or intensive; thorough; complete” or “extending, situated, or originating far down, or far beneath the surface.” By requiring that the procedures and the drugs create a profound disruption, the statute requires more than the acts “forcibly separate” or “rend” the senses or personality. Those acts must penetrate to the core of an individual’s ability to perceive the world around him, substantially interfering with his cognitive abilities, or fundamentally alter his personality.

(U) The phrase “disrupt profoundly the senses or personality” is not used in mental health literature nor is it derived from elsewhere in U.S. law. Nonetheless, we think the following examples would constitute a profound disruption of the senses or personality. Such an effect might be seen in a drug-induced dementia. In such a state, the individual suffers from significant memory impairment, such as the inability to retain any new information or recall information about things previously of interest to the individual. See DSM-IV at 134. [13] This impairment is accompanied by one or more of the following: deterioration of language function, e.g., repeating sounds or words over and over again; impaired ability to execute simple motor activities, e.g., inability to dress or wave goodbye; “[in]ability to recognize [and identify] objects such as chairs or pencils” despite normal visual functioning, or “[d]isturbances in executive level functioning”, i.e., serious impairment of abstract thinking. Id. At 134-35. Similarly, we think that the onset of “brief psychotic disorder” would satisfy this standard. See id. At 302-03. I this disorder, the individual suffers psychotic symptoms, including among other things, delusions, hallucinations, or even a catatonic state. This can last for one day or even one month. See id. We likewise think that the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder behaviors would rise to this level. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts unrelated to reality. They are not simple worries, but are repeated doubts or even “aggressive or horrific impulses.” See id. at 418. The DSM-IV further explains that compulsions include “repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking)” and that “[b ]y definition, [they] are either clearly excessive or are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent”, See id. Such compulsions or obsessions must be “time-consuming”, See id at 419. Moreover, we think that pushing someone to the brink of suicide (which could be evidenced by acts of self-mutilation), would be a sufficient disruption of the personality to constitute a “profound disruption” These examples, of course, are in no way intended to be an exhaustive list. Instead, they are merely intended to illustrate the sort of mental health effects that we believe would accompany an action severe enough to amount to one that “disrupt[s] profoundly the sense or the personality”.

(U) The third predicate act listed in Section 2340 (2) is threatening an individual with “imminent death”, 18 U.S.C. § 2340(2)(C). The plain text makes clear that a threat of death alone is insufficient; the threat must indicate that death is “imminent”. The “threat of imminent death” is found in the common law as an element of the defense of duress. See Bailey, 444 U.S. at 409. “[W]here Congress borrows terms of art in which are accumulated the legal tradition and meaning of centuries of practice, it presumably knows and adopts the cluster of ideas that were attached to each borrowed word in the body of learning from which it was taken and the meaning its use will convey to the judicial mind unless otherwise instructed. In such case, absence of contrary direction may be taken as satisfaction with widely accepted definitions, not as a departure from them.” Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246, 263 (1952). Common law cases and legislation generally define “imminence” as requiring that the threat be almost immediately forthcoming. 1 Wayne R. LaFave & Austin W. Scott, Jr., Substantive Criminal Law § 5.7, at 655 (19860. By contrast, threats referring vaguely to things that might happen in the future do not satisfy this immediacy requirement. See United States v. Fiore, 178 F. 3rd 917, 923 (7th Cir. 1999). Such a threat fails to satisfy this requirement not because is it too remote in time but because there is a lack of certainty that it will occur. Indeed, timing is an indicator of certainty that the harm will be fall the defendant. Thus, a vague threat that someday the prisoner might be killed would not suffice. Instead, subjecting a prisoner to mock executions or playing Russian roulette with him would have sufficient immediacy to constitute a threat of imminent death. Additionally, as discussed earlier, we believe that the existence of a threat must be assessed from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same circumstances.

(U) Fourth, if the official threatens to do anything previously described to a third party, or commits such an act against a third party, that threat or action san serve as the necessary predicate for prolonged mental harm. See 18 U.S.C. § 2340 (2)(D). The statute does not require any relationship between the prisoner and the third party.

2. Other Federal Crimes that Could Relate to Interrogation Techniques

(U) Through the SMTJ, the following federal crimes are generally applicable to actions by military or civilian personnel; murder (18 U.S.C. § 1111), manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1112, assault (18 U.S.C. § 113), maiming (18 U.S.C. § 114), kidnapping (18 U.S.C. § 1201). These, as well as war crimes (18 U.S.C. § 2441) [14] and conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371), are discussed below.

a. Assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdiction, 18 U.S.C. § 1139

(U) 18 U.S.C. § 113 proscribes assault within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction. Although section 113 does not define assault, courts have construed the term “assault” in accordance with that term’s common law meaning. See, e.g., United States v. Estrada-Fernandez, 150F.3d 491,494 n.1 (5th Cir. 1998); United States v. Juvenile-Male, 930 F.2d 727, 728 (9th Cir. 1991). At common law an assault is an attempted battery or an act that puts another person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. See e.g., United States v. Bayes, 210 F.3d 64, 68 (1st Cir. 2000). Section 113 reaches more than simple assault, sweeping within its ambit acts that would at common law constitute battery.

(U) 18 U.S.C § 113 proscribes several specific forms of assault. Certain variations require specific intent, to wit: assault with intent to commit murder (imprisonment for not more than twenty years); assault with intent to commit any felony (except murder and certain sexual offenses) (fine and/or imprisonment for not more than ten years); assault with a dangerous weapon, with intent to do bodily harm, and without just cause or excuse (fine and/or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both). Other defined crimes require only general intent, it wit: assault by striking, beating, or wounding(fine and/or imprisonment for not more than six months); simple assault (fine and/or imprisonment for not more than six months), or if the victim of the assault is an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years (fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 1 year); assault resulting in serious bodily injury (fine and/or imprisonment for not more than ten years); assault resulting in serious bodily injury to an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years (fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 5 years). “Substantial bosily injury” means bodily injury which involves (A) temporary but substantial disfigurement; (B) extreme physical pain; (C) protracted and obvious disfigurement; or (D) protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty. “Bodily injury” means (A) a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; (B) physical pain; (C) illness; (D) impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or (E) any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.

b. Maiming, 18 U.S.C. § 114

(U) Whoever with intent to torture (as defined in section 2340), maims, or disfigures, cuts, bites, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, or cuts out or disables the tongue, or puts out or destroys and eye, or cuts off or disables a limb or any member of another person’ or whoever, and with like intent, throws or pours upon another person, any scalding water, corrosive acid, or caustic substance shall be fines and/or imprisoned not more than twenty years. This is a specific intent crime.

c. Murder, 18 U.S.C. § 1111

(U) Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or nay other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree. Any other murder is murder in the second degree. If within the SMTJ, whoever is guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life; whoever is guilty of murder in the second degree, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. Murder is a specific intent crime.

d. Manslaughter, 18 U.S.C. § 1112

(U) Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of two kinds: (A) voluntary, upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion and (B) involuntary, in the commission of an unlawful act amounting to a felony, or in the commission in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection, of a lawful act which might produce death.

(U) If within the SMTJ whoever is guilty of voluntary manslaughter, shall be fined and/or imprisoned not more than ten years; whoever is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, shall be fined and/or imprisoned not more than six years. Manslaughter is a general intent crime. A death resulting from the exceptional interrogation techniques may subject the interrogator to a charge of manslaughter, most likely of the involuntary sort.

e. Interstate Stalking, 18 U.S.C. § 2261A

(U) 18 U.S.C. § 2261A provides that “[w]hoever…travels…within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States…with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, and in the course of or as a result of, such travel places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury of that person.” Thus there are three elements to a violation of 2261A: (1) defendant traveled in interstate commerce; (2) he did do with the intent to injure, harass, intimidate another person; (3) the person he intended to harass or injure was reasonably place in fear of death or serious bodily injury as a result of that travel. See United States v. Al-Zubaidy, 283 F.3d 804, 808 (6th Cir, 2002).

(U) The travel itself must have been undertaken with the specific intent to harass or intimidate another. Or put another way, at the time of the travel itself, the defendant must have engaged in that travel for the precise purpose of harassing another person. See Al-Zubaidy, 283 F.3d at 809 (the defendant “must have intended to harass or injure [the victim] at the time he crossed the state line”).

(U) The third element is not fulfilled by the mere act of travel itself. See United States v. Crawford, No. 00-Cr-59-B-S, 2001 WL 185140 (D. Me. Jan. 26, 2991) (“A plain reading of the statute makes clear that the stature requires the actor to place the victim in reasonable fear, rather than, as Defendant would have it, that his travel place the victim in reasonable fear.”).

(U) It is unlikely that this statute's purpose is aimed at interrogations.

f. Conspiracy, 18 U.S.C. § 2 and 18 U.S.C. § 371 [15]

(U) Conspiracy to commit crime is a separate offense from crime that is the object of conspiracy. [16] Therefore, where someone is charged with conspiracy, a conviction cannot be sustained unless the Government establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the specific intent to violate the substantive statute. [17]

(U) As the Supreme Court most recently stated, “the essence of a conspiracy is ‘an agreement to commit an unlawful act.’” United States v. Jimenez Recio, —S.Ct. -, 2003 WL 139612 at *— (Jan. 12, 2003) (quoting Iannelli v. United States, 420 U.S. 770, 777 (1975). Moreover, “[t]hat agreement is a ‘distinct evil,’ which ‘may exist and be punished Whether or not the substantive crime ensues”, Id at* (quoting Salinas v. United States, 522 U.S. 52, 65 (1997).

3. Legal doctrines under the Federal Criminal Law that could render specific conduct, otherwise criminal, not unlawful

(U) Generally, the following discussion identifies legal doctrines and defenses applicable to the interrogation of unlawful combatants, and the decision process related to them. In practice, their efficacy as to any person or circumstances will be fact-dependent.

a. Commander-in-Chief Authority

(U) As the Supreme Court has recognized, and as we will explain further below, the President enjoys complete discretion in the exercise of his Commander-in-Chief authority including in conducting operations against hostile forces. Because both “[t]he executive power and the command of the military and naval forces is vested in the President,” the Supreme Court has unanimously stated that it is “the President alone who is constitutionally invested with the entire charge of hostile operations.” Hamilton v. Dillin, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 73 (1874) (emphasis added).

(U) In light of the President’s complete authority over the conduct of war, without a clear statement otherwise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the President’s ultimate authority in these areas. The Supreme Court has established a canon of statutory construction that statutes are to be constructed in a manner that avoids constitutional difficulties so long as a reasonable alternative construction is available, See, e.g., Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. v. Florida Gulf Coast Bldg. & Constr. Trades Council, 485 U.S. 568, 575 (1988) (citing NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago, 440 U.S. 490, 499-501 (1979) ) (“[W]here an otherwise acceptable construction of a statute would raise serious constitutional problems, [courts] will construe [a] statute to avoid such problems unless such construction is plainly contrary to the intent of Congress.”) this canon of construction applies especially where an act of Congress could be read to encroach upon powers constitutionally committed to a coordinate branch of government. See, e.g. Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U.S. 788, 800-1 (1992) (citation omitted) (“Out of respect for the separation of powers and the unique constitutional position of the President, we find that textual silence is not enough to subject the President to the provisions of the [Administrative Procedure Act]. We would require an express statement by Congress before assuming it intended for the President’s performance of this statutory duties to be reviewed for abuse of discretion.”); Public Citizen v. United States Dep’t of Justice, 491 U.S. 440, 465-67 (19890 (construing Federal Advisory Committee Act not to apply to advice given by American Bar Association to the President on judicial nominations, to avoid potential constitutional question regarding encroachment on Presidential power to appoint judges).

(U) In the area of foreign affairs, and war powers in particular, the avoidance canon has special force. See, e.g., Dept of Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518, 530 (1988) (“unless Congress specifically has provided otherwise, courts traditionally have been reluctant to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs.”); Japan Whaling Ass ’n v. American Cemcean Socy, 478 U.S. 221, 232-33 (1986) (construing federal statutes to avoid curtailment of traditional presidential prerogatives in foreign affairs). It should not be lightly assumed that Congress has acted to interfere with the President’s constitutionally superior position as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief in the area of military operations. See Egan, 484 U.S. at 529 (quoting Haig v. Agee, 1453 U.S. 280, 293-94 (1981). See also Agee, 453 U.S. at 291 (deference to Executive Branch is “especially” appropriate “in the area of national security”).

(U) In order to respect the President’s inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign, 18 U.S.C. § 2340A (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority. Congress lacks authority under Article I to set the terms and conditions under which the President may exercise his authority as Commander-in-Chief to control the conduct of operations during a war. The President’s power to detain and interrogate enemy combatants arises out of his constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief. A construction of Section 2340A that applied the provision to regulate the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief to determine the interrogation and treatment of enemy combatants would raise serious constitutional questions. Congress may no more regulate the President’s ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield. Accordingly, we would construe Section 2340A to avoid this constitutional difficulty, and conclude it does not apply to the President’s detention and interrogation of enemy combatants pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority.

(U) This approach is consistent with previous decisions of the DOJ involving the application of federal criminal law. For example, DOJ has previously construes the congressional contempt statute as inapplicable to executive branch officials who refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas because of an assertion of executive privilege. In a 1984 opinion, DOJ concluded that

if executive officials were subject to prosecution for criminal contempt whenever they carried out the President’s claim of executive privilege, it would significantly burden and immeasurably impair the President’s ability to fulfill his constitutional duties. Therefore, the separation of powers principles that underlie the doctrine of executive privilege also would preclude an application of the contempt of Congress to punish officials for aiding the President in asserting his constitutional privilege.


Prosecution for Contempt of Congress of an Executive Branch Official Who Has Asserted A Claim of Executive Privilege, 8 Op O.L.C. 101, 143 (May 30, 1984). Likewise, if executive officials were subject to prosecution for conducting interrogations when they were carrying out the President’s Commander-in-Chief powers, “it would significantly burden and immeasurably impair the President’s ability to fulfill his constitutional duties.” These constitutional principles preclude an application of Section 2340A to punish officials for aiding the President in exercising his exclusive constitutional authorities. Id.

(U) It could be argued that Congress enacted 18 U.S.C. § 2340A with full knowledge and consideration of the President’s Commander-in-Chief power, and that Congress intended to restrict his discretion; however, the Department of Justice could not enforce Section 2340A against federal officials acting pursuant to the president’s constitutional authority to wage a military campaign. Indeed, in a different context, DOJ has concluded that both courts and prosecutors should reject prosecutions that apply federal criminal laws to activity that is authorized pursuant to one of the President’s constitutional powers. DOJ, for example, has previously concluded that Congress could not constitutionally extend the congressional contempt statute to executive branch officials who refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas because of an assertion of executive privilege. They opined that “courts…would surely conclude that a criminal prosecution for the exercise of a presumptively valid, constitutionally based privilege is not consistent with the Constitution.” 8 Op O.L.C. at 141. Further, DOJ concluded that it could not bring a criminal prosecution against a defendant who had acted pursuant to an exercise of the President’s constitutional power. “The President, through a United States Attorney, need not, indeed may not, prosecute criminally a subordinate for asserting on his behalf a claim of executive privilege. Nor could the Legislative Branch or the courts require or implement the prosecution of such an individual.” Id. Although Congress may define federal crimes that the President, through the Take Care Clause, should prosecute, Congress cannot compel the President to prosecute outcomes taken pursuant to the President’s own constitutional authority. If Congress could do so, it could control the President’s authority through the manipulation of federal criminal law.

(U) There are even greater concerns with respect to prosecutions arising out of the exercise of the President’s express authority as Commander-in-Chief than with prosecutions arising out of the assertion of executive privilege. In a series of opinions examining various legal questions arising after September 11, 2001, DOJ explained the scope of the President’s Commander-in-Chief power. We briefly summarize the findings of those opinions here. The President’s constitutional power to protect the security of the United States and the lives and safety of it’s people must be understood in light of the Founder’s intention to create a federal government “cloathed with all the powers requisite to the complete execution of It’s trust.” The Federalist No. 23, at 147 (Alexander Hamilton) (Jacob E. Cooke ed. 1961). Foremost among the objectives committed to that trust by the Constitution is the security of the nation. As Hamilton explained in arguing for the Constitution’s adoption, because “the circumstances which may affect the public safety” are not reducible within certain determinate limits,

it must be admitted, as necessary consequences, that there can be no limitations of that authority, which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community, in any matter essential to its efficacy.


Id. at 147-48. Within the limits that the Constitution itself imposes, the scope and distribution of the powers to protect national security must be construed to authorize the most efficacious defense of the nation and its interests in accordance “with the realistic purposes of the entire instrument.” Lichter v. United States, 334 U.S. 742, 782 (1948).

(U) The text, structure, and history of the Constitution establish that the Founders entrusted the President with the primary responsibility, and therefore the power, to ensure the security of United States in situations of grave and unforeseen emergencies. The decision to deploy military force in the defense of the United States interests is expressly placed under Presidential Authority by the Vesting Clause, U.S. Const. Art I § 1, cl. 1, and by the Commander-in-Chief Clause, id., § 2, cl. 1. [18] DOJ has long understood the Commander-in-Chief Clause in particular as an affirmative grant of authority to the President. The Framers understood the Clause as investing the President with the fullest range of power understood at the time of the ratification of the Constitution as belonging to the military commander. In addition, the Structure of the Constitution demonstrates that any power traditionally understood as pertaining to the executive which includes the conduct of warfare and the defense of the nation unless expressly assigned in the Constitution to Congress, is vested in the President. Article II, Section 1 makes this clear by stating that the “executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” That sweeping grant vests in the President an unenumerated “executive power” and contrasts with the specific enumeration of the powers-those “herein” granted to Congress in Article I. The implications of constitutional text and structure are confirmed by the practical consideration that national security decisions require the unity in purpose and energy in action that characterize the Presidency rather than Congress. [19]

(U) As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Commander-in-Chief power and the President’s obligation to protect the nation imply the ancillary powers necessary to their successful exercise. “The first of the enumerated powers of the President is that he shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. And of course, the grant of war power includes all that is necessary and proper for carrying those powers into execution.” Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763, 788 (1950). In wartime it is for the President alone to decide what methods to use to best prevail against the enemy. The President’s complete discretion in exercising the Commander-in-Chief power has been recognized by the courts. In the Prize Cases, 67 U.S. (2 Black) 635, 670 (1862), for example, the Court explained that whether the President, “in fulfilling his duties as Commander in Chief”, had appropriately responded to the rebellion of the southern states was a question “to be decided by him” and which the Court could not question, but must leave to “the political department of the Government to which this power was entrusted”.
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