26 February 2006

FBI 'warned military on Guantanamo techniques'

They still keep telling us that the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and elsewhere was the work of merely "a few bad apples".

That batch of bad apples keeps growing. Now, according to the FBI, it includes a big orchard called the Defense Intelligence Agency. And they knew that they were acting illegally, because the FBI had told them so.

From the Financial Times via truthout:
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at Guantánamo Bay warned military interrogators that some aggressive interrogation techniques were illegal, according to documents released on Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Organisation released internal FBI memos that outline agents' concerns about the interrogation tactics being used by Defense Intelligence Agency interrogators at the prison.

According to a May 2003 memo, FBI agents in late 2002 believed DIA interrogators were using tactics that were of "questionable effectiveness."

"Not only are these tactics at odds with legally permissible interviewing techniques used by US law enforcement agencies in the US, but they are being employed by personnel in GTMO [Guantánamo] who appear to have little, if any, experience eliciting information for judicial purposes," the memo said.

Another memo documents how DIA interrogators used techniques such as showing pornographic videos and wrapping prisoners in the Israeli flag. It also alleges that the interrogators sometimes posed as FBI agents.

According to the May 2003 memo, FBI agents complained that the US military officer overseeing interrogations at Guantánamo "blatantly misled" the Pentagon into believing that the FBI had endorsed some of the more aggressive techniques.

The report said Major General Geoffrey Miller, overall commander of the prison from late 2002, who was later sent to Abu Ghraib to improve the flow of intelligence from interrogations, "favoured" the more aggressive techniques "despite FBI assertions that such methods could easily result in the elicitation of unreliable and legally inadmissible information."

"We now possess overwhelming evidence that political and military leaders endorsed interrogation methods that violate both domestic and international law," said Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU lawyer.
[Read more.]

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