Monday, December 06, 2004
Early warning on Guantánamo torture from the FBI
The AP is reporting that it has obtained a letter that reveals that "FBI officials complained about the pattern of abusive techniques to top Defense Department attorneys in January 2003, and it appeared that nothing was done."
The letter "suggested" that—
... the Pentagon didn't act on FBI complaints about the incidents, including a female interrogator grabbing a detainee's genitals and bending back his thumbs, another where a prisoner was gagged with duct tape and a third where a dog was used to intimidate a detainee who later was thrown into isolation and showed signs of "extreme psychological trauma."
The letter was written by Thomas Harrington, "an FBI counterterrorism expert." And to whom was it sent? That would be "Maj. Gen. Donald J. Ryder, the Army's chief law enforcement officer who's investigating abuses at U.S.-run prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantanamo."
The AP says that these are the first detailed allegations of "abuse" at Guantánamo for the year 2002. But the ACLU has not received any mention of these incidents among the documents it has requested from the government.
The ACLU did, however, receive a letter addressed to the same FBI agent.
One of the documents the ACLU received was a letter from an FBI agent to Harrington and dated May 10. It underscored the friction between the FBI and the military, mentioning conversations that were "somewhat heated" over interrogation methods.
"In my weekly meetings with the Department of Justice we often discussed techniques and how they were not effective or producing intelligence that was reliable," according to the exchange, which was heavily redacted to remove references to dates and names.
"I finally voiced my opinion ...," the FBI agent says. "It still did not prevent them from continuing the ... methods."
You will not be surprised that—
Three of the four incidents mentioned in the letter obtained by the AP occurred under the watch of Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who ran the Guantanamo camp from October 2002 to March 2004, and left to run Abu Ghraib prison. Last month, Miller was reassigned to the Pentagon, with responsibility for housing and other support operations.
He'll be head of the Joint Chiefs at this rate.
In a little more detail,
In September or October of 2002, FBI agents saw a dog used "in an aggressive manner to intimidate a detainee," the letter said.
About a month later, agents saw the same detainee "after he had been subjected to intense isolation for over three months ... totally isolated in a cell that was always flooded with light. By late November, the detainee was evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma ... talking to nonexistent people, reported hearing voices (and) crouching in a corner of the cell covered with a sheet," the letter said.
In October 2002, another FBI agent saw a detainee "gagged with duct tape that covered much of his head" because he would not stop chanting from the Quran.
Just thought you should know.