I’m finally getting around to reading some of the U.S. government documents relating to the torture and/or abuse of detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in other detention centers that the ACLU posted to it’s site recently. Having recently chipped in $35 to join the ACLU I’m feeling pretty good about my investment.
The headliner document is a brief FBI email intended to alert the higher-ups of some problematic behavior by Department of Defense (DOD) personnel (dated December 5, 2003). Of course the most damning text is redacted, but you can get the general idea. In a nutshell, the agent has just visited the Guantanamo Bay detention center and witnessed DOD interrogators using “torture techniques” on detainees.
- “Of concern, DOD interrogators impersonating Supervisory Special Agents of the FBI told a detainee that [redacted]. These same interrogation teams then [redacted]. The detainee was also told by this interrogation team [longer redaction].
“These tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralization nature to date and CITF believes that techniques have destroyed any chance of prosecuting this detainee.”
Quaintly, the FBI agent is most disturbed by the potential public relations impact on the FBI. To quote the agent:
- “If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done [by] the ‘FBI’ interrogators. The FBI will [be] left holding the bag before the public.”
Well, I suppose it is nice to know that some parts of our government seem to disagree with the use of torture, and even see it as a hinderance to the “war on terrorism.” It’s also good to know that the Freedom of Information Act hasn’t been completely disabled by the Bush administration. But it’s cold comfort.