CIA advised military on questioning, documents show
WASHINGTON -- The CIA, which had authority to use harsh interrogation techniques on prisoners suspected of terrorism, advised U.S. military officials at Guantanamo in 2002 on how far they could go in extracting information from captives there, do...
WASHINGTON -- The CIA, which had authority to use harsh interrogation techniques on prisoners suspected of terrorism, advised U.S. military officials at Guantanamo in 2002 on how far they could go in extracting information from captives there, documents released at a Senate hearing Tuesday show.
"If the detainee dies you're doing it wrong," Jonathan Fredman, chief counsel to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, told a meeting of officials on Oct. 2, 2002, according to minutes from the meeting.
That meeting came a week after a delegation of senior Bush administration officials visited the Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, where the Bush administration has set up a prison camp for suspected terrorists.
The officials who visited Guantanamo were David Addington, counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon's top lawyer; acting CIA counsel John Rizzo; and Michael Chertoff, head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and now President Bush's homeland security secretary.
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is investigating the origin of techniques that resulted in abuse at Guantanamo, Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere, said the documents show that the abuse was not the result of "a few bad apples" within the military -- as the White House has claimed.
"The truth is that senior officials in the United States government sought information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality and authorized their use against detainees," said Levin, a Michigan Democrat.
The documents and testimony at the hearing show how Pentagon officials
"reverse-engineered" a military program designed to help captured U.S. soldiers and aviators resist interrogation.
Techniques used in a program to prepare U.S. servicemen, known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE, were instead put to use against prisoners at Guantanamo.