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The CIA & Torture

 

Background

Media Reports

Legal Documents

Government & NGO Reports

Photo Credits

 

Newest Media Report: Terrorist Interrogation Tapes Found (17/8/2010/Associated Press)

Newest Government Report: Review of FBI’s Involvement in Interrogations (30/10/2009/U.S. Department of Justice)

 

Background

 

“Barack Obama today released four top secret memos that allowed the CIA under the Bush administration to torture al-Qaida and other suspects held at Guantánamo and secret detention centres round the world. But, in an accompanying statement, Obama ruled out prosecutions against those who had been involved. […] The memos provide an insight into the techniques used by the CIA and the legal basis on which the Bush administration gave the go-ahead. […] Ten techniques are approved, listed as: attention grasp, walling (in which the suspect could be pushed into a wall), a facial hold, a facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, sleep deprivation, insects placed in a confinement box (the suspect had a fear of insects) and the waterboard. […]” - Excerpt from a Guardian article from April 16th, 2009.

 

Former CIA black site in Poland

 

Recent Media Reports

 

August 17th, 2010 - Terrorist Interrogation Tapes Found

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

July 26th, 2010 - Key Omission in Memo to Destroy CIA Terror Tapes

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

July 16th, 2010 - Lawyer: Some CIA Interrogation Tactics not OK’d

2 news articles from the Associated Press & Washington Post

 

April 16th, 2010 - E-mail: Ex-CIA Chief Agreed with Tape Destruction

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

Media Reports Archive 2010

Media Reports Archive 2002 - 2009

 

 

The Architects of U.S. Torture Policy

Alberto Gonzales, former U.S. Attorney General

Jay Bybee

Stephen Bradbury

 

Legal Documents

 

Civil Suit I: American Civil Liberties Union et al vs. U.S. Department of Defense et al

Civil Suit II: American Civil Liberties Union et al v. Central Intelligence Agency et al

 

Civil Suit I

American Civil Liberties Union et al vs. U.S. Department of Defense et al

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Case No.: 1:04-cv-4151-AKH

Filed on June 2nd, 2004

 

Recent Filings:

 

September 22nd, 2009 - Declaration of Leon E. Panetta, Director, Central Intelligence Agency

 

“[…] 2. I make the following statements based upon my personal knowledge and information made available to me in my official capacity. The judgments expressed in this declaration are my own. Through the exercise of my official duties, I have been advised of this litigation and I am familiar with the CIA documents and information currently at issue in this case.

 

“3. I submit this declaration to supplement my prior unclassified and classified declarations, both dated 8 June 2009, and in further support of the withholding in full of a sample of 65 documents reflecting the contents of 92 destroyed videotapes of detainee interrogations that occurred between April and December 2002. Of these 65 documents, 57 are records generated during the course of CIA counterterrorism operations, or their equivalent (operational records). The majority of these operational records are CIA operational communications (operational cables) which, as I noted in my prior declaration, are the most contemporaneous documents the CIA possesses concerning these interrogations. […]”

 

September 22nd, 2009 - Declaration of Wendy M. Hilton, Central Intelligence Agency

 

“[…] I, Wendy M. Hilton, hereby declare and say:

 

“1. I continue to serve as an Associate Information Review Officer (AIRO) for the National Clandestine Service (NCS) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). I was appointed to this position in March 2007. I have held a variety of positions in the CIA since I became a staff officer in 1983. […]

 

“[…] 9. Documents 28 and 57 contain the deliberations and recommendations of CIA officers during the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. These deliberations represent the impressions of those officers and do not represent official policy guidance generated by CIA management.

 

“10. Document 28 also contains the recommendations of CIA officers, based on the experience of interrogating Abu Zubaydah, for potential future interrogations. This information was conveyed to CIA Headquarters in the context of the CIA still determining the most effective way to conduct interrogations. The experience of the CIA officers contained in this document was but one of the many factors considered by CIA management as part of the evolving CIA program. […]”

 

September 22nd, 2009 - Defendant CIA’s Reply Memorandum in Support of its Fifth Motion

 

“[…] Defendant Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’), by its attorney, Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, respectfully submits this reply in further support of its fifth motion for summary judgment, seeking to withhold in full information contained in operational cables, notes, logbooks, memoranda, e-mails, and a single photograph under exemptions to the FOIA.

 

“In its opening brief, the Government established that these CIA documents are properly withheld under FOIA exemptions 1, 3, 5, and 6. The vast majority of the sample records, 57 of the 65, are documents generated during the course of CIA operations, or their equivalent, including cables consisting primarily of sensitive intelligence and operational information concerning interrogations of Abu Zubaydah. These operational documents contain descriptions of CIA techniques as applied in actual operations, as well as details of actual intelligence activities, sources, and methods. As the Director of the CIA has made clear, the release of this classified information would cause exceptionally grave harm to clandestine human intelligence collection and foreign liaison relationships. […]

 

“[…] Finally, the Court should reject plaintiffs’ claims that the names and identifying information of CIA consultants and contractors in 62 of the documents should be released. The CIA has never made an official disclosure of these individuals’ names, and the news coverage and Senate report cited by plaintiffs do not constitute a disclosure by the Executive Branch. Moreover, plaintiffs argument that in light of the media coverage, disclosure of the names and identifying information of these individuals could not constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy is wrong, as only the individual whose informational privacy interests are protected by Exemption 6 can effect a waiver of those privacy interests.

 

“For the reasons explained below and in the Government’s opening brief, as well as in the accompanying classified and unclassified declarations, the Court should grant the Government’s fifth motion for summary judgment. […]”

 

September 10th, 2009 - Scheduling Order

 

“[…] The oral argument regarding the Fourth and Fifth Motions for Summary Judgment, presently scheduled to take place on October 1, 2009 at 3 p.m., shall take place instead on September 30, 2009 at 3 p.m. So ordered. […]”

 

August 31st, 2009 - Endorsed Letter

 

“[…] Pursuant to the Government’s August 14, 2009 proposal to the Court, adopted in pertinent part by the Court’s August 25, 2009 Order, the CIA has completed its manual search of the CIA Office of Inspector General (OIG) records ‘relating to the destruction of the tapes, which describe the persons and reasons behind their destruction’ (the so-called ‘paragraph 4 records’) for the periods of April 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003 and June 1, 2005 to January 31, 2006.

 

“The manual search of the potentially-responsive OIG records has yielded approximately 100 responsive documents. These documents, the majority of which are classified Top Secret, must now undergo a manual line-by-line review to determine what, if any, information is non-exempt and can be released. Given the sensitivity of the documents, the Agency estimates that it can complete the processing by October 19, 2009. The Government proposes releasing any non-exempt information from the documents at issue on that date, and producing a Vaughn declaration justifying any withheld information by October 27, 2009. […]”

 

August 28th, 2009 - Endorsed Letter

 

“[…] We write respectfully to request a three-week extension of time, until September 21, 2009, to file the Vaughn declarations in support of the withholdings made by the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (‘OLC’) and Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’) relating to the 181 classified documents contained in the OLC Vaughn that comprise a portion of the documents remanded to this Court from the Second Circuit. Plaintiffs consent to this request. […]”

 

August 14th, 2009 - Endorsed Letter

 

“[…] Pursuant to the Government’s July 31, 2009 letter to the Court, we write to propose a work plan to search for documents ‘relating to the destruction of the tapes, which describe the persons and reasons behind their destruction’ (the so-called ‘paragraph 4 documents’) for the periods of April 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003; and June 1, 2005 to January 31, 2006.

 

“As we explained in our letter of July 31,2009, the CIA believes that the most likely repositories for records responsive to the Court's Orders are large electronic databases that the Agency has compiled consisting of hundreds of thousands of pages and a smaller hard copy collection of approximately 7,500 documents compiled by the CIA Office of Inspector General (OIG).

 

“An initial search of the relevant records gathered by the CIA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has yielded approximately 1,000 potentially relevant records that now need to be reviewed by hand to identify non-responsive records and duplicates. As contemplated in the Government’s July 31, 2009 letter to the Court, the Agency is currently on schedule to complete this search of OIG documents by August 28, 2009, and to provide to the Court by August 31, 2009, a work plan for completing the manual line-by-line review of the responsive records to determine what, if any, information is non-exempt and can be released. […]”

 

July 30th, 2009 - Memorandum Order

 

“[…] This memorandum order describes the context and outcome of an ex parte, in camera hearing held on July 29, 2009 in the above-captioned litigation.

 

“On December 12, 2007, Plaintiffs filed a motion for contempt and sanctions, arguing that the Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’) violated my order of September 15, 2004 by destroying videotapes that were responsive to Plaintiffs’ FOIA requests.

 

“Special Prosecutor John H. Durham is leading a criminal investigation which includes charges of destruction of the videotapes. On August 20, 2008, I ordered Mr. Durham to explain whether production of certain records relating to the destruction of the videotapes, in connection with Plaintiff’s contempt motion, would interfere with his criminal investigation. In a series of declarations, he stated his belief that his investigation would be compromised if the Government were to produce the records described in my order of August 20, 2008. In light of these representations, I stayed the Government’s obligation to comply with that order, and deferred consideration of Plaintiff’s motion. This stay expired on February 28, 2009, after Mr. Durham did not renew his objection.

 

“On April 20, 2009, I ordered the Government, inter alia, to produce two sets of documents, which the parties have termed ‘paragraph 3 documents’ and ‘paragraph 4 documents.’ Paragraph 3 documents are those relating to the content of the destroyed videotapes. The Government’s withholding of these documents is the subject of the parties’ fifth motion for partial summary judgment, on which I will hear argument on August 20, 2009. […]”

 

July 21st, 2009 - Order

 

“[…] It is hereby ordered, consistent with the Court’s rulings at the conference,

 

“1. As to the 319 documents of the Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’) that have been remanded to this Court from the Second Circuit, the Government shall complete its processing as to one of those documents, the CIA Office of Inspector General Report (the ‘Report’), by August 24, 2009 such that, on or before that date, the Government will produce to the plaintiffs my portions of the Report that are appropriate for release under FOIA. As to the remaining 318 remanded CIA documents, the Government shall complete its processing of those documents by August 31, 2009, such that, on or before that date, the Government shall produce to the plaintiffs any portions of those 318 documents that are appropriate for release under FOIA. […]

 

“[…] 4. In addition to the paragraph 4 documents referenced above, the Government is ordered to assemble relevant paragraph 4 documents created during the period of June 1, 2005 and January 31, 2006. As the Government has informed the Court that the prosecutors in the criminal investigation will likely object to production of paragraph 4 documents created during this time period, see Court's order of July 7, 2009, […], the Government will notify the Court in writing within one week of this order whether there is such an objection. Consistcnt with the discussion at the conference, the Special Prosecutor John Durham and the Court shall meet to discuss the status of the ongoing criminal investigation and, to the extent possible but recognizing the limitations of public disclosure (including but not limited to Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)), any information from that meeting that can be made public shall be put on the public record in this proceeding. […]”

 

June 8th, 2009 - Declaration of Leon E. Panetta, Director Central Intelligence Agency

 

“[…] 5. The majority of the documents currently at issue are TOP SECRET communications to CIA Headquarters from a covert overseas CIA facility where interrogations were being conducted. These TOP SECRET communications consist primarily of sensitive intelligence and operational information concerning interrogations of Abu Zubaydah. Drafted during the timeframe the interrogations were being conducted, these comunications are the most contemporaneous documents the CIA possesses concerning these interrogations. In addition to these TOP SECRET communications, there are also a small number of miscellaneous documents, which include notes of CIA employees who reviewed the 92 videotapes before they were destroyed, logbooks containing details of the interrogations, and a photograph. These miscellaneous documents, like the operational communications, contain TOP SECRET operational information concerning the interrogations, and were drafted either contemporaneously with the interrogations or with a viewing of the now-destroyed videotapes. […]

 

“[…] 8. Information concerning the names and titles of CIA personnel, and information concerning CIA organization, functions, and filing information, has also been withheld from the documents at issue based on FOIA Exemptions b (1) and b (3). Names and identifying information of CIA personnel, and CIA contractors and employees of other federal agencies involved in clandestine counterterrorism operations, also has been withheld on the basis of FOIA Exemption b (6), as the disclosure of such information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As I discuss below, disclosing the identities of CIA employees and others involved in clandestine counterterrorism operations could place those individuals, as well as their families and friends, at grave risk from extremists seeking retribution.

 

“9. The documents at issue also disclose the locations of covert CIA facilities and the identities of countries cooperating with the CIA in counterterrorism operations. As I discuss in my classified declaration, such information is properly classified and exempt form disclosure under FOIA Exemptions b (1) and b (3).

 

“[…] 12. Additionally, disclosure of explicit details of specific interrogations where EITs were applied would provide al-Qa’ida with propaganda it could use to recruit and raise funds. Al-Qa’ida has a very effective propaganda operation. When the abuse of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison was disclosed, al-Qa’ida made very effective use of that information in extremist websites that recruit jihadists and solicit financial support. Information concerning the details of the EITs being applied would provide ready-made ammunition for al-Qa’ida propaganda. The resultant damage to the national security would likely be exceptionally grave, and the withholding of this information is therefore proper under FOIA Exemption b (1). […]”

 

May 7th, 2009 - Order Regulating Proposed Workplan

 

“[…] On April 9, 2009, the Government submitted a work plan for producing to Plaintiffs documents concerning certain videotapes destroyed by the CIA. On April 20, 2009, I ordered the parties to make changes to the plan, and to submit a joint letter containing either a new plan on which they agree, or a description of their differences. The parties submitted such a letter on May 5, 2009.

 

“The letter contains a joint proposal and schedule for producing the documents contemplated by paragraph 3 of my April 20, 2009 order, that is, documents that relate to the content of the videotapes. I approve, and hereby order, the parties' joint proposal and schedule with respect to producing these documents.

 

“However, the letter describes significant disagreement with respect to producing the documents contemplated by paragraph 4 of my April 20, 2009 order, that is, documents that relate to the destruction of the videotapes. The Government argues that producing these documents would interfere with the ‘active and ongoing’ criminal investigation by John H. Durham into the destruction of the videotapes, but no declaration by Mr. Durham was supplied to show why that may be so. Plaintiffs argue that the Government may not ‘use Mr. Durham’s investigation as a pretext for indefinitely postponing’ its obligation to produce documents that I ordered to be produced, and which may be needed to resolve Plaintiffs’ pending motion for contempt and sanctions. Plaintiffs further argue that, if postponement is warranted, the Government should immediately disclose at least the number and general nature of documents relating to the destruction of the videotapes.

 

“I decline to postpone the production required by paragraph 4 of my April 20, 2009 order, unless the Government makes a satisfactory justification for postponement. The circumstances in which the videotapes were destroyed are relevant to Plaintiffs’ motion, as well as to the content of the videotapes themselves. Accordingly, by May 27, 2009, the Government shall submit papers and affidavits making the showing required by this order and prior orders. The showing may include also any reasons why the identity of persons involved in the destruction should not be disclosed, and proposals to substitute for any such non-disclosures. […]”

 

June 2nd, 2004 - Preliminary Statement

 

“[…] 1. This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act (‘FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552 et seq., for injunctive and other appropriate relief, and seeking the immediate processing and release of agency records requested by plaintiffs from Defendants Department of Defense (‘DOD’), Department of Homeland Security (‘DHS’), Department of Justice (‘DOJ’), Department of State (‘DOS’), Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’), and their above-named components. […]”

 

Civil Suit II

American Civil Liberties Union et al v. Central Intelligence Agency et al

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Case No.: 1:09-cv-05413-UA

Filed on June 11th, 2009

 

July 16th, 2009 - Defendants’ Answer

 

“[…] First Defense

 

“The Complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted, as Defendants properly withheld the requested documents. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b).

 

“Second Defense

 

“The Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ request for relief that exceeds the relief authorized by statute under FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552.

 

“Wherefore, Defendants demand judgment dismissing the Complaint and granting such further relief as this Court deems just, including costs and disbursements. […]”

 

June 11th, 2009 - Complaint for Injunctive Relief

 

“[…] 1. This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act (‘FOIA’), 5 U.S.C. § 552, for injunctive and other appropriate relief, seeking the immediate processing and release of agency records requested by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (collectively ‘ACLU’) from Defendants Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’), U.S. Department of Defense (‘DOD’), U.S. Department of Justice (‘DOJ’), and U.S. Department of State (‘DOS’). […]

 

“[…] 15. In December 2008, the ACLU submitted a FOIA request (‘2008 Request’) for records relating to the detention, interrogation, treatment, prosecution, and transfer to foreign countries of suspected terrorists held in U.S. custody after September 11, 2001. Plaintiffs filed the request to obtain records that were beyond the scope of the 2003 and 2004 Requests or were generated after the cut-off date used by the government for those requests. Plaintiffs do not seek reprocessing or re-release of documents produced in response to the 2003 or 2004 Requests.

 

“16. At this time, more than six months after Plaintiffs filed their 2008 Request, the government has yet to produce a single record in response. […]”

 

 

Government & NGO Reports

 

October 2009 - A Review of the FBI’s Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations

Report by the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice (18,9 MB)

 

July 29th, 2009 - Investigation into Memoranda Concerning “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”

Report by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility (9,9 MB)

 

May 2009 - Member Briefings on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

Report by the Central Intelligence Agency

 

April 22nd, 2009 - Declassified Narrative Describing Opinions on the CIA’s Interrogation Program

Memorandum by the Office of the Attorney General

 

November 20th, 2008 - Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody

Report by the Committee on Armed Services of the U.S. Senate (15,2 MB)

 

May 2008 - A Review of the FBI’s Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations

Report by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (6,1 MB)

 

March 5th, 2008 - “Dear Senator Wyden: [...]”

Letter by Brian A. Benczkowski, Office of the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

 

September 27th, 2007 - “Dear Senator Wyden: [...]”

Letter by Brian A. Benczkowski, Office of the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

 

July 20th, 2007 - Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency

Memorandum by Steven G. Bradbury; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

 

February 14th, 2007 - ICRC Report on the Treatment of 14 “High Value Detainees” in CIA Custody

Report by the International Committee of the Red Cross

 

September 28th, 2006 - Military Commissions Act of 2006

Act of U.S. Congress proposed to the U.S. President for acceptance

 

September 6th, 2006 - Summary of the High Value Terrorist Detainee Program

Report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

 

May 30th, 2005 - 3rd Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, CIA

Memorandum by Steven G. Bradbury, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General (8,1 MB)

 

May 10th, 2005 - 2nd Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, CIA

Memorandum by Steven G. Bradbury, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

 

May 10th, 2005 - Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, CIA

Memorandum by Steven G. Bradbury, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

 

April 22nd, 2005 - Horizontal Sleep Deprivation

Memorandum by the Office of General Counsel, Central intelligence Agency

 

December 30th, 2004 - Background Paper on CIA’s Combined Use of Interrogation Techniques

Report by the Office of Legal Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency

 

August 5th, 2004 - “Dear Mr. Levin […]”

Letter by the Office of General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency

 

May 7th, 2004 - Special Review/Counterterrorism Detention & Interrogation Activities

Report by the Office of the Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency

 

January 28th, 2003 - Guidelines on Interrogations Pursuant to the [redacted]

Memorandum by the Central Intelligence Agency

 

August 1st, 2002 - Memorandum for John Rizzo

Memorandum by Jay S. Bybee, Office of the Assistant Attorney General

 

 

Photo Credits

 

Background

 

1) The Szymany Airport in Poland near a C.I.A. “black site.” - undated - Associated Press/Published by the New York Times on June 22nd, 2008;

 

The Architects of the Torture Policy

 

1) Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill - July 24th, 2007 - Doug Mills/The New York Times;

2) Jay Scott Bybee, former Assistant Attorney General & currently Judge of the U.S. Appeals Court of the 9th Circuit - undated/published in 2009 - Jason Doiy/The Recorder;

3) Stephen Bradbury, former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General - undated - U.S. White House Press photo;

 

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