[lit-ideas] I think we found the "higher ups"....

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 17:16:22 EST

_American  Civil Liberties Union : FBI E-Mail Refers to Presidential Order 
Authorizing  Inhumane Interrogation Techniques_ 
    FBI E-Mail  Refers to Presidential Order Authorizing Inhumane 
Interrogation  Techniques 
December 20,  2004
Contact: _media@xxxxxxxxx (mailto:media@xxxxxxxx)   
Newly Obtained FBI Records Call Defense  Departmentâ??s Methods "Torture," 
Express Concerns Over "Cover-Up" That May Leave  FBI "Holding the Bag" for 
NEW YORK -- A document released for the first time today by  the American 
Civil Liberties Union suggests that President Bush issued an  Executive Order 
authorizing the use of inhumane interrogation methods against  detainees in 
Also released by the ACLU today are a slew of other records  including a 
December 2003 FBI e-mail that characterizes methods used by the  Defense 
Department as "torture" and a June 2004 "Urgent Report" to the Director  of the 
that raises concerns that abuse of detainees is being covered up.  
"These documents raise grave questions about where the blame  for widespread 
detainee abuse ultimately rests," said ACLU Executive Director  Anthony D. 
Romero. "Top government officials can no longer hide from public  scrutiny by 
pointing the finger at a few low-ranking soldiers."  
The documents were obtained after the ACLU and other public  interest 
organizations filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to  respond to 
Freedom of Information Act request.  
The two-page e-mail that references an Executive Order  states that the 
President directly authorized interrogation techniques including  sleep 
deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and "sensory  
through the use of hoods, etc." The ACLU is urging the White House  to confirm 
deny the existence of such an order and immediately to release the  order if it 
exists. The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from "On Scene  
Commander--Baghdad" to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI 
prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said  
have authorized.  
Another e-mail, dated December 2003, describes an incident  in which Defense 
Department interrogators at Guantánamo Bay impersonated FBI  agents while 
using "torture techniques" against a detainee. The e-mail concludes  "If this 
detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD  
will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were  done [sic] 
the â??FBIâ?? interrogators. The FBI will [sic] left holding the bag  before 
The document also says that no "intelligence of a threat  neutralization 
nature" was garnered by the "FBI" interrogation, and that the  FBIâ??s Criminal 
Investigation Task Force (CITF) believes that the Defense  Departmentâ??s 
have destroyed any chance of prosecuting the detainee. The  e-mailâ??s author 
writes that he or she is documenting the incident "in order to  protect the 
"The methods that the Defense Department has adopted are  illegal, immoral, 
and counterproductive," said ACLU staff attorney Jameel  Jaffer. "It is 
astounding that these methods appear to have been adopted as a  matter of 
policy by 
the highest levels of government."  
The June 2004 "Urgent Report" addressed to the FBI Director  is heavily 
redacted. The legible portions of the document appear to describe an  account 
to the FBIâ??s Sacramento Field Office by an FBI agent who had  "observed 
numerous physical abuse incidents of Iraqi civilian detainees,"  including 
"strangulation, beatings, [and] placement of lit cigarettes into the  detainees 
openings." The document states that "[redacted] was providing this  account to 
the FBI based on his knowledge that [redacted] were engaged in a  cover-up of 
these abuses."  
The release of these documents follows a federal court order  that directed 
government agencies to comply with a year-old request under the  Freedom of 
Information Act filed by the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional  Rights, 
Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for  Peace. 
New York Civil Liberties Union is co-counsel in the case.  
Other documents released by the ACLU today include:  
    *   An FBI email regarding DOD personnel impersonating FBI  officials 
during interrogations. The e-mail refers to a "ruse" and notes that  "all of 
those [techniques] used in these scenarios" were approved by the  Deputy 
of Defense. (Jan. 21, 2004)  
    *   Another FBI agentâ??s account of interrogations at  Guantánamo in 
detainees were shackled hand and foot in a fetal position  on the floor. The 
agent states that the detainees were kept in that position  for 18 to 24 hours 
at a time and most had "urinated or defacated [sic]" on  themselves. On one 
occasion, the agent reports having seen a detainee left in  an unventilated, 
non-air conditioned room at a temperature "probably well over  a hundred 
degrees." The agent notes: "The detainee was almost unconscious on  the floor, 
with a 
pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally  pulling his own 
hair out throughout the night." (Aug. 2, 2004)  
    *   An e-mail stating that an Army lawyer "worked hard to  cwrite [sic] a 
legal justification for the type of interrogations they (the  Army) want to 
conduct" at Guantánamo Bay. (Dec. 9, 2002)  
    *   An e-mail noting the initiation of an FBI investigation  into the 
alleged rape of a juvenile male detainee at Abu Ghraib prison in  Iraq. (July 
    *   An FBI agentâ??s account of an interrogation at Guantánamo  - an 
interrogation apparently conducted by Defense Department personnel - in  which 
detainee was wrapped in an Israeli flag and bombarded with loud music  and 
lights. (July 30, 2004) 
The ACLU and its allies are scheduled to go to court again  this afternoon, 
where they will seek an order compelling the CIA to turn over  records related 
to an internal investigation into detainee abuse. Although the  ACLU has 
received more than 9,000 documents from other agencies, the CIA refuses  to 
or deny even the existence of many of the records that the ACLU and  other 
plaintiffs have requested. The CIA is reported to have been involved in  
detainees in Iraq and at secret CIA detention facilities around the  globe.  
The lawsuit is being handled by Lawrence Lustberg and Megan  Lewis of the New 
Jersey-based law firm Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger &  Vecchione, P.C. 
Other attorneys in the case are Jaffer, Amrit Singh and Judy  Rabinovitz of 
the ACLU; Art Eisenberg and Beth Haroules of the NYCLU; and  Barbara Olshansky 
and Jeff Fogel of CCR.  
The documents referenced above can be found at: 
(http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia/released/fbi.html) .  
More on the lawsuit can be found at: _http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia/_ 
(http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia/) . 

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