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Encyclopedia > Enhanced interrogation techniques
Painting of waterboarding from Cambodia's Tuol Sleng Prison
Painting of waterboarding from Cambodia's Tuol Sleng Prison

Enhanced interrogation techniques is a term that the Bush administration uses to describe techniques of aggressively extracting information from captives which they say are necessary in the War on Terror. Despite the alternate name, many experts consider this to be torture, and also consider the techniques ineffective[1][2][3][4]. Although reactions have been mixed, former US president Jimmy Carter is among those who believe it is torture, stating in an interview on October 10, 2007, "The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law."[5]. U.S. President George W. Bush first authorized the techniques in mid-March 2002. Only a handful[specify] of CIA interrogators have enhanced interrogation training and authorization. Image File history File links Merge-arrow. ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Waterboard3-small. ... Painting of waterboarding at Cambodias Tuol Sleng Prison, by former inmate Vann Nath. ... The Bush administration includes President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Bushs Cabinet, and other select officials and advisors. ... This article is about U.S. actions, and those of other states, after September 11, 2001. ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Jimmy Carter, see Jimmy Carter (disambiguation). ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ...



Verschärfte Vernehmung

H. Candace Gorman (a lawyer representing several detainees in Guantanamo Bay), and Lou Dubose claim that "enhanced interrogation" bears remarkable resemblance to the techniques the Gestapo called "Verschärfte Vernehmung," for which some members Gestapo were prosecuted in Norway after World War II "found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death."[6][7][8][9] Besides the similarity of the practices, the German term "verschärfte Vernehmung" also directly translates to "enhanced interrogation". The techniques included: H. Candace Gorman is an American attorney. ... The Center for Constitutional Rights has coordinated efforts by American lawyers to handle the habeas corpus, and other legal appeals, of several hundred of the Guantanamo captives. ... The   (contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei: “secret state police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. ... In the context of war, a war crime is a punishable offense under International Law, for violations of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ...

  1. Simplest rations
  2. Hard bed
  3. Dark cell
  4. Deprivation of sleep
  5. Exhaustion exercises
  6. Blows with a stick

A 1948 Norwegian court case[10] described the use of hypothermia identical to the reports from Guantanamo Bay. Candace Gorman contends that the defense used by the Nazis for applying the techniques "is almost verbatim that of the Bush administration." Most notably the concept of unlawful enemy combatant is invoked avant la lettre to justify its implementation on "insurgent prisoners out of uniform", and notes the identical logic propagated by John Yoo today.[6] The now familiar ticking time bomb scenario, as rationale for allowing torture, had its precursor in the Gestapo's "Third degree" measures.[8] This is a list of significant court cases. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism Wikisource has original text related to this article: Statement of Alberto J Mora on interrogation abuse, July 7, 2004 Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a joint military prison and... National Socialism redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Unlawful combatant. ... John Choon Yoo (born 1967), is a professor of Law at the Boalt Hall School of Law, the University of California, Berkeley. ... The ticking time bomb scenario is a thought experiment that has been used in the ethics debate over whether torture can ever be justified. ...

SERE program

Main article: SERE

Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner and Brad Olson wrote an article describing how these techniques mimic what was taught in the SERE-program: "the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape program that trains US Special Operations Forces, aviators and others at high risk of capture on the battlefield to evade capture and to resist 'breaking' under torture, particularly through giving false confessions or collaborating with their captors."[2] They cite the following examples: This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The United States Special Operations Forces is the official category which the United States Department of Defense lists the U.S. military units that have a training specialization in unconventional warfare and special operations. ...

  1. Prolonged isolation,
  2. Prolonged sleep deprivation,
  3. Sensory deprivation,
  4. Extremely painful "stress positions,"
  5. Sensory bombardment (such as prolonged loud noise and/or bright lights),
  6. Forced nakedness,
  7. Sexual humiliation,
  8. Cultural humiliation (such as desecration of holy scriptures),
  9. Being subjected to extreme cold that induces hypothermia,
  10. Exploitation of phobias,
  11. Simulation of the experience of drowning and controlled drowning, i.e., waterboarding.

Sleep deprivation is a general lack of the necessary amount of sleep. ... Sensory deprivation is the deliberate reduction or removal of stimuli from one or more of the senses. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Hypothermia is a condition in which an organisms temperature drops below that Required fOr normal metabolism and Bodily functionS. In warm-blooded animals, core [[body Temperature]] is maintained nEar a constant leVel through biologic [[homEostasis]]. But wheN the body iS exposed to cold Its internal mechanismS may be unable... The term phobia, which comes from the Ancient Greek word for fear (φόβος, fobos), denotes a number of psychological and physiological conditions that can range from serious disabilities to common fears to minor quirks. ... Painting of waterboarding at Cambodias Tuol Sleng Prison, by former inmate Vann Nath. ...

Technique details under the Bush administration

According to ABC News[11], former and current CIA officals have come forward to reveal details of interrogation techniques authorized in the CIA. These include:

  1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.
  2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.
  3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the abdomen. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.
  4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor, for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.
  5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Waterboarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Material is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

Painting of waterboarding at Cambodias Tuol Sleng Prison, by former inmate Vann Nath. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


International Law

  • In 1994, the United States filed a declaration qualifying its compliance with the Convention against Torture. According to the UN Secretary General, the Government of the United States of America said, "... nothing in this Convention requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States."[12]

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated UDHR) is an advisory declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). ...

US Law

  • In April 2006, in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales[13], more than 100 U.S. professors stated unequivocally that waterboarding is torture, and is a criminal felony punishable under the U.S. federal criminal code.
  • Senior law enforcement agents with the Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) told MSNBC.com in 2006 that they complained inside the Defense Department in 2002 that the "interrogation" tactics used by a separate team of intelligence investigators were unproductive, not likely to produce reliable information, and probably illegal. Unable to get satisfaction from the Army commanders running the detainee camp, they took their concerns to David Brant, director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), who alerted Navy General Counsel Alberto J. Mora.[14]. General Counsel Mora and Navy Judge Advocate General Michael Lohr believed the detainee treatment to be unlawful, and campaigned among other top lawyers and officials in the Defense Department to investigate, and to provide clear standards prohibiting coercive interrogation tactics.[15] In response, on January 15, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld suspended the approved interrogation tactics at Guantánamo until a working group, headed by General Counsel of the Air Force Mary Walker, could produce a set of guidelines. The working group based its new guidelines on a legal memo from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel written by John Yoo and signed by Jay S. Bybee, which would become known as the "Torture Memo". General Counsel Mora led a faction of the Working Group in arguing against these standards, and argued the issues with Yoo in person. The working group's final report, was signed and delivered to Guantánamo without the knowledge of Mora and the others who had opposed its content. Nonetheless, Mora maintained that detainee treatment complied with the law since the January 15, 2003 suspension of previously approved interrogation tactics.[16]

In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. ... Alberto Gonzales (born August 4, 1955), is the 80th and current Attorney General of the United States. ... This article should belong in one or more categories. ... In December of 2002 David Brant was the Director of the NCIS.[1] A twenty page statement issued on July 7, 2004 describes a series of high-level meetings among the United States Navys most senior lawyers, that were triggered by reports, from Brant, that the captives being held... NCIS Badge The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is the United States Department of the Navys primary law enforcement agency and successor to the former Naval Investigative Service (NIS). ... Alberto J. Mora Alberto J. Mora is a recently retired General Counsel of the U.S. Navy. ... Michael Lohr is an American lawyer, and officer in the United States Navy. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is a businessman, a U.S. Republican politician, the 13th Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977, and the 21st Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006. ... The Office of Legal Counsel is an American government legal office. ... John Choon Yoo (born 1967), is a professor of Law at the Boalt Hall School of Law, the University of California, Berkeley. ... Jay S. Bybee (born October 27, 1953) is an American judge. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


According to Stephen Soldz et al. medical and psychological literature shows that torture may have "profound long-term negative effects upon individuals, including psychosis, depression, suicidal ideation and/or post-traumatic stress disorder."[2] Soltz et al. also cite the Office of the Inspector General report which concluded that This page includes English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations such as . ... A medical journal is a scientific journal devoted to the field of medicine. ... Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a loss of contact with reality. Stedmans Medical Dictionary defines psychosis as a severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration... On the Threshold of Eternity. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... In the United States, an Inspector General is a type of investigator charged with examining the actions of a government agency or military organization as a general auditor of their operations to ensure they are operating in compliance with general established policies of the government, to audit the effectiveness of...

SERE-type interrogation techniques constitute "physical or mental torture and coercion under the Geneva conventions."[2] The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Original document. ...

Also, according to the New York Times: The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...

Experts advising Bush administration on new interrogation rules warn that harsh techniques used since 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable.[4]

See also

Peace Palace in The Hague Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard, or the Medina standard is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes. ... Doublespeak is language deliberately constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Human rights violation. ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... The United Nations Convention Against Torture is an international human rights instrument, organized by the United Nations and intended to prevent torture and other similar activities. ... In the context of war, a war crime is a punishable offense under International Law, for violations of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ...

External links


ABC News Special Report ident, circa 2006 ABC News is a division of American television and radio network ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Company. ... is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


  • Stephen Grey, Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (2007)
  • Alfred W. McCoy, A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation from the Cold War to the War on Terror (2006)
  • U.S. Government, Coercive Interrogation: U.S. Views on Torture 1963-2003

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


  1. ^ Whatever it takes. The politics of the man behind “24.” by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, February 12, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d The Pentagon's IG Report Contradicts What the APA Has Said About the Involvement of Psychologists in Abusive Interrogations - A Q&A on Psychologists and Torture By Stephen Soldz (Director, Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development & Professor, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis; University of Massachusetts, Boston), Steven Reisner (Senior Faculty and Supervisor, International Trauma Studies Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School), and Brad Olson (Assistant Research Professor, at Northwestern University), Counterpunch, June 7, 2007
  3. ^ ‘Fill The Jails’, Part II by Sean Gonsalves, CommonDreams, May 26, 2007
  4. ^ a b Advisers Fault Harsh Methods In Interrogation By SCOTT SHANE AND MARK MAZZETTI, New York Times, May 30, 2007
  5. ^ Carter says U.S. tortures prisoners in a CNN interview on October the 10th 2007
  6. ^ a b Torture By Another Name - The origins of “enhanced interrogation techniques” can be traced to the German Gestapo by Candace Gorman, In These Times, June 14, 2007
  7. ^ Coming to a Theater Near You: Five Years in Guantánamo by Lou Dubose, Washington Spectator, July 1, 2007
  8. ^ a b Defending Enhanced Interrogation Techniques by Scott Horton, Harper's
  9. ^ One of Those Rare Instances in Which the Nazi Analogy is Unavoidable Marty Lederman, Balkinization, May 29, 2007
  10. ^ CASE No. 12 - Trial of Kriminalsekretär RICHARD WILHELM HERMANN BRUNS and two others BY THE EIDSIVATING LAGMANNSRETT AND THE SUPREME COURT OF NORWAY, 20TH MARCH AND 3RD JULY, 1946 - Torturing as a War Crime. The Legal Status of the Norwegian Underground Military Organisation. The Defences of Legitimate Reprisals, Superior Orders and Duress
  11. ^ (November 18 2005) "CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described". ABC News. 
  12. ^ Multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment New York, 10 December 1984 (backup), footnote 11
  13. ^ letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
  14. ^ Gitmo interrogations spark battle over tactics (23 October 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-05.
  15. ^ Memorandum for Inspector General, Department of the Navy. Statement for the record: Office of General Councel involvement in interrogation issues (PDF) (July 7 2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-19.
  16. ^ (December 13 2004) "Tribunals Didn't Rely on Torture". Washington Post: A20. 

  Results from FactBites:
Central Intelligence Agency - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (7529 words)
In December 2005, ABC News reported that former agents claimed the CIA used waterboarding, along with five other "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques", against suspected members of al Qaeda held in the secret prisons.
The first manual, "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation," dated July 1963, is the source of much of the material in the second manual.
Interrogation rooms should be windowless, soundproof, dark and without toilets.
ABC News: CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described (1711 words)
When properly used, the techniques appear to be closely monitored and are signed off on in writing on a case-by-case, technique-by-technique basis, according to highly placed current and former intelligence officers involved in the program.
According to the sources, when an interrogator wishes to use a particular technique on a prisoner, the policy at the CIA is that each step of the interrogation process must be signed off at the highest level — by the deputy director for operations for the CIA.
The sources said that in that case a young, untrained junior officer caused the death of one detainee at a mud fort dubbed the "salt pit" that is used as a prison.
  More results at FactBites »



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