"This Informed Interrogation Approach is in sharp contrast with the harsh interrogation approach introduced by outside contractors and forced upon CIA officials to use."These outside contractors provide us with a horrifying picture of what happened:
The case of the terrorist Abu Zubaydah is a good example of where the success of the Informed Interrogation Approach can be contrasted with the failure of the harsh technique approach. I have to restrict my remarks to what has been unclassified. (I will note that there is documented evidence supporting everything I will tell you today.)Let's set aside for a moment the issue of torture. For in his testimony, FBI Agent Soufan has raised the issue of experimentation on a prisoner.
A few days after we started questioning Abu Zubaydah, the CTC interrogation team finally arrived from DC with a contractor who was instructing them on how they should conduct the interrogations, and we were removed. Immediately, on the instructions of the contractor, harsh techniques were introduced, starting with nudity. (The harsher techniques mentioned in the memos were not introduced or even discussed at this point.)
After a few days, the contractor attempted to once again try his untested theory and he started to re-implementing the harsh techniques. He moved this time further along the force continuum, introducing loud noise and then temperature manipulation.
Once again the contractor insisted on stepping up the notches of his experiment, and this time he requested the authorization to place Abu Zubaydah in a confinement box, as the next stage in the force continuum. While everything I saw to this point were nowhere near the severity later listed in the memos, the evolution of the contractor's theory, along with what I had seen till then, struck me as "borderline torture."
Now let's look at a list of requirements for experimentation on prisoners, taken from:
Thus, whether or not they intended to torture, whether or not they intended to do harm, the consultant (psychologist) embarked on experimentation with the full knowledge and assent of the US goverment at the highest levels.
THE NUREMBERG CODE [from Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuremberg, October 1946-April 1949. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O, 1949-1953.]1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.
2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probably cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.
Let's look at a Nuremberg indictment, specifically for experimentation, considered a War Crime, coming under Crimes against Humanity:
11. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving medical experiments, without the subjects' consent, upon German civilians and nationals of other countries, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts. The particulars concerning such experiments are set forth in paragraph 6 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.I think we have a new category of War Crime here, commited by the US, as reported today by FBI Agent Soufan, who, as already stated above says:
I will note that there is documented evidence supporting everything I will tell you today.There is documented evidence of Medical Experimentation without consent on a prisoner. Regardless of all the other egregious lapses and torture involved in this "experiment," it was not done with consent and the prisoner was not free to end the experiment at any point. (Mind you, SERE training provides safe words and the trainee can terminate the "training" by using the safe word.)
To quote myself in a comment at emptywheel earlier:
To test a theory = EXPERIMENTATIONExperimenting on a prisoner is a War Crime. Experimentation occurred. It is documented. It did not involve consent and clearly did not involve many other safeguards listed above as required elements of any experiments on prisoners.
Experimenting - using punishment - on a prisoner. A wounded one at that.
The "Mengelization" of US policy.
Once again the contractor insisted on stepping up the notches of his experiment,The ABAB Research Design. Whereby you prove that condition A is one way, B changes that, A back to the first results, B changing again.
Classic ABAB design, that proves torture does not work!
Besides, all of it breaks the law!
I rest my case.
[For full coverage of today's hearings, please see emptywheel, an award-winning investigative blogger. To assist her work, go here. Comments related to this blog, first posted here. Also here, here, here, and here.]