FBI releases reports of harsh interrogations at Guantanamo Bay

[JURIST] US FBI agents reported numerous instances of military personnel and contractors using harsh interrogation practices at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], including wrapping a detainee's head in duct tape and a female guard wiping menstrual blood on detainees' faces, according to new information [report, PDF; ACLU press release] released by the FBI Tuesday. The FBI documents were released in response to a public records request [ACLU materials] by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website]. The documents indicate that military officials and contractors working at Guantanamo Bay believed Rumsfeld personally authorized unusual interrogation methods. A 2004 FBI survey of 493 Guantanamo employees received 26 responses indicating that employees had witnessed aggressive behavior inconsistent with FBI policies [summary], forming the basis of the FBI documents released Tuesday. The FBI reports, however, do not indicate that any of the behavior rises to the level of abuse comparable to the abuse in the Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] detention center in Iraq. AP has more.

In a related development, US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website], incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he plans to call US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to testify before the committee on the Justice Department's refusal to turn over documents related to the administration's interrogation policies. In a statement [text] Tuesday, Leahy said "The Administration's refusal to provide any of this information other than forwarding a couple of public documents suggests that the President's offer to work with us may have been only political lip service." Leahy has requested [letter; DOJ response, PDF] documents relating to CIA interrogation methods. The Washington Times has more.

3:17 PM ET - A Defense Department spokesman said Wednesday that no action is planned in response to the allegations in the report, noting that the allegations have already been "thoroughly investigated and where allegations have been substantiated, disciplinary action has been taken." AP has more.



 

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