|"I believe our niche lies in the fact
that we can provide the ability to exploit personnel based
on how our enemies have done this type of thing over the
last five decades. Our enemies have had limited success with
this methodology due to the extreme dedication of [American]
personnel and their harsh and mismanaged application of
technique. The potential exists that we could refine the
process to achieve effective manipulation/exploitation. We
must have a process that goes beyond the old paradigm of
military interrogation for tactical information or criminal
investigation for legal proceedings. These methods are far
too limited in scope to deal with the new war on global
terrorism." -- JPRA instructor Joseph Witsch
The first attachment to the July 26, 2002 memo was
Resistance Training and Against American Prisoners and Detainees."
included a list of techniques used to train students at SERE school to
resist interrogation. The
list included techniques such as the facial slap, walling, the abdomen
slap, use of water, the
attention grasp, and stress positions. The first attachment also
listed techniques used by some
of the service SERE schools, such as use of smoke, shaking and
confinement, immersion in water or wetting down, and waterboarding.
JPRA's description of the waterboarding technique provided in that
attachment was inconsistent in key respects from the U.S. Navy SERE
school's description of
waterboarding. According to the Navy SERE school's operating
instructions, for example, while
administering the technique, the Navy limited the amount of water poured
on a student's face to
two pints. However, the JPRA attachment said that "up to 1.5 gallons
of water" may be poured
onto a "subject's face." While the Navy's operating instructions
dictated that "[n]o effort will be
made to direct the stream of water into the student's nostrils or mouth,"
the description provided
by JPRA contained no such limitation for subjects of the technique. While
the Navy limited the
use of the cloth on a student's face to twenty seconds, the JPRA's
description said only that the
cloth should remain in place for a "short period of time." And while the
Navy restricted anyone
from placing pressure on the chest or stomach during the administration
of this technique,
JPRA's description included no such limitation for subjects of the
Attachment one also listed tactics derived from JPRA SERE school
that were designed to "induce control, dependency, complia[n]ce, and
isolation or solitary confinement, induced physical weakness and
conditioning, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, disruption of sleep
and biorhythms, and
manipulation of diet.
DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes told the Committee that although he
recall if he had seen the specific list of SERE physical pressures sent
to his office on July 26,
2002, he knew that he had seen a list of physical pressures used in JPRA
Mr. Haynes also recalled that he may have been "asked that information
be given to
the Justice Department for something they were working on," which he
said related to a program
he was not free to discuss with the Committee, even in a classified
Dr. Ogrisseg said that Lt Col Baumgartner also asked him "to comment
on both the
physical and psychological effects of the waterboard," which he described
in his memo as an
"intense physical and psychological stressor" used at the U.S. Navy SERE
Dr. Ogrisseg had not used the waterboard himself, he had observed its
use in a visit to the Navy
SERE School. He stated that, based on that visit, he did not believe
that the ''water board
posed a real and serious physical danger to the students" who
experienced it at the SERE school,
stating that the "Navy had highly qualified medical personnel
immediately available to intervene,
and their students had all been medically screened prior to training.
the water board broke the students' will to resist providing
information and induced
Dr. Ogrisseg said that he was surprised when he found out later that
Baumgartner had forwarded his memo to the General Counsel's office along
with a list of the
physical and psychological techniques used in SERE school. Dr. Ogrisseg said that his
analysis was produced with students in mind, not detainees. He stated
that the conclusions in his
memo were not applicable to the offensive use of SERE techniques against
real world detainees
and he would not stand by the conclusions in his memo if they were
applied to the use of SERE
resistance training techniques on detainees.
In a written response to a question posed by Senator Carl Levin
Committee's June 17, 2008 hearing, Dr. Ogrisseg elaborated on that point
"important differences between SERE school and real world interrogations
that would limit [the]
conclusions [in his memo] to the SERE school training population."
Among those differences
Dr. Ogrisseg identified were (1) the extensive physical and
processes for SERE school students that are not feasible for detainees,
(2) the variance in injuries
between a SERE school student who enters training and a detainee who
arrives at an
interrogation facility after capture, (3) the limited risk of SERE
instructors mistreating their own
personnel, especially with extensive oversight mechanisms in place,
compared to the risk of
interrogators mistreating non-country personnel, (4) the voluntary
nature of SERE training,
which can be terminated by a student at any time, compared to the
involuntary nature of being a
detainee, (6) the limited duration of SERE training, which has a known
starting and ending point,
compared to the often lengthy, and unknown, period of detention for a
detainee, and (7) the
underlying goals of SERE school (to help students learn from and benefit
from their training)
and the mechanisms in place to ensure that students reach those goals
compared to the goal of
interrogation (to elicit information).
In addition, Dr. Ogrisseg
also stated that, since writing his memo in July 2002, he
had reviewed studies about the effects of near death
experiences, and that he had become concerned about the use
of waterboarding even as a training tool. The U.S.
Navy SERE school abandoned its use of the waterboard in
Mr. Becker stated that
"interrogation approaches are limited only by the
imagination of interrogators" and that it would be
"impossible to list every possible interrogation approach."
His memo stated that "drugs such as sodium pentothal and
demerol may be used with some effectiveness," that female
interrogators could be used to make the detainee feel
''unclean,'' and that "sleep deprivation" can be
effective. Mr. Becker told the Committee that he based
his statement about the effectiveness of the use of drugs on
a rumor that [delete [CIA]] had used drugs in their
[Lieutenant Colonel Diane
Beaver, GTMO Staff Judge Advocate] We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC is
It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques. We
must have the support of the DOD.
[David Becker, GTMO
Interrogation Control Element (ICE) Chief] We have had many reports from Bagram
about sleep deprivation being used.
[Lieutenant Colonel Diane
Beaver, GTMO Staff Judge Advocate] True, but officially it is not happening. It is not being reported
officially. The ICRC is a serious concern. They will be in and out,
scrutinizing our operations, unless they are displeased and decide to
protest and leave. This would draw a lot of negative attention.
[COL Cummings] The new PSYOP plan has been passed up the chain.
[LTC Diane E. Beaver]
It's at J3 at SOUTHCOM.
[Jonathan Fredman, Chief
counsel to the CIA’s Counter Terrorist Center]
The DOJ has provided much guidance on this issue. The CIA is not
held to the same rules as the military. In the past when the ICRC has
made a big deal about certain detainees, the DOD has "moved" them
away from the attention of ICRC. Upon questioning from the ICRC
about their whereabouts, the DOD's response has repeatedly been
that the detainee merited no status under the Geneva Convention.
The CIA bas employed aggressive techniques on less than a handful
of suspects since 9/11.
Under the Torture Convention, torture has been prohibited by
international law, but the language of the statutes is written vaguely.
Severe mental and physical pain is prohibited. The mental part is explained as poorly as the physical. Severe physical pain described
as anything causing permanent damage to major organs or body
parts. Mental torture described as anything leading to permanent,
profound damage to the senses or personality. It is basically subject
to perception. If the detainee dies you're doing it wrong. So far, the
techniques we have addressed have not proven to produce these
types of results, which in a way challenges what the BSCT paper
says about not being able to prove whether these techniques will lead to
permanent damage. Everything on the BSCT white paper is
legal from a civilian standpoint [Any questions of severe weather or
temperature conditions should be deferred to medical staff.] Any of
the techniques that lie on the harshest end of the spectrum must be
performed by a highly trained individual. Medical personnel should
be present to treat any possible accidents. The CIA operates without
military intervention. When the CIA has wanted to use more
aggressive techniques in the past. the FBI has pulled their personnel
from theatre. In those rare instances, aggressive techniques have
proven very helpful. ...
Yes, if someone dies while
aggressive techniques are
regardless of cause of death, the backlash of attention would be
severely detrimental. Everything must be approved and
The videotaping of even totally legal techniques will
look "ugly". ...
The Torture Convention prohibits torture and cruel, inhumane and
degrading treatment. The U.S. did not sign up on the second part,
because of the 8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment), but
we did sign the part about torture. This gives us more license to use
more controversial techniques. ...
If a well-trained individual is used to perform this technique
["wet-towel"] it can
feel like you're drowning. The lymphatic system will react as if
you're suffocating, but your body will not cease to function.
It is very effective to identify phobias and use them (ie, insects,
snakes, claustrophobia). The level of resistance is directly related to
person's experience. ...
The CIA makes the call internally on most
of the types of
techniques found in the BSCT paper, and this discussion. Significantly
harsh techniques are approved through the DOJ. ...
Does the Geneva Convention apply? The CIA rallied for it not to.