Gitmo Torture Tips

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Oct. 14 2008 4:15 PM

Gitmo Torture Tips


A recently obtained four-page guide describing approved "tactics and techniques" to "break" detainees held at Guantanamo Bay (see below and the following three pages) repeats verbatim the official language describing survival resistance and escape training by the U.S. Navy. The 2002 Gitmo guidelines describe intimidation methods long favored by enemies we once judged less civilized than ourselves. These include "degradation" ("the insult slap is used to shock and intimidate," Page 2); "physical debilitation" (the five approved "stress positions," Pages 2 and 3); "isolation and monopolization of perception" (specifically, "hooding," Page 3); and "demonstrated omnipotence" (i.e., "manhandling" and "placing a detainee forcibly against a ... wall").

No matter what method a questioner chooses, "interrogation safety" is a priority. When engaged, for example, in the "forceful removal of detainee's clothing … to demonstrate the omnipotence of the captor" the interrogator's "[t]earing motions shall be downward to prevent pulling the detainee off balance." Insult slaps "will be initiated no more than 12-14 inches (or one shoulder width) from the detainee's face" (Page 2). When shoving a detainee up against a wall, the "interrogator must ensure the wall is smooth, firm, and free of projections" (Page 4). Mind that stucco!


An intriguing typo/Freudian slip is the inadvertent omission of the word "NOT" from the following sentence: "IT IS CRITICAL INTERROGATORS DO CROSS THE LINE WHEN UTILIZING THE TACTICS DESCRIBED" (see below).

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