DoJ Absolves FBI on Torture

Slate's blog on legal issues.
May 20 2008 1:03 PM

DoJ Absolves FBI on Torture

The Justice Department released its inspector general report (PDF) today clearing the FBI of most wrongdoing in connection with the coercive interrogations (read: torture) of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For the most part, the report concludes that FBI agents did the right thing by objecting to the interrogation methods they saw that were abusive, and that FBI agents did not participate in these questioning sessions. However, the report faults senior leaders at the Justice Department and FBI for not giving clearer guidance to their agents in the field, allowing some special agents to be confused about "how to draw the line between behavior that was 'abusive' or merely harsh, such as the use of loud music and stripping."

According to the Post:


"The FBI could have provided clearer guidance earlier and pressed harder its concerns about detainee abuse by other agencies," Fine said. "But we believe the FBI should be credited for its conduct and professionalism in detainee interrogations in the military zones and in generally avoiding participation in detainee abuse."

Interrogation practices—including the use of dogs, sleep deprivation and simulated drowning or waterboarding—repeatedly created friction between FBI agents and military leaders. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has stressed that the bureau prefers to build rapport with detainees as the most effective way of eliciting accurate information from them.

In congressional testimony last month, Mueller hinted that the FBI's hands were tied in part by opinions from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which approved several of the coercive interrogation strategies.

Seems to me like it would have been tough for the DoJ and FBI to issue better guidance while  this guy  was calling the shots. But that's just me.

Phillip Carter is an Iraq veteran who now directs the veterans research program at the Center for a New American Security.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 11:41 AM Klobucharmania: Catch It!
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 10:17 AM How Jack Ma Founded Alibaba
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 16 2014 8:00 AM The Wall Street Bombing: Low-Tech Terrorism in Prohibition-era New York
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 11:40 AM How to Put Things in Your Fridge
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 7:36 AM The Inspiration Drought Why our science fiction needs new dreams.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.