FBI Weren't the Only Ones Objecting to Torture ... So Did the Army, Marines & Air Force

Donald Rumsfeld defied the recommendations of the Army, the Navy, and the Marines when he approved torture.

As Digby notes, there were already serious objections to the use of torture in 2002 -- the FBI chief Muller had already refused to let his agents participate in the CIA's "coercive interrogations" in June of 2002 (per Marcy's timeline, the Bybee memo didn't make them legal until August 1).

But it's not like the FBI was the only one who had a problem. On October 1, Major General Michael Dunlavey sent a memo to General James Hill, Commander of US Southern Command, requesting the authority to use "aggressive interrogations techniques" like those use in SERE training. The memo reached Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Staff solicited views of the military services. Here's what came back in November 2002 (PDF):

Air Force: "serious concerns regarding the legality of many of the proposed techniques...Some of these techniques could be construed as 'torture' as that crime is defined by 18 U.S.C 2340." Further, they were concerned that "implementation of these techniques could preclude the ability to prosecute the individuals interrogated," because "Level III techniques will almost certainly result in any statements obtained being declared as coerced and involuntary, and therefore inadmissible....Additionally, the techniques described may be subject to challenge as failing to meet the requirements outlined in military order to treat detainees humanely and to provide them with adequate food, water, shelter and medical treatment." They called for an in-depth legal review.

Criminal Investigative Task Force (CITM): Chief Legal Advisor to the CITF at Gitmo, Maj Sam W. McCahon, writes "Both the utility and the legality of applying certain techniques identified in the memorandum listed above are, in my opinion, questionable. Any policy decision to use the Tier III techniques, or any techniques inconsistent with the analysis herein, will be contrary to my recommendation. The aggressive techniques should not occur at GTMO where both CITF and the intelligence community are conducting interviews and interrogations." He calls for further review and concludes by saying "I cannot advocate any action, interrogation or otherwise, that is predicated upon the principal that all is well if the ends justify the means and others are not aware of how we conduct our business."

Jane Hamsher is the founder of FireDogLake. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect.
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