Second Working Thread on DOJ OIG Torture Report

The comments on the previous thread on the DOJ OIG Torture Report just closed.

But I’ve been meaning to start a new thread with a link to the searchable report that Selise made. Selise adds:

  1. Appendix B and C I did not convert.
  2. I compressed the file when I was done (it got up to 72MB) so it’s back to about 6 MB.
  3. if there are any important errors I should correct, just let me know…
67 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    198/438 — “complete scrub” is used by ITOS-2 Section Chief to describe an FBI document review.

    This doesn’t sit well with me, does it with you?

  2. selise says:

    i better add a warning: this is a very rough conversion – it is NOT error free. it’s meant to be used as an aid to your research and NOT as a reference. please check all quotes with the original.

    twk3 and i had been working on trying to figure out how to convert pdfs like this one off and on for a bit more than a week (many thanks to tw3k for help on this and many other things). no good solution yet – but when i saw you-all working on this doc in marcy’s previous thread i thought to give it a try even if i’m not happy with the process or the results. hope it is of some help….

    hopefully there will be a better sol’n (does anyone have a copy of acrobat i could test?) because this was a major pain in the ass for the number of errors that remain.

    …. and please let me know if there are any particular problems or problem pages. redoing a couple of pages is no problem.

    good luck!

    • tw3k says:

      I’m still having troubles with pdf to tiff conversion.

      convert really chews on my cpu. convert does much better with raster images. A PDF of scans images is really kind of an odd format.

      Once there is a tiff of good quality tesseract does a pretty good job of creating text from the tiff image.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I was able to use convert and tessaract to generate text files. I have not yet been able figure out how to re-assemble the images and files to a .pdf format. I’m playing around with some custom code to re-create the report as a word document.

        If I’m successful, the document would need to be proofread and corrected. I might ask for volunteers to take 40 page sections for proofing.

  3. selise says:

    p.s. for those who are using macs – the converted pdf looks much better in preview than in acrobat reader (maybe because i used preview to do the compression?).

      • selise says:

        didn’t use preview – except for the final compression. couldn’t find the functionality you described (but that doesn’t mean it’s not there – just that i couldn’t find it).

  4. perris says:

    I linked this morning to a pelosi statement where she flat out called the president a liar, she flat out called what the president used to get us into war a lie

    I would like to know how she can possibly say the president lied us into war and not move to impeach

    the two are mutually dependant

    • Hmmm says:

      OT — Only if you assume that once the House impeaches, W has no further significant cards to play. Pelosi may have information that we don’t in that regard. Quoth Nancy: “You don’t know the half of it.”

      • Loo Hoo. says:

        And how has the spying been used to get information that for instance-Fitz has on them?

        • PetePierce says:

          It would seem that if Fitz had access to the unlimited spy mechanisms that are looking at you right now Loo Hoo, from the gamut of agencies some never heard of that are using them, he sure as hell hasn’t had much cooperation from Mukasey.

          1) Why hasn’t Fitz indicted Rove? Why in the world?
          2) Why doesn’t Fitz himself release the interviews with Rove, Bush, and Cheney?
          3) Why didn’t Fitz and the FBI interview Addington?

      • PetePierce says:

        Again Nancy Pelosi will be as effective as that Nancy in the old comic strip back in the day. She won’t do shit. Her big power apex is shoving Hillary out of the race next week.

    • PetePierce says:

      Let me make it simple. Pelosi and Reed aren’t doing jack shit. They were complicit facilitators of every lie. Nancy Pelosi is about some power, wearing $2000-$3000 dollar designer suits, spoiling her grandchildren, and making sure her daughers inherit enough money in case their husbands two time them.

  5. Loo Hoo. says:

    selise, would you allow us to pitch in to get you the mac you need to do this more easily (if it’s okay with EW)? You’re such a wonderful contributor!

    • selise says:

      ((loo hoo)) – it’s the gift economy. people here are spending hours pouring over this report. i think we’re all just trying to pitch in when we see something that we think needs doing.

      and i have good news – i just got a new imac! well, new to me. after apple announced the recent upgrades, i ordered a refurbished version of the previous model (big discount). i’m a happy camper – it’s lightning fast. can’t wait to start playing with video, but i have several other things to work on first and i just canceled my c-span cable. really really hated to do that, because it was such a great deal. but charter is up to some major fuckery that must be stopped.

      right now what’s probably limiting me on this kind of thing is the cost of really good OCR applications and not enough brain cells. some day maybe i’ll put up a paypal donation button on my congressional hearings list webpage. that could help, if anyone were to use it, with getting more non-open source applications but sadly, not more brain cells. *g*

      in the mean time, if you are feeling generous and are looking for a good place to make a donation…. i know hugh has a shiny new paypal donation button on his list of bush scandals webpage (i know because i put it there). he’s been keeping that list up to date for over a year now – he’s up to 358 and over 87,000 words. and i’d love to see him get some thanks for that.

        • bmaz says:

          Not you, that is related to this work. we were wandering into election, Rove, etc. And it’s not my thread anyway, but it does seem that the intent of a working thread is to stay on things germane to the work. What you are doing, and suggestions for help therein, are certainly germane.

          • Rapallo says:

            It was me and I apologized or me responding to something else OT or maybe just me alone.

  6. PetePierce says:

    Sorry for the OT. I appreciate your work in getting the files Selise and look forward to reading them.

  7. JohnLopresti says:

    Nice to have some improved searchability, several other documents had problems and other bugs, one from the aclu site would open only once, then to read it again one would have to download again, and one from the Natl Archive site needed cutting and pasting to gmail to strip off hyperlinks. Then there are the skew documents, many in the Libby proceeding. An improvement here.

  8. masaccio says:

    212/438 The attenuation doctrine was pretty well established by late 2004. The major elements were 1) lapse of time between torture and FBI interviews, 2) different locations, 3) previous interrogators absent from FBI interviews, 4) avoiding use of material from prior interview, 5) concentrating on criminal facts versus intelligence facts, 6) using a new investigative team isolated from previous interview material but not necessarily from pre interrogation intelligence on subject, 7) getting detainee on record as to his current status (as potential defendant) as opposed to previous status.

    I assume this is what the prosecution means by clean teams, and redoing the work to make sure the evidence is admissible. This doesn’t work for me professionally. I am not sure where this idea came from, the idea that you could clean up after a torture session, but where ever it came from, this doesn’t look plausible.

    • bmaz says:

      No kidding. I don’t think Wong Sun and significant progeny contemplated removing the poison from this kind of rancid fruit. Not that what they describe really does that anyway…

  9. MarieRoget says:

    Thank you so much , selise (& tw3k), for the great job on the files.

    OT- Oh, & can I just say, fire……..LAKERS GOING TO THE FINALS!

  10. masaccio says:

    219-20/438 Agent Brett (pseudonym) saw a female interrogator bend back the thumbs of a detainee, rub his arms with lotion (on the theory that during Ramadan, a man who touched a woman other than his wife was impure and couldn’t pray, the lotion makes sure the other guys know about it), and possibly saw her grab him by the genitals. He reported this to his supervisor, in accordance with FBI policy.

    Brett said he got the impression that his superiors definitely did not want him to raise this kind of issue with General Miller, the military commander of JTF-GTMO at the time. However, Brett told us that he, [Agent] McMahon, and the OSC did bring up this issue during a meeting with General Miller a few days before Brett left the island….General Miller responded with words to the effect of, “thank you gentlemen, but my boys know what they’re doing.”

  11. LabDancer says:

    Ms E Wheel: I approve of the notion of such dedicated-subject threads as this [This one has driven me back into the IGO report]. But – in me best approximation of an obsequious unctuous Twist: Please m’um – Might we have an Open Thread to act as a run-off lane for our OT ADHD?

    Speaking of the Jollye Olde Countrye: I cannot recall anything like this since the days of Two-Tongue Tommy Cromwell:…..ional/home

    In case my link lacks the efficacy of the sterner brands of pixie dust [by which things may be instantaneously transformed]: The judge in the Try-L of the Canadian youth Kadr at Gutmo has been retired…that doesn’t feel right: removed to spend time with the family?

    Whatever, it was from all appearances due to his having done something horribly unforeseen, such as ruling in favor of the defendant on some techical point or other such rubbish.

    Mind you I suppose its possible that such completely captures his mistep … dashed difficult to be sure with this balmy executive’s ephemeral directives. Ms E: Do you still have an “in” at the Presidential Archives? Perhaps you might check – oh now I remember: there’s that EO which Ms P Missles was good enough to explain, the one relieving “certain office holders who shall remain unnamed until further notice” from the necessity of reporting such emphemerata.

    This administration certainly has succeeded in bringing back some things I for one never expected to see, or indeed our inheritors. Which sets me to wondering: What will they think of us in this democratically volunteered return to the primordial ooze of the Rule of Law? I must remember to ask my friends whose parents immigrated here from Germany following WWII for pointers.

  12. wavpeac says:

    Keep up the great work here. Every time I read these pages, the work of you investigators, I am awed. Thank you, thank you. This site is truly a gift to our democracy. There are times I struggle with who to tell about this site. Most folks don’t invest in the reading time. Others just don’t understand the scope. Other times, I am grateful that the folks who are regular on this cite, share a passion and a vision and maybe it’s just not meant for everyone. I am just so grateful for all of you. Wish I could do more than just read it, donate and pass the word, but this work is not my schtick. You guys are awesome and have saved my sanity over the last 3 or 4 years.

  13. masaccio says:

    223/438 OIG interviewed 23 FBI agents who personally observed prolonged shackling of detainees. One agent stated that she saw detainee 166 Mehdi short-shackled 15 hours in an interrogation room, forced to listen to loud music with flashing strobe lights and later placed in a hot room, probably several hours.

    She stated that two Lockheed Martin contract interrogators most likely ordered that Mehdi be short-shackled.”

  14. masaccio says:

    225/438 One OSC said he heard that two task forces officers from New York (not FBI agents) continued to use this technique after the OSC thought it had been banned.

  15. masaccio says:

    225/438 On at least one occasion, the CIA interrupted a long effort to establish rapport with a detainee with short shackling, no bathroom breaks, lowered room temperatures and so on.

  16. masaccio says:


    …several Uighur detainees were subjected to sleep deprivation or disruption while being interrogated at Camp X-Ray by Chinese officials prior to April 2002.

    Appended footnote 134 says in part:

    While the Uighurs were detained at Camp X-Ray, some Chinese officials visited GTMO and were granted access to these detainees for interrogation purposes. The agent stated that he understood that the treatment of the Uighur detainees was either carried out by the Chinese interrogators or was carried out by U.S. military personnel at the behest of the Chinese interrogators.

  17. masaccio says:

    241/438 A detective from the Phoenix Police Department was deployed to GTMO as part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

  18. masaccio says:

    241/438 A police officer from California was sent to GTMO as part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

  19. masaccio says:

    244/438 In a miscellaneous abuse section, we have this phrasing:

    No FBI employees reported witnessing the use of water to simulate drowning (including “waterboarding”) or similar techniqques at GTMO.

    The report says that no FBI person saw it, and only 2 reported hearing of it.

  20. masaccio says:

    250-1/438 One agent who served as OSC at GTMO told agents to write up detainee abuse allegations to a “war crimes” file” so FBI could retrieve the information if needed for further investigation. Other agents confirmed this. Agents were not given a definition of “war crime”. He says he wrote up an allegation of abuse from a named detainee. Some time in 2003, the OSC was told not to do that, it was not the FBI’s mission to investigate detainee abuse. After that agents were allowed to write up allegations of detainee abuse, but they were not collected into a separate file.

  21. masaccio says:

    251/438 Footnote 160 “The FBI also referred several allegations of detainee mistreatment by FBI agents at GTMO to the OIG for investigation.” further discussion in chapter Eleven

  22. masaccio says:

    259/438 At least 2 detainees were known by the FBI to have been killed in Afghanistan by interrogators. One agent was “told that U>S> Army Criminal Investigation Command was investigating the deaths.”

  23. masaccio says:

    259/438 FN 163 The CIT recommended charges against 28 soldiers, 15 prosecuted, 6 guilty of something. The citation is to a NYT article.

    There is a one sentence redaction, connected to footnote 164. The footnote begins with a redaction, and ends with one. Whatever happened, DOJ found inadequate evidence to support a criminal prosecution of any one in connection with the incident. There is further discussion of criminal prosecution of the “civilian CIA contractor” David Passaro, convicted on several counts of assault in a death.

  24. masaccio says:

    275/438 Footnote 169: agent discussed rumors of mistreatment of Afghanistan detainees with a redacted person. This redacted person told the agent that Geneva Convention did not apply in Afghanistan but that prisoners were not being mistreated. Who the heck was that?

  25. masaccio says:

    276/438 The redactions on this page are odd.

    There is a large redaction of a statement from an agent about a tour of duty in Afghanistan, apparently at some kind of black site, where he was told that something redacted, “unless we wanted to be part of a congressional hearing at some later date.” He reported that up his chain of command, but got no guidance relating to detainees and something redacted, presumable some kind of torture. His superior said he generally told agents to do something redacted.

    All but one of the former OSCs and deputy OSCs said they never received a report from an agent in Afghanistan about mistreatment of detainees.

    And there is this: The FBI thought the military were ill-equipped to be interrogators. FBI concerns were dismissed “because the military _____ needed intelligence immediately. We [FBI] were also told in no uncertain terms we were not in charge and the military ______ were running the show.”

  26. masaccio says:

    283/438 An agent confirmed that there was evidence of abuse at Abu Ghraib in late January, 2004. FBI officials at headquarters decided not to investigate, but to let Army CID handle it. This is described in more detail at 175/438; it was discussed with two Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

  27. masaccio says:

    294/438 Agent sees Abu Ghraib detainee naked or in boxer shorts with a military guard and maybe an interrogator nearby. Agent thought this looked like a “common disciplinary procedure in a U.S. jail when a prisoner is being disruptive.”

    It’s not germane to anything, but it is disgusting.

  28. masaccio says:

    297/438 Speaking of disgusting, 2 agents saw detainees with sandbags on their heads, with smiley faces drawn on the bag.

  29. timbo says:

    masaccio, thanks for the info about the police being assigned from the U.S. to GTMO FBI task force.

    Why would the police be assigned to such a task force? What’s the rationale in the various U.S. states’ state governments for sending police to Gitmo?

    • masaccio says:

      Well, I don’t know, but it does look like we just didn’t have enough trained interrogators in the Army and other defense department arms to handle the work. The FBI, DIA, and private contractors all were pulled in for the massive workload. I also wondered if some of the police spoke Arabic.

    • masaccio says:

      Here’s a better answer. Before 9/11, there were 35 Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country. These included Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies. They were deployed to deal with interviewing detainees. 58/438
      The searchable .pdf Selise did is invaluable.

  30. masaccio says:

    309/438 Begg, a British and Pakistani national, arrested in Islamabad, was held at a redacted location, where he was questioned by “U.S. and coalition intelligence personnel”. He was moved to GTMO, where he was questioned by a NYC policeman. It isn’t clear if this is the same guy who was involved in the body cavity searches. 263/438

  31. masaccio says:

    309-10/438 Begg was the first to be scheduled for a hearing by a military commission. He was released to British custody in January 2005, and freed. The specific allegations of torture are redacted.

  32. masaccio says:

    330/438 FBI agent Cisco (a pseudonym) left the employ of the FBI and was sent back to Iraq by his new employer, a private company.

  33. masaccio says:

    336/438 Cisco did not volunteer any information about the interrogation of Saleh in the first round of survey, or in the direct discussion with OIG. He refused to answer questions about it after it was disclosed by another agent, and the OIG called back. He went to Iraq as a private contractor.

  34. masaccio says:

    Slahi was believed to be involved in recruitment of the 9/11 hijackers. 165/438. He seems to have thought he was suspected of being involved in the Millennium bomb plot. 342/438

  35. masaccio says:

    343/438 Al-Sharabi was in isolation for at least [redacted]. The FBI did an interview summary for [redacted].


Comments are closed.