Abu Zubaydah Experienced “Hard” Dislocation After Session 63

Whoever wrote Abu Zubaydah’s psychological evaluation claimed to have succeeded in subjecting Abu Zubaydah to “hard” dislocation after his 63rd session of torture. And that claim was made before OLC approved the use of torture with him.

I’ve long been aware that we got two versions of Abu Zubaydah’s psychological evaluation last August: the copy purportedly faxed to John Yoo on July 24, 2002. And the copy faxed to the Inspector General on January 31, 2003 as it began its investigation. I had reviewed them last August and–while I found some weird details I’ll get to in a second–had concluded that they were effectively the same content.

They’re not.

The key difference appears in the top paragraph on the fourth page of the evaluation. The copy purportedly sent to Yoo includes these sentences:

In addition, he showed strong signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal (possibly fear) when he experienced the initial “confrontational” dislocation of expectation [] during an interrogation session. Due to his incredibly strong resolve, expertise in civilian warfare, resistance to interrogation techniques (the latter two which he trained hundreds of others on) this experience was one of the few that led to him providing significant actionable intelligence. [my emphasis]

In the copy sent to the IG the following year, that passage reads this way.

In addition, he showed strong signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal (possibly fear) when he experienced the initial “hard” dislocation of expectation intervention following session 63. Due to his incredibly strong resolve, expertise in civilian warfare, resistance to interrogation techniques (the latter two which he trained hundreds of others on) this experience was one of the few that led to him providing significant actionable intelligence. [my emphasis]

The copy sent to the IG identifies precisely when this dislocation happened–after session 63–and calls it “hard” dislocation rather than “confrontational.”

I’ll leave it to the psychologists in the crowd to explain precisely what they mean by the phrase “dislocation of expectation.” And while we don’t know what numbering system the torturers were using for their torture sessions, if they had daily sessions the 63rd would have come some time in mid-June. Long before this memo was written. Whatever else this detail shows, it shows that the torturers were far down the path of torture before they wrote this assessment and they had already broken Abu Zubaydah.

Now, I said above that the first assessment linked here was “purportedly” sent to John Yoo on July 24. That’s because (as I and I think others have pointed out before) the document provides conflicting dates. The cover sheet is dated July 24. The instruction for Yoo to “call me at work or at home, whenever” reflects some degree of urgency. But the following pages clearly show a fax timestamp from July 25 at 5:02 PM. Unless this was a dateline issue (that is, unless it was sent from Thailand or something), then the copy we’ve got–the one with the session number removed–is a later iteration of the assessment.

Also note that the fax cover sheet of the July 24/25 version says the document includes 7 pages. And indeed, we do get seven pages. But the Bates stamp in the bottom right hand corner are missing a page from the series, 0000001 (in fact, the series seems to be different, given the “T” that appears on the cover sheet). Note, too, the Bates numbers from the top right hand corner, which show someone couldn’t decide whether this was document 71 or document 79 (the number 71 is the number from IG’s FOIA response).

One more interesting detail. Both of these assessments came from CIA’s IG. (Though the second number on the front page of the July 24/25 document bears a number showing it was once in Counterterrorism Center’s legal department.) Thus, even though we know OLC probably got at least two drafts of the assessment (one on July 24 and one on July 25), we haven’t seen the copy they should have in their SCIF.

Oh wait. OLC’s SCIF.

That would be OLC’s leaky SCIF, from which documents have a way of disappearing. In fact, one of the documents we know to have disappeared from OLC’s SCIF bears the date July 25, 2002. The missing document is probably not the same document (the missing document is much longer). But as I’ve said, it’s an awfully suspicious day to be losing documents.

78 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    Note, there are two other less consequential differences I’ve seen.

    First, they changed the word “captivity” to “detention” throughout.

    And the page flow is slightly different, possibly because of possible extra line in the last description on the first page.

    ALso note there are some numbering weirdnesses on the IG copy as well.

  2. Jeff Kaye says:

    Looks like the switch in terminology, from “confrontational” to “hard… intervention” was to soften the impact of what was done.

    Do we have any concrete or documented sense of when in the timeline session 63 occurred? I have my ideas (see below).

    In my reposting of the FDL articles on the psych eval at The Public Record, I spoke to the “dislocation of expectation” terminology:

    What could have brought about this “‘confrontational’ dislocation”? (The term “dislocation of expectation” is commonly used in UK Special Forces and SERE training. H/T cinnamonape at Firedoglake, and also see usage at this link.)

    Most likely it was the appearance of James Mitchell and his SERE-style torture methods, replacing the early “rapport”-based interrogation of Ali Soufan and the FBI interrogation team. What Mitchell or whomever is saying here is that when things got rough, Zubaydah was temporarily shaken and “talked” more, subsequently regaining his “calm” and not producing more of what the torturers wanted.

    I see I left unsaid what the definition of “dislocation of expectation” is. Here it is from the link I gave up above:

    “…a psychological technique used in military training to keep people out of their comfort zone. It’s all about making people believe that something terrible is going to happen to them, creating expectation and the fear along with it, but they’re not actually hurt.”

    In other words, it was a technique meant to scare the bejeebus out of someone by doing something quite awful. It could have been the mock burial, the insects, the waterboard, or a number of other things. As I suspect, that’s what started occurring once Mitchell took over. See timeline in my article (though, EW, I’m sure you know it well, if not have a better constructed timeline of your own).

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks, Jeff. That longer version of your article is very helpful.

      I don’t think we have any way of tracking when that Session 63 would be. Though we know that when they got into waterboarding, they were doing more than one session in a day. We also know, from his narrative, he was left alone for some weeks.

  3. 1boringoldman says:

    I’ll leave it to the psychologists in the crowd to explain precisely what they mean by the phrase “dislocation of expectation.” Will a Psychiatrist do?

    dislocation of expectation, [“hard” versus “confrontational”] aren’t terms from the mental health literature. But Jeff Kaye seems to have found them in the military lore [above]. In reading through the Torture Memos, I’ve thought that there is some theory behind a lot of their techniques – the ones that involve sudden actions – slapping, walling, etc. My guess is that it come from trauma theory that points out the disruptive effect of sudden, unexpected actions. They throw the psyche into a disorganized panic mode, and my guess is that they were attempting to get the subject to blurt out some hidden fact when thrown off kilter. So, “In addition, he showed strong signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal (possibly fear) when he experienced the initial “hard” dislocation of expectation intervention… this experience was one of the few that led to him providing significant actionable intelligence.” probably means “When we suddenly slapped the shit out of him or slammed him against the wall, it scared the hell out of him and he told us something.

    That sounds like the kind of pseudoscience jargon that Jansen and Mitchell used to prove their professional expertise, sort of like their co-opting the term “learned helplessness” as a synonym for sadistic domination using intermittent negative reinforcement.

    The absurd thing about this whole story is that two psychologists who were teaching our guys to resist torture by trying to desensitize them by torturing them [lite], reverse engineered their torture techniques – but they weren’t called torture, they were called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” They called suddenly attacking someone “dislocation of expectation intervention.” They called terror “sympathetic nervous system arousal.” The whole thing is based on renaming things as if that changed what they are. What they reversed engineered wasn’t what they did, it was the language used to talk about it…

  4. orionATL says:

    a couple of days ago i thought maybe i should get a more holistic view of who abu zubaydah was (i’m slow). so naturally i went to w-pedia.

    i learned a lot there that allowed me to put into better order what i had read at emptywheel.

    while doing my brief “research” there, one of the most enlightening learnings was a side excursion
    into a “click-on” regarding cia contractor-psychologist mitchell.

    turns out mitchell is not only a phd clinical psychologist;

    he is also, and in my mind far more importantly, a career military officer (in the air force).

    given his particular military background, it does not surprise me that he would interrogate az in a very ruthless manner.

    but what is more important, mitchell, as a commisioned officer would have been very familiar with the statutes regarding torture, both domestic and international.

    but even morr so in his service as the head of the dod’s torture-resistance program for its soldiers.

    there is no way that mitchell could not have known that what he was proposing or doing was illegal in the u. s. and under international treaty.

    in fact, i assume it was mitchellnwho wad pushing the cia bureaucracy to push the whitehouse and the whitehouse, in turn, to push the doj, to provide legal cover for the cia torturers.

  5. Jeff Kaye says:

    in fact, i assume it was mitchellnwho wad pushing the cia bureaucracy to push the whitehouse and the whitehouse, in turn, to push the doj, to provide legal cover for the cia torturers.

    In his SASC testimony, Col. Stephen Kleinman proposed the idea that, frustrated, the interrogators in the field began tossing around for ways to get more intel in the early days in Afghanistan. They remembered their training in the SERE schools, and they went to use that. He doesn’t say so, but when Mitchell-Jessen showed up on the scene, they were amenable, let’s say, to their suggestions. I and others have shown that JPRA was an agency on the make, and I specifically have pointed to the little examined role of Mitchell-Jessen board member, and ace legendary SERE trainer Roger Aldrich, as someone looking to sell services in interrogation.

    But the whole “it came out of dire need, and Mitchell was able to spring into place and convince everybody” theory doesn’t really fit. It makes the CIA a far more passive participant in this entire thing than they were (it was a CIA psychologist who accompanied Mitchell to a meeting at Seligman’s house in Dec. 2001, and it was a CIA psychologist that accompanied Mitchell to Thailand in 2002 — and don’t forget, a CIA psychologist sat on the board of Mitchell_Jessen, too: Joseph Matarazzo). It also ignores any previous history regarding U.S. government torture, mostly at the instigation and planning of the CIA.

    While the motives for the torture may have descended from Cheney’s office, there’s plenty of reason to believe it predated the Bush Administration in general. Certainly a green light was given by Cheney, Addington, Bush and the rest, but the origins of the EITs are still somewhat obscure. I think one would have to add in the “experiment” angle as well, and also the role of DoD/DIA, JFCOM, etc.

  6. orionATL says:

    from wikipedia

    james mitchell, born poor, joined the air force in 1974. while serving in alaska, got master’s degree in clinical psychology.

    got phd in 1988 from univ of s. fla.

    retired from air force in 2001- propitious,

    last duty in air force before retiring was with a special
    operations outfit.

    special operations?

    what did dod teach these guys?

    and why would they need a phd psychologists to work with this team.

    my assumption: mitchell was the vector that spread the torture virus from dod to cia.

    and furthermore, mitchell was detailed to cia.

    details would be in the various contracts mitchell’s “firm” signed.

  7. R.H. Green says:

    Regarding the phrases, “dislocation of expectation” and “intervention”: I’ve never heard of the “dislocation…” term in any research I’ve read. The term “intervention” is used to refer to some treatment protocol. To apply this to a torture regimen, as BOM aptly stated, is a shameless euphemistic misapplication of terminology from a Clinical field to one of…well, you know.

  8. orionATL says:

    thanks, jeff.

    i am just manufacturing hypotheses as usual.

    i have none of the detailed info you and others have, to evaluate these hypotheses.

    i enjoy speculating.

    that the cia turned to mitchell does not mean they were behaving passively.

    it is the mo of govt outfits to contract with the best gal they can find in a particular field of endevor.

  9. JasonLeopold says:

    for Jeff and 1boringoldman (and sorry Marcy to stray from the topic of the post) but on the psychological points and continuing from the earlier thread, I don’t know if this is relevant to what AZ’s previous state was and if this has any bearing on his previous condition or could shed light on what that condition. This is from an August 2008 filing AZ’s attorneys made in reply to a govt opposition for emergency medical relief:

    The Government also attaches a brief but revealing hearsay declaration from Andrew Warden, one of Respondent’s attorneys, who spoke with an unnamed “Camp Medical Officer.” This doctor has apparently been “treating Petitioner for unstated ailments for the past five months. Warden Declaration at 1. But Mr. Warden’s declaration does not allay counsels’ concern for their client’s welfare, or the need to review Petitioner’s medical records in order to represent him in this habeas action. In fact, quite the opposite.

    For instance, Mr. Warden carefully notes that after extensive testing, the Government has apparently concluded that Petitioner does not suffer from epilepsy. As indicated in our moving papers, however, our contention is that Petitioner has suffered over 120 [now more than 200] seizures since his arrival at Guantanamo, which can be attributable to a number of dangerous medical conditions other than epilepsy. Notably, Mr. Warden does not dispute that Petitioner has suffered these seizures, nor does he dispute the many symptoms Petitioner described, including uncontrollable tremors and vomiting, nor does he challenge that repetitive seizures may indicate serious medical conditions apart from epilepsy, nor does he deny that Petitioner’s condition is relevant to his ability to seek habeas relief.

    Perhaps as importantly, Mr. Warden says Petitioner suffers from unexplained “psychological episodes” which—at least according to the observations Medical Officer—do not cause a loss of “respiratory or bladder control,” and for which he has been placed on some undefined “treatment regimen” with “the mental health staff,” including a psychiatrist. To begin with, as indicated in our moving papers, Petitioner loses consciousness and collapses to the concrete floor during these episodes. While we are comforted to know that Petitioner does not also stop breathing or urinate on himself, Mr. Warden’s silence in the face of our detailed account of Petitioner’s symptoms is ominous. Furthermore, and equally important, undersigned counsel has an obvious interest in learning about Petitioner’s recurring “psychological episodes,” which are sufficiently serious to place him under the care of a psychiatrist. Whether Petitioner is receiving psychotropic medication to control his “anxiety,” for instance bears directly on whether he can participate in and assist counsel with this habeas action, whether he was medicated at his CSRT, and whether his psychological condition affected the voluntariness or reliability of any statement he may have made.

    And from the govt’s current filing, they still oppose producing the medical records and granting an in-person medical evaluation:

    Petitioner’s Discovery Motion also renews Petitioner’s earlier request for medical records and other records covering the period during which Petitioner was i~ the custody of the CIA, and seeking an in~person medical evaluation. (PeCr’s Mem. at 31-37; Request Nos. 79, 80). These requests should be denied because the Government’s factual return does not rely on any statements Petitioner made while in U.S. custody, and so information about Petitioner’s treatment or condition while in U.S. custody is unlikely to result in the discovery of exculpatory evidence.

    Petitioner initially requested the records and in-person medical evaluation in his Emergency Motion to Produce CIA Medical Records and Allow In-Person Medical Evaluation (June 9, 2009). Respondent opposed these requests because they seek information to substantiate claims of torture, and this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider such claims…

    Moreover, because the Government’s factual return does not rely on any statements Petitioner made while in U.S. custody, information about Petitioner’s treatment or condition while in U.S. custody is unlikely to result in the discovery of evidence that would undermine the factual basis for Petitioner’s detention. ~ CMO § I.E.2 (providing that any request for limited discovery in this case must “explain why the request, if granted, is likely to produce evidence that demonstrates that the petitioner’s detention is unlawful” and “explain why the requested discovery will enable the petitioner to rebut the factual basis for his detention”). Respondent further objected that it would be extremely burdensome for the Government to
    identify and produce the requested records, and so Petitioner had failed to “explain why the requested discovery will enable the petitioner to rebut the factual basis for his detention without unfairly disrupting or unduly burdening the government,” CMO § I.E.2. Respondent also noted the Court’s earlier observation that a request to interfere with Petitioner’s medical treatment at Guantanamo should be treated as a request for injunctive relief.

    The reasons stated in Respondent’s previous memoranda make it inappropriate to compel production of records and an in-person medical evaluation under §1.£.2 of the CMO. Respondent hereby opposes Petitioner’s Request Nos. 79 and 80 on the grounds stated in its three previous memoranda and incorporates its three previous memoranda by reference.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Jason, this is very, very helpful. Without an independent examination, and access to the medical records and testing protocols or results, we are though still at a loss as to what diagnostic condition AZ may have. We can start with rule-outs, however, just as we would in a clinical setting, with a limited amount of initial information.

      I’d note that if the government says it has ruled out epilepsy as a cause for the seizures, that usually means they can find no neurological correlates in brain activity relating to observed seizure activity. These could be, then, pseudo-seizures, which are known to occur in psychiatric patients. I’ve had a few patients who have suffered such pseudo-seizures, and in each case they were from seriously traumatized patients, and patients who heavily utilized dissociative defenses, and experienced dissociative syndromes (though not DID).

      Re the seizures, we can accept the government’s word re no epilepsy, though I wouldn’t. I’m not a physician or neurologist so I can’t speak to the possibility of other etiologies for the seizures. Then, they could be, as I’ve said, pseudo-seizures, i.e., Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures.

      Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), or pseudoseizures are paroxysmal episodes that resemble and often misdiagnosed as epileptic seizures; however, PNES are psychological (ie, emotional, stress-related) in origin.

      Paroxysmal nonepileptic episodes can be either organic or psychogenic. Syncope, migraine, and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are examples of organic nonepileptic paroxysmal symptoms….

      Unlike epileptic seizures, PNES do not result from an abnormal electrical discharge from the brain; they are a physical manifestation of a psychological disturbance. They are a type of conversion disorder or, more broadly, a type of somatoform disorder, and they are usually involuntary….

      PNES are commonly misdiagnosed as epilepsy. It is by far the most frequent nonepileptic condition seen in epilepsy centers, where they represent 20-30% of referrals. About 50-70% of patients become seizure-free after diagnosis, and about 15% also have epilepsy.

      As for his the other symptoms mentioned (unexplained “psychological episodes”, uncontrollable trembling, vomiting, “anxiety), from this psychologist’s point of view, I’d start with rule outs that involve both anxiety and dissociative disorders. The vagueness of the “psychological episodes” could be a form of psychosis, such as the muteness in catatonic schizophrenia; or it could be a form of delirium, or altered state of consciousness; or it could be a dissociative episode, where the individual removes their consciousness from the reality of a situation, via extreme depersonalization or derealization. The anxiety could come from experience of these latter states. They could be panic attacks, which can also come with tremor and vomiting.

      Altogether, this man is in a terrible state, and I feel for his attorneys who must know how awful this man suffers, and knows he’s in the hands of people who wish him no good, who have harmed him beyond all belief.

      Rule-outs then are some form of dissociative disorder, and I, picking up on the presence of alternate voices in his diaries am hypothesizing Dissociative Identity Disorder. I’d also want to rule out Panic Disorder, Somatoform Disorder, PTSD, and, though not mentioned but frequently comorbid with these kinds of symptoms and disorders, depression. On a farther-out and unlikely limb is schizophrenia. Combine all of the above with the supposed presence of a serious head trauma, and the experience of torture, and you have a very complex presentation.

      Mr. Zubayah is no threat to anyone in this state. He should be released from prison — he has not been charged with anything — and sent to a non-penal hospital where he can have access to his own doctors. But, of course, this is the last thing this government will do, which is occupied with covering up their crimes, and relying on a populace too scared or too indifferent to realize that their government is thickly populated with criminals.

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        I forgot to add his attorney’s statement that he sometimes falls on the floor with loss of consciousness. This, again, could be a seizure of some sort, a pseudo-seizure (i.e., a conversion symptom), or a dissociative episode.

        And to make clear from my comment: there’s not necessarily any one diagnosis that fits AZ’s situation. He may have multiple disorders (and likely does at this point), and his “diagnosis” may elude any attempt to fit into one particular DSM category, so complex it most likely is at this point.

      • 1boringoldman says:

        This is a pretty good list:

        As for his the other symptoms mentioned (unexplained “psychological episodes”, uncontrollable trembling, vomiting, “anxiety), from this psychologist’s point of view, I’d start with rule outs that involve both anxiety and dissociative disorders. The vagueness of the “psychological episodes” could be a form of psychosis, such as the muteness in catatonic schizophrenia; or it could be a form of delirium, or altered state of consciousness; or it could be a dissociative episode, where the individual removes their consciousness from the reality of a situation, via extreme depersonalization or derealization. The anxiety could come from experience of these latter states. They could be panic attacks, which can also come with tremor and vomiting.

        But I think I might also consider all of Lenore Terr’s PTSD criteria:
        1. Altered states of consciousness eg dissociation
        2. Recurrent experience [re-enactments]
        3. Trauma specific fears
        4. An altered view of the self and the world
        One can read Jason’s fine summary and find evidence for all of them. Are his “seizures” re-enactments of Yoo’s approved techniques? [see 25 and 26 above]

        I still have some difficulty connecting with his multiple voice diary as dissociation. I’m not sure what it represents, but it seems to be a stable, chronic way of expressing himself. The “seizures” later seem very different – episodes that affect consciousness. He has ample reasons for neurological seizures [brain damage] or PTSD or both.

        But the striking thing to me is the difference between the Abu Zubaydah of the Psychological Evaluation [2002] and the Abu Zubaydah of Joseph Margulies’ op-ed [2009][Terr’s number 4]. Our government’s Dark Side assumed that he had a jewel inside and did everything they could to break him open to find it. In the process, it appears that they “broke” him. Whoops, no jewel.

        Our assumption is that he has a jewel inside too, the key to their torture program’s horror. Their “factual” says that there is no reason to allow an outside evaluation of his mental state because it’s not pertinent to his reason for being detained. But as EW said recently:

        Which is where I think the government is inching inexorably closer to indefinite detention with AZ.

        I think we would contend that the government’s reason for detaining him is to keep us from knowing what “enhanced interrogation techniques” did to him, and we have increasingly strong evidence. Unlike their EIT, our intervention would not be harmful, a simple evaluation by an unbiased clinician.

    • bobschacht says:

      What this raises to my mind immediately is that should AZ ever be charged with any crime, the defense might immediately move to find out if AZ is competent to stand trial– at which point all of this information would become relevant, would it not?

      Furthermore, it should not be grounds for indefinite detention that “We tortured the poor bastard until he went crazy, and now he’s incompetent to stand trial.”

      Isn’t he due a Habeas finding?

      Bob in AZ

      • emptywheel says:

        This is all part of his habeas petition. Read the last post for a summary of what they are now accusing him of. One thing they’ve done is design the entire factual return such that it relies only on stuff he wrote in his diary, so they don’t have to turn over anything that came out of the torture sessions.

        • bobschacht says:

          I read the previous post, but didn’t get, or didn’t remember, that it was part of his habeas petition. Thanks for the reminder.

          Bob in AZ

      • fatster says:

        Not responding to your legal questions, since I am totally unqualified to do so, but the Padilla case shows what maneuvers were applied. More “refresher” material here and here (which you probably don’t need, but I did).

      • b2020 says:

        ‘Furthermore, it should not be grounds for indefinite detention that “We tortured the poor bastard until he went crazy, and now he’s incompetent to stand trial.”’

        The Gulag approach is to either claim “he is now crazy and a danger to the public” or to claim “he is no mentally incompetent and has to be detained in an asylum”. That is pretty much where SuperMAX “deprivation torture” is meant to take a fool like Padilla.

        But I am sure “Bygones” Obama can find a way to devise a “framework” for torture-neessitated detention that is “consistent” with his values and his reading of our constitution.

  10. JTMinIA says:

    >> probably means “When we suddenly slapped the shit out of him or slammed him against the wall, it scared the hell out of him and he told us something.”

    Actually, my guess, given what the “strong signs of sympathetic arousal” include is that your idiom is, in this case, dead on. To be blunt, he pissed or shat his pants.

    To echo what others have said, “dislocation of expectation” is just a $20 way of saying “not knowing what to expect.”

  11. R.H. Green says:

    And Furthermore. I’d love to read the evaluations you cite, but my pdf reader can’t seem to read online (poor thing), but from what you supply, I’m dubious that these are “evaluations” worthy of that label. The words being used in the documents don’t read right. To say that “he showed signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal” is not the way diagnostic information is conveyed in a (good) evaluation report. Rather the autonomic observations themselves are reported; then, if a judgment can be made that this pattern of observations is consistent with fear or any other emotion, it can be so proffered, but careful efforts are made to separate observational data from interpretation or speculation. Someone here appears to be trying to sound clinical or scientific, to sell someone something. I don’t buy it.

  12. R.H. Green says:

    And. It occurs that the documents cited are not evaluation reports at all; rather they are reports of behavior observed during an interrogation. To call them “psychological evaluations” is more blarney.

    • 1boringoldman says:

      They are “reports of behavior observed during an interrogation” as you say. But they’re even more than that. They have a running dialog about the observer’s guesses about motivation – “Due to his incredibly strong resolve, expertise in civilian warfare, resistance to interrogation techniques (the latter two which he trained hundreds of others on)” being only one of many examples.

      And as you say, “Someone here appears to be trying to sound clinical or scientific, to sell someone something. I don’t buy it.” I think what we mental health types are all saying is that this report doesn’t read like one written by a clinician. Observations and speculations on the meaning of those observations are always separated and clearly marked. So all that stuff about his “incredibly strong resolve, expertise in civilian warfare, resistance to interrogation techniques” would be under impressions at the end of the report. And it wouldn’t be said that way. One might say, “I felt that the subject was consciously withholding information.”

      The author of this report assumes that Abu Zubaydah knows “actionable intelligence” but is withholding it. That’s what Bush thought, Cheney thought, and most of the people in between thought – just like they were sure that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction or that Iraq was in cahoots with al Qaeda. From their perspective, they just needed to get someone to spill the beans. Problem was, neither of those things happened to be true.

      The alternative possibility is that they wanted to torture someone into confirming those things whether they were true or not [to justify they preconceived plan for Regime Change in Iraq]. In the case of [the now dead] Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, it worked for a while. He told them whatever they wanted to hear when threatened with Torture, recanting only when confronted with the inconsistencies in his fabrication.

      • emptywheel says:

        Yeah, one of the things that struck me about this “63rd session” thing is, first of all, how dangerous it is. They’re supposed to be pretending they haven’t started with the torture yet, but here they are admitting they’ve already “dislocated” AZ? So I totally understand why they revised it, to remove the numerical reference and soften the language.

        But it seems like they put it in in the first place, not because it fairly reviewed AZ’s psychological state, but to brag that they thought they had gotten information out of him.

        Which is consistent with what Jeff wrote here, that the purpose of this was rather to justify the use of torture on him.

  13. johnsawyer says:

    I think AZ’s shrapnel wound to the head should be placed pretty high on the list of things that might cause him to collapse intermittently, etc.

  14. prostratedragon says:

    To echo what others have said, “dislocation of expectation” is just a $20 way of saying “not knowing what to expect.”

    Yeah. I looked around, thinking that maybe it was some jargonized phrase, and got nothing that wasn’t just so.

    I did find a short article that used near versions of the phrase, on Beckett’s construction of an “absurd actor” in many of his plays. Being rather interested in that kind of thing I grabbed and read it. Gave me a weird sense that something or other was imitating something else, or form was following function too closely for comfort or something.

    The ‘Absurd’ Actor in the Theatre of Samuel Beckett by Enoch Brater.

    But in Beckett that figure [the actor] … is forced to confront directly on stage … a level of absurdity apprehended not so much metaphysically as it is experienced literally and, often quite painfully, physically. The actor is placed in a garbage can, a mound of earth, an urn* … the positions they are asked to assume and the words they are made to recite force them to experience a level of absurdity specifically designed to “dislocate” any conventional notions of stagecraft itself.

    A large part of the article concerns the play Not I**:

    The player presenting Mouth [the main character] must reach us only through her own mouth—every other part of her anatomy is in total darkness. … Miss Tandy’s eyes were covered by a black crêpe blindfold in order to prevent them from reflecting any glare from the beam of light on her mouth: “There isn’t another actor I can respond to—there isn’t an audience I can see.” [The actress can hear, but] She cannot even move her head or her body, for if she does so, the beam of light will shift its steady stream off her mouth and then upset the consistent visual image for the audience. In the New York production Miss Tandy was therefore placed in a modified pillory, specially designed to hold her head in one place; she was also attached to a metal back brace to prevent any possible shift of position.

    Et cetera. We might wonder how and why the actors do this. The answer must involve the fact that the outermost layers of expectation, so to speak, are not dislocated; the physical rigors are predictable, the worst of them occupy only a small part of each day, and at worst, one is free to walk away from the whole thing at a survivable cost. (According to the wikip article on Not I, Ms. Tandy actually did have her request to go without the pillory granted during the run.) Even that with which one is in confrontation is at a tolerable remove from where one really lives psychologically (else there again, one can walk). The creepish “interrogators” in our gulags apparently wanted to make people into frantically talking mouths, for real.

    * Play, in which the three jointly monologuing characters, one urn per, are engaged in a love triangle. There’s a version with Rickman, Scott Thomas, and Stevenson, directed by Minghella, that makes a riveting 15 minutes or so.

    ** Another riveting quarter hour. I saw Billie Whitelaw’s; wonder if the Jessica Tandy (world premier) was ever filmed.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Another link to the military’s use of the phrase, “dislocation of expectation.”

      This is from Post–Cold War Development of United Kingdom Joint Air-Command and Control Capability by Wing Cdr Redvers T. N. Thompson, RAF. It was published in Air & Space Power Journal – Winter 2004

      It became obvious to the JFACHQ [Joint Air Force Project HQ] ProjO that there was an organizational “dislocation of expectation” when he discovered that this study assumed that no additional resources were to be made available…

      Another example, and like the one above, from UK armed forces (a soldier on an amphibious-armed warship)”

      Dislocation of expectation is what they always teach you through training and that is certainly what can be said of this trip so far.

      It seems likely that both Mitchell and Jessen had exposure to UK forces. There were cross-trainings, etc. Could the report have been written by a British colleague in Thailand? I’d have to go back and see if there are any more Britishisms.

      • R.H. Green says:

        This morning I wonder if the term, “dislocation…” is a spinoff from the “cognitive dissonence” literature of yesteryear.

          • R.H. Green says:

            This business of the language being used has bothered me all along. Even the term, “learned helplessness” seems strangely out of place, if information and cooperation is the goal. What comes across to me is the lingo of a promoter who wants to sell a contract using whatever buzzwords that seem effective. What may be for sale is the imprimatur of a PhD psychologist that offers some pseudo-scientific justification for what is commonly recognized as immoral behavior, thus making the legal cover easier to obtain. You’ll note that Yoo continually makes reference to what he is being told are the facts, which in turn are the foundation for his legal opinions. When these facts are an amalgam of description and opinion shrouded in a cloud of psychobabble, how could Yoo resist?

            I guess I should add that my thinking on this is greatly influenced by the fact that I’m currently reading Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, which points out the heavy use of contractors in the implementation of government policy, and applied to the “security” arena. How you land a contract depends on how you pitch it.

        • 1boringoldman says:

          That’s a fine thought. The techniques – slapping, walling, etc. – seemed designed to create “cognitive dissonance,” including their modifiers “hard” and “confrontive.” As this discussion has progressed, it’s increasingly hard to fathom the Memo meme that the thing that exonerates the interrogators is that they had no intent to cause harm, or lasting harm. The techniques themselves are specifically designed to radically disrupt the subject’s mental processes in an adverse way. Sounds like “harm” is the point.

          An aside about that “psychological evaluation.” On rereading it, I’d bet money it was written be one of Zubaydah’s interrogators.

          • bmaz says:

            As this discussion has progressed, it’s increasingly hard to fathom the Memo meme that the thing that exonerates the interrogators is that they had no intent to cause harm, or lasting harm. The techniques themselves are specifically designed to radically disrupt the subject’s mental processes in an adverse way. Sounds like “harm” is the point.

            This is exactly why I have harped on the absurdity of the affirmative defense bit all along. It is nuts. Yes you can make that argument to a jury, and they will listen, then they will convict your client’s ass. This crap does NOT preclude charges, it is simply a defense that can be argued to a jury, like many other affirmative defenses; juries convict over those every minute of every day.

            • R.H. Green says:

              Based on my remark to EW @ 61, the affirmative defense is just paper talk. This was planned to never get to jury.

              • bmaz says:

                Well, it is not that simple though; calling it “their plan” doesn’t count for much. The opinions were attempting to create cover that this “affirmative defense” precluded charging, not that it could be argues to a jury (and, as they actually admitted, with very questionable chance of success). That is, as far as I can tell, pure crap; the opinions were not just poorly taken, but directly contrary to established criminal procedure law.

          • R.H. Green says:

            As I mentioned, I can’t read these docs, but could go elsewhere today where I can access them- if its worth the effort. Since you’ve read them, do you conclude that these are not what would be called professional Psychlogical Evaluation Reports, and not worth the time?

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        One last time on this. “Dislocation of expectation” is not a term I’ve seen used in psychology. Insofar as it is associated with the military, it crops up repeatedly in the lexicon of British Special Forces. Here is one last example:

        The Mountain Leaders, Britain’s Mountainous Warfare Specialists took time out to show the Parachute Regiment the ropes.

        Day one included an introduction to vertical cliff assaults; during which time the Para’s came to grips with cave ladders, abseiling, rock climbing and roller haulage.

        The Parachute Regiment, more akin to literally ‘dropping in’, attacked these new skills with the vigour and tenacity you would expect from the Army’s best.

        Day two acquainted the Para’s with a new phrase ‘dislocation of expectation’; or always expect the unexpected.

        There is nothing else in the psych eval that lends itself to any belief that the report was written by a Brit. Instead, I believe the author picked up the term by, at some point, working with British Special Forces, or with people who worked with SOA or the like, and the term spread via that. It could have been either a CIA or a SERE or Special Forces psychologist. Leading candidates of course are either Mitchell or Jessen.

  15. alinaustex says:

    Is it possible that once bushcheney figured out that the detainees in question really did not have the intelligence value neccesary to support all the specious claims being made to help get the gwb43 regieme re-elected that the administration just decided to torture the shit out of them so the detainees were made into ‘broken men” so as not to spill the beans that the bushies lied there asses off about how important these prisoners were?( sorry for the run on grammar but this is how I write when deeply pissed)
    I still have this image of Ashcroft speaking from a darkened teevee studio in Moscow telling us how Padilla the dirty bomber was gonna kill us all ! Eight years of fascist Orwellian blather from bushcheney and Team Obama so far seems to be just” looking forward .”

  16. irregulationary says:

    “the initial “hard” dislocation of expectation intervention”…

    Does anyone remember the term “hard takedown” which appeared in a document concerning the handling of a prisoner at Gitmo? IIRC, a masked extraction team would burst into the cell and slam the prisoner around before hauling him off to be interrogated. For some time, this was the protocol prescribed to begin each and every interrogation of this prisoner. ISTR the term “dislocation of expectation” was cited there as the objective of the “hard takedown”.

    I take it that the purpose was to demolish any slightest hope of encountering a trace of civilization, reason or humanity among the guards or interrogators; and reinforce the absolute futility of speech or volition. A sudden and overwhelming blitz of the three D’s.

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks for that suggestion, I’ll look for it. Would be an interesting find since we know the Gitmo stuff came from here, but they try to hide that.

    • klynn says:

      and reinforce the absolute futility of speech or volition. A sudden and overwhelming blitz of the three D’s.

      Wouldn’t this create a suspension of judgment in the individual? Resulting, as we know here and now, in no intel?

      I have yet to understand the end goal intel-wise, outside of torture for the sake of torture.

    • irregulationary says:

      Dislocation of expectations

      The National Defense Intelligence College has a publication entitled Educing Information: Interrogation: Science and Art; Foundations for the Future; Intelligence Science Board Phase 1 Report (PDF). It appears to include an extensive review of the KUBARK manual. It addresses “dislocation of expectations” on page 134.

      Shock of Capture: A Strategic Infl ection Point in an Interrogation

      The manner and timing of arrest can contribute
      substantially to the interrogator’s purposes. “What we
      aim to do is to ensure that the manner of arrest achieves,
      if possible, surprise, and the maximum amount of mental
      discomfort in order to catch the suspect off balance and
      to deprive him of the initiative.” [KUBARK p. 85]

      According to the tactical interrogation model, a source should be questioned as soon as possible after capture to obtain time-perishable intelligence information. In the strategic interrogation model, the importance of the time component has less to do with the nature of the intelligence sought than with exploiting a unique
      window of vulnerability in the detention experience.

      Only a small percentage of military personnel, and a much smaller percentage of terrorists and insurgents, have been exposed to resistance training that includes the stress-inoculation of intensive practical exercises. As a result, the trauma and the perceived chaos of capture — the so-called “shock of capture” — and initial detention will likely prove profoundly unsettling and cause detainees to do and say things against their interest that, upon reflection under more stable circumstances, they would not do or say. In most instances, newly captured detainees expect the worst in terms of treatment at the hands of the enemy and only later draw strength from the realization that they will not be killed or brutally tortured. By exploiting this initial period of overwhelming confusion, the well-trained and prepared interrogator may be able to obtain useful information through the immediate questioning of a source.

      The shock of capture phenomenon is not necessarily limited to the initial point of detention. Every time the detainee is transferred to new surroundings — a new cell, a different wing of the current holding facility, or an entirely new facility — a measure of shock of capture will likely occur. The detainee can be presented with a strange setting, a different routine, new guards, and a fresh interrogator. The rules of engagement in effect at the previous place of confinement may no longer apply in the new facility. The trauma born of confusion, ambiguity, and negative expectations can produce a new period of capture shock that an interrogator can strategically exploit.

      A creative and often effective strategy for profiting from the shock of capture phenomenon is to use a dislocation of expectations approach. For example, anticipating mistreatment in the hands of the “infidels,” the detainee may steel himself for the worst, preparing mentally to respond to harsh approaches, abusive language, and a blatant disregard for personal and cultural preferences. With such hardened expectations, the detainee may be ill prepared to encounter someone who affords him better treatment and demonstrates an impressive understanding of his culture and language. Without a clear strategy at the ready for resisting this unexpected turn of events, the source may find himself — similar to the situation described above — responding to questions that he might choose to ignore or outright refuse to answer later on.

      Interrogation is both an art and a science, with the proportion attributed to each difficult to determine precisely. In many instances, a “principle” of interrogation (i.e., a concept or method that has proven consistently applicable in a variety of circumstances) may have an equally true obverse. The KUBARK manual emphasizes the importance of conducting early “reconnaissance” of a
      source: screening and initial interrogation sessions designed exclusively to assess personality, to identify strengths, and to probe for weaknesses. Only after this has been accomplished would the interrogator begin the formal examination process. Such an approach has often proven effective.

      The shock of capture phenomenon, by contrast, suggests that there are instances where a brief window of opportunity presents itself for the interrogator to question the source with little or no preliminary assessment. This approach has also proven effective.

      Which method is better? If research were able to provide a valid answer, or to point to a protocol that could assist an interrogator in making the correct call on a consistent basis, this would then become an element of the overall
      interrogation process that could be moved from the category of “art” to “science.” Until then, the selection of an approach for dealing with newly detained sources
      remains not unlike the artist’s selection of paint from a palette fi lled with an array of attractive hues…the appropriateness of the selection largely reflects the talent of the artist.

    • irregulationary says:

      Three more references…


      July 25,2002 document entitled “Physical Pressures used in Resistance Training and Against American Prisoners and Detainees.” Attached to JPRA Memorandum of July 26, 2002.

      (Page 9) 5. (FOUO) Sensory Deprivation: When a subject is deprived of sensory input for an interrupted period, for approximately 6-8 hours, it is not uncommon for them to experience visual, auditory and/or tactile hallucinations. If deprived of input, the brain will make it up. This tactic is used in conjunction with other methods to promote dislocation of expectations and induce emotions.

      The Torture Report quotes from the Yoo/Bybee memo of August 1, 2002, “Interrogation of al Qaeda Operative”:

      As part of this increased pressure phase, Zubaydah will have contact only with a new interrogation specialist, whom he has not met previously, and the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (“SERE”) training psychologist who has been involved with the interrogations since they began. This phase will likely last no more than several days but could last up to thirty days. In this phase, you would like to employ ten techniques that you believe will dislocate his expectations regarding the treatment he believes he will receive and encourage him to disclose the crucial information mentioned above. These ten techniques are: (1) attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap (insult slap), (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) insects placed in a confinement box, and (10) the waterboard. You have informed us that the use of these techniques would be on an as-needed basis and that not all of these techniques will necessarily be used. The interrogation team would use these techniques in some combination to convince Zubaydah that the only way he can influence his surrounding environment is through cooperation. You have, however, informed us that you expect these techniques to be used in some sort of escalating fashion, culminating with the waterboard, though not necessarily ending with this technique.

      Last, an abstract from PUBMED…

      1. Can J Psychiatry. 1979 Apr;24(3):213-7.

      Dislocation of expectations: management of violence on a general hospital psychiatric unit.

      Noone JA, Molnar G, Hopper-Small C.

      An approach to the management of potential violence on a General Hospital Psychiatric Unit is described as it evolved following analysis of the successful handling of a series of problem patients. The importance of an attitude of acceptance towards potentially violent persons is emphasized as is an orientation towards prevention. An approach of consistency and directness with enhancement of the patient’s positive personality features is favoured. The initial assessment is considered important and clues to the prediction of violence are highlighted, as are aspects of the supervision plan. A specific technique for prevention of violence based on the principle of Dislocation of Expectations, or doing differently than the subject expects, is introduced.

      PMID: 436090 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        Excellent work, irregulationary!! Truly suburb data mining. As we can see, the phraseology is specifically aimed at expressing a goal of the torture: to “induce emotions”, i.e., certain kinds of affect… mainly fear and the arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, which begins the debilitation of the individual. The Yoo memo makes it sound more cognitive: like the victim will be surprised that something has changed, and be convinced to then give over information.

        So, one wonders if the Yoo/Bybee memo picked up the phrase from the psych eval language. More likely, the phrase has quite general use in the spook/military/special forces area. Thanks for finding that JPRA usage. I have previously asserted that SERE used the phrase, and then couldn’t find the citation.

        That extensive review of the KUBARK document in the Educing Information report is by, of all people, Col. Steven Kleinman. I took on what I called Kleinman’s historical revisionism on the topic in an article in 2008.

        Kleinman’s historical bias surfaced, as well, in an essay published in an essay on the CIA’s KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual he wrote in 2006 for the Intelligence Science Board’s report, “Educing Information.” In it, he makes, for a historian, a remarkable statement:

        The KUBARK manual offers unique and exceptional insights into the complex challenges of educing information from a resistant source through noncoercive means. While it addresses the use of coercive methods, it also describes how those methods may prove ultimately counterproductive. Although criticized for its discussion of coercion, the KUBARK manual does not portray coercive methods as a necessary — or even viable — means of effectively educing information. [p. 133]

        Not necessary? The CIA manual expends twenty percent of its exposition upon coercive interrogation techniques. Not viable? Here’s what the manual has to say about the “counterproductive” methods of torture:

        Psychologists and others who write about physical or psychological duress frequently object that under sufficient pressure subjects usually yield but that their ability to recall and communicate information accurately is as impaired as the will to resist. This pragmatic objection has somewhat the same validity for a counterintelligence interrogation as for any other. But there is one significant difference. Confession is a necessary prelude to the CI interrogation of a hitherto unresponsive or concealing source.

        Col. Kleinman stubbornly maintains that torture doesn’t work, that torture, as he put it in an interesting interview, is poor at gaining operational information, and “largely counterproductive in that… [it] stiffen[s] the resolve of detainees under questioning and undermine[s] the stature of the U.S. on the world stage.” Of course, Kleinman is correct, in so far as it goes.

        But he seems to misunderstand the purpose of torture on a larger, political, military-operational scale. He misunderstands the use of torture to cow the populace, an important component of counterinsurgency work. He minimizes the opinion of many of his colleagues over the decades who in fact approved of coercive methodology. He would do well to study the techniques of Edward Lansdale, applied in the Philippines and Vietnam over a 20 year period, as described in John Prados’s recent book, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Like Kleinman, Lansdale was an Air Force officer. (He was also a CIA officer.)

        I am in agreement with Col. Kleinman (it goes without saying) that torture is morally wrong, illegal, and should never be used. But I wonder how this military intelligence officer could work so long for special forces, intelligence agencies, and the military, and not understand the coercive nature of U.S. foreign and military policy in general.

        • irregulationary says:

          Kleinman, writing in 2006, might have been one of the good guys, relatively speaking. When a Cheney or Rumsfeld says “take the gloves off,” underlings might believe it is counterproductive and harmful, but their opinion alone may carry little weight. Probably lots of folklore has grown up around the KUBARK cookbook (which despite its confident authoritative tone consists mainly of unscientific folklore itself) leading to an unquestioned belief (by amateurs and snake oil salesmen) in the mystical effectiveness of “enhanced” interrogation. If a professional interrogator doesn’t want to torture, Cheney or Rumsfeld can shut them up by saying “Show me the science!” Maybe the Kleinman report is an attempt to fill that gap, to give the professionals some ammunition with which they can push back against the KUBARKian folklore. Although it seems torture could be ok with Kleinman if it could be proven effective, or when the goal is other than “educing information.”

  17. irregulationary says:


    More likely, nothing was improvised. For weeks, Mitchell and Jessen labored to create extremely precise and detailed plans with 24×7 schedules for every aspect of the prisoner’s treatment, systematically escalating over time. Then, a picked cadre of guards was trained in every detail of the plan, drilling to perfection, along with the rest of the team, torture M.D. and all. After weeks of training and dry runs, finally the team traveled to the secret prison and put the plan into action. By that time perhaps the FBI had conducted 62 un-enhanced sessions. Session 63 would be an extended period of sensory deprivation. Then suddenly the “hard takedown” and the prisoner’s shocking first encounter with the M-J team.

  18. plunger says:


    Note that my original Seminal story is #3 on this list of sites that covered the CFTC news blackout:


    Well, if you read the Wall Street Journal, you’ll never know what happened at the hearing and whether the CFTC paid any attention to them, but, if you look elsewhere, you’ll read about all kinds of interesting developments during and after the meeting.

    Here’s a partial list:

    GATA’s evidence of silver and gold manipulation at CFTC hearing – Mineweb

    CFTC Gets Facts of Bullion Manipulation – Numismaster

    JP Morgan Chase Caught Manipulating Gold & Silver Market – Firedog Lake

    Whistleblower Speaks Out On JP Morgan Market Manipulation – Jesse’s Cafe

    Former Goldman Analyst Confirms LMBA Gold Market Is “Paper Gold” Ponzi – Zero Hedge

    Whistleblower in Silver Manipulation Struck by Hit and Run Car In London – Jesse’s Cafe

    King World Interview with Andrew Maguire the Silver Market ‘Whistleblower’ – Jesse’s Cafe

    King Interview With GATA On The Biggest Gold Manipulation Story Disclosed – Zero Hedge

    Now, of all the sources above, the Mineweb story is probably the most mainstream and they had a few interesting observations and conclusions:

    Some observers feel that the Gold Anti Trust Association (GATA’s) long held views on a conspiracy by some major banks and government entities to manipulate precious metals prices are off-target, but the latest evidence produced by GATA chairman Bill Murphy in open testimony at the CFTC hearing is compelling assuming the source material is accurate.

    The evidence came in the form of a series of emails, and accompanying commentary, from a London metals trader, Andrew Maguire, who contacted GATA on March 23rd regarding alleged rigging of the precious metals markets by JP Morgan among others, through shorting the markets around key economic data releases, describing in detail how this is achieved. Maguire, Murphy contends, informed the CFTC enforcement division of this market manipulation ahead of the release of farm payroll data in February this year and set out not only how the manipulation would be achieved two days in advance, but also sent real time emails to the CFTC investigators as the alleged manipulation was taking place. According to Murphy the metals prices followed the scenario precisely – something which he felt could not be predicted without prior knowledge of the manipulation of the markets by major players with huge financial clout.

    Now, why couldn’t the Wall Street Journal report something like that?

  19. tjbs says:

    “resistance to interrogation techniques (the latter two which he trained hundreds of others on)” after how many water torture sessions did he make this claim.

    Petitioner loses consciousness and collapses to the concrete floor during these episodes.I guess they medical staff came in after they knocked him out wall slamming him as they struggled to calibrate the force to scare the shit out of someone with out knocking him out.

    It sure becomes obvious why the torture tapes were destroyed, this isn’t science, just sadistic sickness.

    The first thing an abusive parent learns is leave no marks and these guys seemed intent on perfecting that standard.

    Dick cheney said, with some relish, that we had to go to the dark side. This is the dark side torture to extract non-existent intelligence about a construct of the new scary enemy we lost in the cold war. Civilian trials bust this shit wide open ,that’s what lindsey fears the most,the water tortured soul that can’t knowingly hurt a flea.

  20. Palli says:

    Mitchell walks among us other humans? Small wonder the suicide rate in these war travesties is high.
    The CIA and the military are creating a subculture of Americans who are a grave danger to any humans…their families, friends and community.
    Our nation itself is lurching toward “learned helplessness”.
    Jason Leopold, Jeff Kaye and Marcy Wheeler: Thank you all for your endurance and patriotism to the Idea of Right. May you have loving protection and release from the facts your research.

  21. klynn says:

    I take it that the purpose was to demolish any slightest hope of encountering a trace of civilization, reason or humanity among the guards or interrogators; and reinforce the absolute futility of speech or volition. A sudden and overwhelming blitz of the three D’s.

    That seems to go beyond reverse engineering. To the possible concept of trying to excuse violence of torture as fighting radical extremist terrorists with terror tactics. A fire with fire argument.

    Funny, starting in 2009, that was some of the language I started reading from this organization.

  22. klynn says:

    EW, (OT sort of)

    I know you are updating the torture timeline. I thought you might like to look at 12/17/01 on this timeline under defense action. It lines up extra information to your entry for the same date.

  23. behindthefall says:

    I just watched the 90-minute documentary “The Ritchie Boys”, which tells of the selection, training, and utilization of German-speaking soldiers as “Interrogators of Prisoners of War” during WWII, from D-Day on. Most were Jewish emigrees, although one man from Milwaukee is also followed.

    They used no force, no violence, not even physical contact, just smarts, a deep knowledge of German attudes, a complete and accurate listing of the German Army’s Order of Battle, and play-acting.

    They were known in the days after Normandy for extracting important information quickly and smoothly.

    The program doesn’t mention the name of the person in the War Department who realized that these German-speaking “aliens”, as they were classified by the Army, would be incredibly useful, but I’d love to know the story behind the origin of the program.

    Note the difference here: the CIA and military have found themselves short of people who are avidly pro-American and yet deeply familiar with the “parget population”. Haven’t I heard that we suffer from a lack of native speakers of, well, pick a Near East language? So, instead of adhering to the international protocols and recommendation for treatment of prisoners of war, which the “Ritchie Boys” found effective — (Surrender and you’ll be well-treated and get three square meals a day.”) — we have chosen brutality.

    Which has been shown not to work. Slower. Less accurate. One-time. Hard on your own troops.

  24. skdadl says:

    If it hasn’t already begun, I’d say that Abu Zubaydah is in danger of developing dementia pugilistica, induced by his interrogations (if not also by the earlier head wound). During the years I was going in to a locked ward for dementia patients daily, I got to know a fellow with dementia linked to his career as a boxer — charming great bear of a man, still capable of quite trippy conversations about “why we are here,” by which he did not mean the ward but life, but progressing through the same classic stages of dementia that the Alzheimer’s patients were.

    Dementia is a puzzle; people can live with quite serious brain damage for a long time without developing dementia (strictly defined — people can become dependent without developing dementia); some never do head into that inexorable process, but many eventually do.

    Seizures are also a puzzle. My husband had Alzheimer’s with a seizure complication. I only once saw a doctor call the seizures “epilepsy”; all the other doctors (and there were a lot of them) called them seizures. I have listened to a number of doctors talk fascinatingly about seizures — they know a lot, and yet I never met one who could give me a bottom line about causation or about the connection to Alzheimer’s or any other kind of brain damage.

    I suspect that the CIA/contractor and GTMO abusers and torturers have produced more than a few victims who will develop dementia in the future. “Walling” could do it; anything that provokes suffocation (“stress positions,” water torture) could do it. Monsters.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      I’d certainly say that AZ is at risk of that, as are all their walling victims. I once had a torture case that turned out to involve a case of dementia pugilistica, and from a real boxer too.

      And to my colleague at 34, I totally agree re PTSD, and did list it among my rule-outs. I think the dissociative component is key, and our primary understanding, if we were examining him, would be to determine whether these abscences of his were due to seizure, other brain injury, dissociative, or some kind of conversion symptom. We’d also have to determine just how stable and/or enduring these other identities in the diary are. Do they appear only there? Are they just devices of a brain damaged man to cope and remember? Or are they the breakdown products of a severe mental illness?

  25. WilliamOckham says:

    The fax cover sheet very clearly doesn’t belong to the OIG document 71. The real giveaway is that it doesn’t have a fax date/timestamp at the top. The people who did the FOIA response clearly weren’t sure because it originally was considered to be part of doc 79 (ew, do you recall what OIG doc 79 was? I have my data on a portable hard drive that I can hook up later).

    I agree that the 1/31/03 fax is actually the earlier version of the document. (the switch from detainment to detention in the key paragraph is the giveaway here. Nobody would switch in the other direction.) The interesting thing is that the cover page probably came from CIA files and was attached to the original version when it was faxed to Yoo.

    • emptywheel says:

      Agree. I intend to go back and check out what it was–perhaps in the Vaughn they make it clear that there are multiple versions of this thing. I’m wondering whether the obvious problems with the doc are confusion (that is, they couldn’t figure out what went where) or an attempt to send a clean copy. That is, is there something even more damning on the other first page? Or is there a copy with an extra page before the actual assessment? Or was it sent with the July 25 docs they have disappeared?

    • bmaz says:

      Update: The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports that “unspecified government officials have now mysteriously redacted the name of the C.I.A. officer in charge of the Salt Pit” from “a footnote in the October, 2009, legal response to allegations of unprofessional conduct filed by lawyers for Jay Bybee, the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel.”

      It isn’t that mysterious.

  26. MadDog says:

    And decidedly not OT, John Kiriakou is spilling his “imaginary” beans again to Elise Cooper over at wingnut’s paradise, David Horowitz’s NewsReal Blog:

    John Kiriakou: The Spy who Came in from the Cold Part One

    …NRB: Let’s put this controversy to rest; did the CIA get actionable intelligence from water boarding?

    Kiriakou: I said in September, 2007 that Zubaydah produced actionable intelligence. I believe that to be true. I don’t know if he started to talk after the first time he was water boarded or after the last time. If you are asking me did Abu Zubaydah provide intelligence that saved American lives the answer is YES.

    NRB: Abu Zubaydah and his lawyers try to make him out as a sympathetic figure with little importance. Is that a fair description?

    Kiriakou: That is revisionist history, absolutely untrue. It was reported that he was mentally and emotionally ill. That is so far from the truth that it is almost laughable…


    …NRB: Former FBI agent Ali Soufan made the claim that he was getting actionable intelligence without the harsh interrogation techniques. Do you agree?

    Kiriakou: He is just plain wrong on this issue. The reason the President took away FBI responsibility for the interrogations and gave it to the CIA is simply because the FBI was not getting anywhere with him.

    NRB: Do you want to elaborate?

    Kiriakou: It makes no sense at all that if the FBI was getting all this intelligence they would have the whole interrogation yanked out from under them by the President. The reason the President took away the FBI’s responsibility was because they were failing on getting actionable intelligence…

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Kiriakou: That is revisionist history, absolutely untrue. It was reported that he was mentally and emotionally ill. That is so far from the truth that it is almost laughable…

      So, he is saying that Dan Coleman is a liar. By the way, note to self, that Coleman doesn’t just say that AZ is “insane”, he calls him a “split personality.” This is more evidence towards my theory of AZ’s DID status. It is just hearsay, and from a non-clinician. But what made him use that description? The “voices” in the diary… anything else?

      I’d like to talk to Mr. Coleman.

      As for Kiriakou, I’d posit he is still on duty for the Agency.

      • MadDog says:

        …As for Kiriakou, I’d posit he is still on duty for the Agency.

        At the very least, they should be paying him a small stipend for his performances.

  27. Petrocelli says:

    Just a heads up to my F1 brethren … Malaysian Grand Prix starts at 4 a.m. Eastern time, on Sunday April 4th.

    Lewis Hamilton has won both practice sessions. If the Rain holds up, it’ll be a great race.

    • bmaz says:

      Alright already. Jeebus, now the Barbeque King is bugging me for Trash too. I been fielding the same junk from Marcy all morning.

      There will be Easter Trash! Check late this afternoon/early tonight.

  28. R.H. Green says:

    Response to 71 & 72.
    Thanks for this.
    KUBARK. Uh-huh.
    Fits with what I expected (located expectations?).
    Means the same a surprise; And a hard dislocation is a big surprise?
    And the mode of delivery got the lawyers in a sweat (dislocated their comfort zone)?

  29. R.H. Green says:

    If anyone is still here. Now I get it. I said earlier that I’d not encountered the term “dislocation of expectations” in my reading of psychological research, but now after seeing the comments by irregulationary, I do recall the notion from Cognitive Psychology, that behavior is said to be function of a cognitive function called expectancies. The names of Bandura and of Reiss come to mind, but it’s been a long time, and they may not be the proper ones. Such expectancies are not observable behavior, rather are inferences about what “makes a person tick”. Change the expectancy and change the behavior. Turn brats into angels (if you do it right).

  30. R.H. Green says:

    An while I’m on a sarcastic roll, I could add that if the brat dies, you’re not doing it right.
    G’nite Gracie.

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