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Testimony of a Former Interrogation Control Element Chief

This is an excerpt from a summary of an interview that took place on 22 March 2005 in Alabama. On 29 March 2005, at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, an investigating officer (whose name was redacted) declared under penalty that said summary was true and correct. The summary was released by the US Government on 15 June 2006 under a FOIA request by the ACLU, who made it public on June 19, 2006.

I was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) on or about the first week of December 2002 and re-deployed at the end of June 2003. I was the Interrogation Control Element (ICE) Chief.

During the course of the interview I was asked about what I knew about detainee abuse at Guantanamo. I was specifically asked about the following acts: Inappropriate use of military working dogs, inappropriate use of duct tape, impersonation of or interference with FBI agents, inappropriate use of loud music and/or yelling, sleep deprivation, short-shackling, inappropriate use of extreme temperatures during interrogation, and inappropriate use of sexual tension as an interrogation technique, to include lap dances and simulated menstrual fluids.

I have personal knowledge of the following:

It was my understanding that prior to SECDEF approval of the Special Interrogation Plan for ISN [= Internment Serial Number] [REDACTED] (in early December 2002), the guidance for interrogation procedures was Field manual 34-52.

[REDACTED]

When I arrived at GTMO [REDACTED] my predecessor, arranged for SERE [= Survive Evade Resist Escape] instructors to teach their techniques to the interrogators at GTMO. The instructors did give some briefings to the Joint Interrogation Group (JIG) interrogators. MG Miller and I didn't believe the techniques were appropriate for the JTF-GTMO mission.

I never heard of any interrogators on my watch impersonating FBI agents. I do know that an interrogator "LT [REDACTED] on the Middle Eastern Team, impersonated a Department of State agent prior to my arrival at GTMO. I would not have had a problem with an interrogator impersonating a federal agency.

Loud music was used during selected interrogations. The rule on volume was that it should not be so loud that it would blow the detainee's ears out.

Yelling was also used on occasion during interrogations. Like music, the volume was never too loud, just a raised voice.

There were times that interrogators adjusted the air conditioner in an attempt to make the interrogation booth cold. It wasn't like the booth was a "snow storm" but it was cool. The temperature depended on the cooperation of the detainee. It was a technique used to make the detainee uncomfortable. I don't believe this would be in an interrogation plan.

It was my understanding that a "lap dance" or something close occurred during my tenure at JTF-GTMO. I believe SGT [REDACTED] performed the "lap dance" and her supervisor was [REDACTED] SSG [REDACTED] and SGT [REDACTED] got together prior to an interrogation and decided to use sexual tension in an attempt to break a detainee. SGT [REDACTED] rubbed up against the detainee and was told not to use the technique again. SSG Scarpato received a written admonishment from [REDACTED] for this event.

In my opinion, ISN [REDACTED] was never physically abused during the execution of the special interrogation plan. He may have been subjected to some mental anguish (Enclosures to the Schmidt-Furlow Report (Part 1), pp. 847-848).

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CSHRA Note: SERE is a harsh military program created after the Korean War to train American soldiers to survive capture by the enemy (see Benjamin 2005). The program's name is an acronym for "Survive, Evade, Resist, and Escape". This document was the first to surface suggesting that SERE methods were employed in Guantánamo.


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