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DoD Drugging Investigation

On April 24 2008, Senators Biden, Hagel, and Levin signed a letter requesting that the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) investigate reports published in the news media that detainees from the War on Terror had been administered mind-altering drugs to facilitate interrogation. The Inspectors General agreed to carry out these investigations—which they did from June 2008 through July 2009. The report of the investigation of the Inspector General for the DoD was published on September 23, 2009, but remained classified until a FOIA request by Truthout prompted its release (with redactions) on June 28, 2012. The report made several findings that were relevant to our project:

 

  1. Some detainees received ongoing medication with psychoactive drugs (for treatment of diagnosed medical conditions) which could impair an individual's ability to provide accurate information (p. i).
  2. In some cases, those drugs were administered forcibly (p. 4)
  3. Certain detainees diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions and being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis were interrogated while under the effects of medication (p. 4).
  4. Numerous detainees were identified who made allegations that they had been medicated without their consent (p. 3).

 

The entire report can be seen here; no report by the Inspector General for the CIA has been made public.

 

CSHRA Notes

1. Although numerous detainees alleged they had been drugged without their consent, only a small subgroup of them linked directly their forcible drugging to interrogations. Only detainees from this small group were interviewed in this investigation. And only those who had not been repatriated to other countries (see p. 3).

2. In the course of this investigation, the DoD approached the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas in connection to an event it organized on May 30, 2008—and, more specifically, about the following exchange between interviewer Amy Goodman and former Guantanamo prisoner Salim Mahmoud Adem:

AMY GODMAN: Did you know any, did you meet any psychologists there?

SALIM MAHMOUD ADEM: I did not meet any because we had certain situations. Some accepted to take medicine from psychologists that they were told was medicine, but they gave them drugs, and one would be passed out and in a state of addiction for a long period of time. Many of the prisoners--the psychologists were the ones that tortured them with medicine because they don’t speak during interrogation.

AG: What kind of medicine?

SMA: But I saw my neighbor, who was from Uzbekistan, they would inject into him, and he would sleep for three or four days on the metal in the cell, and then after that he became addicted. His name is Abu Bak [phonetic spelling]. And then Abdurahman from Afghanistan and Sultan al-Joufi from Saudi Arabia, and Yaghoub [phonetic] and Koleidad [phonetic] from Kazakhstan, Koleidad [phonetic] from Afghanistan, and others from Pakistan, and Dr. Eymen [phonetic] from Yemen who was a surgeon...

AG: What about all of them?

SMA: All of them became addicted to the injections. Yaghoub, from Kazakhstan, left Guantanamo, and he became insane.

AG: Where were they injected?

SMA: In their arms or thighs, most in their arms. Once he was injected, he would sleep for days. He would eat and then sleep. He would eat and sleep. This injection might be monthly or semi-monthly. What I saw, one who left before me – Guantanamo before me – was in the chamber who became completely insane, and despite that they would punish him harshly. And because of all of this, we all became afraid of dealing with psychologists. Recently, when I was transferred to the sixth prison [Camp 6?], isolation, it was very cold and [there] were bright lights. We were cut off from the world, a great wall like the Wall of China, and we could not see the sun. Even if they took us to walk out, this room that we are in right now is much bigger than it. Two could barely walk in it.

During this period they would bring psychologists to look at us monthly, and one would come in and say, ‘Do you want to speak to a psychologist?’ And he would come with a translator. People were on guard from psychologists because they lost their specialty as doctors.

AG: Were any of you injected?

SMA: No.


ADEL HAMMAD AND HAMMAD AMNO: No.

Yet, none of this information was addressed in the DoD report. It should be added that CSHRA identified for the DoD the prisoners referenced in this excerpt, adding that one of the individuals mentioned in this excerpt (Abu Bak) was Mr. Abu Bakir Jamaludinovich, ISN 452, and that he was readily available for interview, as he was, at the time, still imprisoned in Guantanamo.


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