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I. Use of Bright Flashing Lights or Loud Music

Approximately 50 FBI agents told the OIG that they had witnessed or heard about the use of bright lights on detainees, sometimes in conjunction with other harsh non-law enforcement techniques. Many agents stated they observed or heard about the use of loud music. These were among the most frequently reported techniques at GTMO. None of the witnesses we interviewed described the use of this technique by an FBI agent.140

According to the Church Report, these techniques were never specifically addressed by military interrogation policies for GTMO, although some interrogators consider them a form of "environmental manipulation" approved by the Secretary of Defense on April 16, 2003. Church Report at 138, 172. The Church investigators found that bright lights and loud music were used "occasionally" throughout the interrogation operations at GTMO. Id. at 155, 172. The Schmidt-Furlow Report found that this technique was used on "numerous occasions" between July 2002 and October 2004, and that this technique was authorized by Field Manual 34-52, "Incentive and Futility." Schmidt-Furlow Report at 9-10.

Many FBI agents witnessed the use of these techniques while walking through the interrogation trailers at Camp Delta. For example, one FBI agent told the OIG that approximately halfway through his tour at GTMO, which was from June 25, 2003, through August 14, 2003, he observed a detainee alone in a darkened interrogation room, apparently bolted to the floor in a kneeling position, with a strobe light close to his face and loud music blaring in the room. The agent described the music as hard rock music, similar to the music performed by the group Metallica, played at a volume equivalent to a rock concert. The agent stated that he and another agent reported this activity at a meeting with their OSC. Other agents reported similar incidents during the same general time period.

The SSA who served as the OSC at GTMO from June to August 2003, when most of these incidents apparently occurred, told the OIG that he heard from his agents that military interrogators were using loud music as a pre-interrogation technique. He stated that although he did not think this technique was effective, he also did not think that the music was ever played at a level that would have been damaging to someone's hearing. The OSC stated that he may have mentioned this activity in a phone call with the Military Liaison and Detainee Unit (MLDU) Unit Chief, but that by that time it was well established that the military was employing this technique.141

Notes

140 In addition to the incidents described in this section, bright lights and loud music were apparently employed by the military against detainee Al-Qahtani (#63), as described in Chapter Five.

141 Several of the survey respondents described the use of loud music over the public address system at Camp X-Ray in 2002 rather than as a specific interrogation technique. We received no reports that this practice occurred outside of Camp X-Ray.

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