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Monday, September 15, 2003

Memo (Ricardo Sanchez): Interrogation techniques, Sanchez later lies about them

Today, Lieutenant General Ricardo A. Sanchez will release a memo with the subject CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy. He states that the policy is
modeled on the one implemented for interrogations conducted at Guantanamo Bay, but modified for applicability to a theater of war in which the Geneva Conventions apply. Unless otherwise directed, my intent is to implement this policy immediately.
In the memo, he states that techniques including those that may be considered inconsistent with the Geneva Conventions, require personal permission from him before being implemented. They are B, I, O, X, Y, AA, and CC:
  • B. Incentive/Removal of Incentive. Providing a reward or removing a privilege, above and beyond those that are required by the Geneva Convention, from detainees. [Caution: Other nations believe that detainees are entitled to EPW protections may consider that provision and retention of religious items (e.g. the Koran) are protected under international law (see, Geneva II, Article 34).]
  • I. Pride and Ego Down: Attacking or insulting the ego of a detainee, not beyond the limits that would apply to an EPW. [Caution: Article 17 of Geneva III provides "Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind". Other nations that believe detainees are entitled to EPW protections may consider this technique inconsistent with the provisions of Geneva.]
  • O. Mutt and Jeff: A team consisting of a friendly and harsh interrogator. The harsh interrogator might employ the Pride and Ego Down technique. [Caution: Other nations that believe that EPW protections apply to detainees may view this technique as inconsistent with Geneva III, Article 13, which provides that EPWs must be protected against acts of intimidation. Consideration should be given to those views prior to application of the technique.]
  • X. Isolation: Isolating the detainees from other detainees while still complying with basic standards of treatment. [Caution ...]
  • AA. Yelling, Loud Music, and Light Control: Used to create fear and disorient detainee and prolong capture shock. Volume controlled to prevent injury.
  • CC. Stress Positions: Use of physical postures (sitting, standing, kneeling, prone, etc.) for no more than 1 hour per use. Use of technique(s) will not exceed 4 hours and adequate rest between use of each position will be provided.
In a Senate Hearing on Prisoner Abuse, 19 May 2004, the following exchange will occur between Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sanchez. Letters in brackets indicate the identification tag the techniques, listed after.
REED: General Sanchez, today's USA Today, sir, reported that you ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation [technique Z], intimidation by guard dogs [technique Y] excessive noise [technique AA] and inducing fear as an interrogation method [techniques E and F] for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison.

REED: Is that correct?

SANCHEZ: Sir, that may be correct that it's in a news article, but I never approved any of those measures to be used within CJTF-7 at any time in the last year.

REED: Excuse me. Because I want to get back to this.

It may be correct that you ordered those methods used against a prisoner. Is that your answer?

SANCHEZ: No, sir, that's not what I said. I said it may be correct...

REED: Well, I didn't hear; that's why I want...

SANCHEZ: ... that it's printed in an article, but I have never approved the use of any of those methods within CJTF-7 in the 12.5 months that I've been in Iraq.

REED: What level of command produced this slide?

SANCHEZ: Sir, my understanding is that that was produced at the company commander level.

REED: How could the company commander evolve such a specific list? How could the company commander then turn around and said some of these things would require your permission without any interaction between your command? It seems to me just difficult to understand.

SANCHEZ: Sir, it's difficult for me to understand it. You have to ask the commander.

The techniques which Ricardo Sanchez denies approving during the Senate Enquiry and under oath are approved by Ricardo Sanchez in the memo as follows:
  • E. Fear Up Harsh: Significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee.
  • F. Fear Up Mild: Moderately increasing the fear level in a detainee.
  • Y. Presence of Military Working Dogs: Exploits Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations. Dogs will be muzzled and under control of MWD handler at all times to prevent contact with detainee.
  • Z. Sleep Management: Detainee provided minimum of 4 hours sleep per 24 hour period, not to exceed 72 continuous hours.
It is interesting to note that the Defense Department initially refused to release this memo, which contains evidence of Sanchez committing perjury, on national security grounds. However, after the ACLU filed legal papers specifically challenging the withholding of the memo on those grounds, the Defense Department reconsidered its position and released the document to the ACLU late in the afternoon on Friday, 25 March 2005. At the same time, the Defense Department released a previously leaked 12 October 2003 Sanchez memo that superseded this memo (see entry on 12 October 2003).

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