"Marching Orders"

Today we post “Marching Orders,” which is Part 2 of Chapter 5, “The Battle Lab.”

“The Battle Lab”

Today we post Part 1 of Chapter 5 of the Torture Report, titled “The Battle Lab,” which looks at the development of a systematic torture program aimed at breaking detainees in the custody of the U.S. military in Guantánamo Bay , Cuba . In this first section, “A Special Project,” we take a long look at the lab's signature experiment—the 50-day interrogation of Mohammed al Qahtani from November 23, 2002 through January 11, 2003.

Where We Are Now

In June, while we were marking Torture Awareness month with our Document a Day feature, the U.S. continued its undignified slink away from accountability—most notably when the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in Maher Arar's lawsuit against the United States for his rendition and torture.

Document a Day: The Secret Beginning

We end this month with the still-classified document that launched the torture program, President Bush’s September 17, 2001 directive giving the CIA the authority to disappear detainees and interrogate them in secret prisons. The directive literally created the extralegal space for the CIA to conduct its experiments with torture.

Document a Day: Layers of Concealment

Although we will never see the 92 interrogation videotapes that the CIA destroyed in 2005, last year a federal judge ordered the CIA to fill the gap left by the destruction by releasing any records describing the contents of the tapes. Unsurprisingly, the CIA has refused to release almost all of those records, the bulk of which are the cables that flew back and forth between the CIA headquarters and the "black site" in Thailand where CIA interrogators were torturing Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Document a Day: Obstructing Justice Overseas

With more of those who were criminally mistreated turning to courts in their own countries for recognition of their ordeals, the efforts of U.S. officials to suppress evidence and escape accountability now extend overseas.

Document a Day: More “Missing” Evidence

The CIA wasn't the only agency to videotape interrogations—or to make tapes disappear.

Document a Day: The Waterboarding Tapes We’ll Never See

When he ordered the government to release images of detainee abuse, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein noted:

[T]he pictures are the best evidence of what happened, better than words, which might fail to describe, or summaries, which might err in their attempt to generalize and abbreviate.

Document a Day: What We’ve Seen, What We Haven’t Seen

Document a Day: I Believe the Technique Used Was Acceptable

A graphic example of the shocking lack of accountability for the gravest human rights abuses, these documents follow the murder of Iraqi general Abed Hamed Mowhoush in US custody in December 2003.

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