Note: The author is a member of Abu Zubaydah’s legal team. Joseph Margulies, Mark Denbeaux and Helen Duffy, who also represent Abu Zubaydah, have contributed to this article.
Latest in Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
Annals of the Trump Administration #5: Would Waterboarding Count as "Force," and Must It Be Disclosed?
Katherine Hawkins at the Constitution Project tweeted some good points in response to my earlier posts on Trump, interrogation, and waterboarding (here and here). One concerns the possibility that the NDAA FY'15 in fact does prohibit a Field Manual amendment that would include waterboarding.
In a prior post I discussed the Trump administration's apparent interest in reviving waterboarding as an interrogation method, noted that a federal statute forbids resort to any interrogation method not listed in the relevant Army Field Manual, and explained that the Trump administration might try to overcome that barrier by pushing to have the manual amended to include a classified annex authorizing waterboarding.
The transition to a Trump Administration is now underway. Among many other things, this likely will entail an effort to identify various executive orders issued by President Obama that President Trump will repeal or modify soon after the inauguration.
Last week, General Michael Hayden—the only person to be both the director of the CIA and the NSA—joined Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes at the Hoover Book Soiree for a discussion of his new book, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror.
2/18 Session: Trying to Finish Classification Review “Within the Lives of Living Men” and Zero Dark Thirty Discovery
The commission is called to order with four defendants present (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa al Hawsawi) and one conspicuously absent (Walid bin Attash.) Judge Pohl begins the session by swearing in an unnamed Army Major to confirm that bin Attash voluntarily waived his right to be present.
After a brief moment of confusion related to Appellate Exhibit (AE) 408 - or is it 408A? – everyone gets on the same page and realizes that it’s just bin Attash’s waiver form for today, as opposed to the one from yesterday’s session.
When the Senate Intelligence Committee initially released its Study on the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Program in December 2014, the CIA quietly released a Note to the Reader along with its Fact Sheet, statement from Director John Brennan, and June 2013 Response to a draft of the SSCI Study.
A quick response without getting into the weeds about why I find Senator Feinstein's post so disheartening. Let me be clear: I agree with her normative position that the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" were morally wrong. Full stop. I have tremendous respect for Sen. Feinstein and the committee.
I was extremely disappointed to read Professor Amy Zegart’s post regarding the Senate Intelligence Committee’s study of the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program. Not only did it include factually inaccurate statements, it also appeared to blame the Committee for the impediments imposed on the Study by the Executive Branch.
My staff has compiled a detailed description of the inaccurate and misleading statements included in Ms. Zegart’s post, which appears below.