Torture and Cruel Treatment by the United States
at Home and Abroad
The United States has failed to comply with its obligations
under the Convention Against Torture at home and abroad. To
justify torture and abuse in the "global war on terrorism," the
government narrowly defined torture and argued that the
prohibition against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment does
not apply outside the United States. Its selective
interpretation of the Convention justified the development of
interrogation techniques that violated the treaty, created a
climate of confusion among U.S. soldiers, and led to widespread
torture and abuse of detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Iraq and
Evidence from a range of sources, including over 100,000
government documents produced to the ACLU through Freedom of
Information Act ("FOIA") litigation, show a systemic pattern of
torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. This abuse was
the direct result of policies promulgated from high-level
civilian and military leaders and the failure of these leaders
to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment by subordinates. Detainees have been beaten; forced
into painful stress positions; threatened with death; sexually
humiliated; subjected to racial and religious insults; stripped
naked; hooded and blindfolded; exposed to extreme heat and cold;
denied food and water; deprived of sleep; isolated for prolonged
periods; subjected to mock drownings; and intimidated by dogs.
Despite the widespread and systemic nature of the torture and
abuse, the United States has refused to authorize any
independent investigation into the abuses. No high-level
official involved in developing or implementing the policies
that led to torture and abuse has been charged with any crime
related to the abuses. The government continues to assert that
the abuse was simply the actions of a few rogue soldiers.
Also in violation of the Convention, the U.S. continues to
engage in unlawful renditions in which the CIA kidnaps
individuals and transfers them to countries known for their
routine use of torture, such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and
Syria. Other detainees have been "disappeared" to secret
detention facilities overseas.
U.S. violations of the Convention Against Torture are not
limited to actions by military personnel overseas in the "war on
terror," but in fact are far too ubiquitous at home. When
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, over a
thousand prisoners were abandoned after rising water flooded the
prison and were left in their cells for days without food,
water, or ventilation. Prisoners and detainees inside the United
States are subjected to conditions and brutal practices that are
chillingly similar to those experienced by detainees
abroad—prolonged solitary confinement, extreme temperatures,
intimidation by dogs, painful restraints and electro-stun
devices. Indeed, these similarities are not surprising, as some
of the officials and soldiers who committed abuse abroad
previously worked in prisons inside the United States.
Serious limitations remain on the rights of redress and
remedy for victims of torture and abuse committed by government
officials inside and outside of the United States. The rights of
prisoners inside the United States to obtain redress are
severely limited by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. And the
U.S. government continues to argue that victims of abuse outside
the United States have virtually no remedy for torture and abuse
in United States’ courts under domestic or international law.
The United States’ Second Periodic Report ("U.S. Report") to
the Committee Against Torture states that "the U.S. remains
committed to respecting the rule of law, including the U.S.
Constitution, federal statutes, and international treaty
obligations, including the Torture Convention."
As discussed fully in the following report, the actions and
omissions of the United States directly contradict these
A. Reservations and Understandings of the United
States to the Convention Against Torture
In May 2000, the Committee Against Torture urged the United
States to withdraw its reservations and understandings to the
Convention Against Torture. Instead, the United States
specifically relied upon its reservations and understandings to
limit the application of the Convention in its response to the
"global war on terrorism." For example:
- Narrowing the definition of torture: An August
2002 Department of Justice memorandum cited U.S.
reservations to the Convention that narrowly define torture,
limiting physical pain to organ failure, death or impairment
of bodily function. The memorandum argued that the
President, as commander-in-chief, was entitled to authorize
torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment based on
necessity or self-defense.
This memorandum was replaced in December 2004, but the
revised memorandum does not define torture, nor does it
disavow the arguments in the August 2002 memorandum that the
President has commander-in-chief authority to authorize
Declaring the Convention non-self-executing to
violate the prohibition on torture: The government’s
declaration that the Convention is not self-executing was
specifically relied on by the Department of Defense in an
April 2003 memorandum on interrogation techniques in order
to abdicate from the non-derogable provision of Article 2,
which prohibits acts of torture under any circumstance.
Limiting the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment to the territory of the United States:
In January 2005, then White House Counsel and Attorney
General designate Alberto Gonzales referred to the U.S.
reservation to Article 16 to limit the prohibition of cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment to actions taken within the
territory of the United States.
The Detainee Treatment Act ("the DTA"), enacted in December
2005, attempted to close ambiguities in the extraterritorial
application of the Convention by declaring that all individuals
acting on behalf of the United States Government are
categorically prohibited from engaging in or authorizing torture
or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S.
custody regardless of the location of their detention,
i.e., regardless of whether or not they are being held on U.S.
Yet it remains to be seen whether the U.S. government will
implement the DTA in a way that brings it into compliance with
For example, the definition of cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment in the DTA is not as broad as the Convention requires.
Moreover, there will be limited opportunities to test the
government’s understanding of this provision in court because
the CIA continues to "disappear" detainees into secret detention
facilities where they are held incommunicado. Finally, the
President’s statement upon signing the DTA indicated that he
would construe the ban on "cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment of detainees in a manner consistent with the
constitutional authority of the President" and the President’s
powers as commander-in-chief, suggesting that the President has
unilateral power to authorize unlawful acts.
B. Deliberate Circumvention of Human Rights Law in
the "Global War on Terrorism" (Articles 1, 2, 16)
The U.S. government, in the aftermath of September 11, chose
to fight terrorism by picking and choosing what principles of
human rights and humanitarian law to apply. The abuse of
detainees in U.S. custody was facilitated by the government’s
decision not to apply the Geneva Conventions, and to narrowly
interpret or deliberately ignore prohibitions in the Convention
Against Torture and in the International Covenant of Civil and
Political Rights. In a series of legal memoranda, senior
administration lawyers, led by then-White House Counsel and
current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, developed a framework
to justify the administration’s circumvention of international
law prohibitions of torture and abuse.
C. Legal Status of Persons Captured by United States'
Forces in the "Global War on Terrorism"
The United States asserts that all detainees captured in the
"global war on terrorism" are "enemy combatants" and can be held
pursuant to the President’s powers as commander-in-chief until
the end of hostilities. Its position places all detainees in
legal limbo in which they can be indefinitely detained without
charge, denied access to counsel and family members, and
provided with no meaningful access to a court. The U.S.
continues to deny persons detained during hostilities in
Afghanistan the status of prisoners of war ("POW") under the
Geneva Conventions. The forums created by the U.S. Department of
Defense for Guantánamo detainees to contest their status as
"enemy combatants" that fail to guarantee fundamental due
process protections. All of these policies put the detainees at
high risk of torture and abuse.
D. Torture and Abuse in the "Global War on Terrorism"
(Articles 1, 16)
Evidence from a range of sources, including government
investigations, as well as over 100,000 government documents
produced to the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act
("FOIA") litigation, show a systemic pattern of torture and
abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Afghanistan, the U.S.
Naval Base Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Iraq, and other
locations outside the United States.
In many instances the harsh treatment was ordered as part of an
approved list of interrogation methods to "soften up" detainees.
Reported methods of torture and abuse used against detainees
include prolonged incommunicado detention; disappearances;
beatings; death threats; painful stress positions; sexual
humiliation; forced nudity; exposure to extreme heat and cold;
denial of food and water; sensory deprivation such as hooding
and blindfolding; sleep deprivation; water-boarding; use of dogs
to inspire fear; and racial and religious insults. In addition,
around one hundred detainees in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and
Iraq have died. The government has acknowledged that 27 deaths
in U.S. custody were homicide, some caused due to
"strangulation," "hypothermia," "asphyxiation," and "blunt force
injuries." These techniques constitute cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment and when used in combination or for
prolonged periods of time may amount to torture.
The well-documented systemic and widespread abuse against
detainees was the direct result of policies promulgated by
high-level civilian and military leaders and the failure of
these leaders to uphold their legal duty to prevent and prohibit
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by
subordinates. Thousands of detainees remain in U.S. military
custody or control in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo and other
locations, and remain subject to unlawful policies and practices
in violation of the Convention and other international human
E. Torture and Abuse in the United States (Articles
On the domestic front, the United States has failed to
correct laws and practices regarding supermax prisons, juvenile
detention, and the use electro-shock and restraint devices, as
recommended by the Committee Against Torture in 2000. The ACLU
is particularly concerned about the following issues:
- Inhuman conditions of confinement, including
inadequate medical and mental care: Cruel and inhuman
conditions of confinement continue to exist in various jails
and prisons, including supermax prisons, where prisoners,
many of whom are mentally ill, are confined in solitary
confinement for up to twenty-four hours a day. Medical and
mental health care in prisons throughout the U.S. remains
inadequate and has at times resulted in the deaths of
- Sexual abuse in prisons: Prisoner rape by other
prisoners and sexual abuse by correctional officers continue
to occur with impunity in U.S. prisons and jails.
- Restraint devices and electro-shock weapons: U.S.
law enforcement officials and correctional authorities
continue to use restraint chairs and electro-shock weapons
in ways that amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment. The deaths of 148 persons, from 1999 to September
2005, were attributed to Taser weapons.
- Children in prisons: Children under the age of
eighteen continue to be housed with adults in some
facilities. More than 2,500 juvenile offenders sentenced as
adults for crimes committed under the age of eighteen are
serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
- Mistreatment of non-citizens: In 2004, the
Department of Homeland Security detained more than 200,000
non-citizens in jails and prisons for violating civil
immigration laws. Reports of detainee mistreatment include
unsanitary conditions of confinement, deaths due to
inadequate medical treatment, and abuse by guards.
F. Inadequate Review of Interrogation Rules (Article
The Detainee Treatment Act instructs that detainees held by
the military must be treated in accordance with the U.S. Army
Field Manual 34-52 on Intelligence Interrogation.
A revised version of the manual, not yet made public, reportedly
prohibits the use of dogs, stripping, sleep deprivation, and
stress positions. These techniques were previously authorized by
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for use in Guantánamo, and
then "migrated" to Afghanistan and Iraq. The manual only governs
Department of Defense (DOD) personnel and not the CIA, although
it would reportedly cover detainees in DOD custody who are
interrogated by CIA officers.
G. Unlawful Renditions (Articles 1, 3, 16)
The U.S. has engaged in unlawful renditions in which
individuals are kidnapped and transferred by the government to
foreign intelligence services in countries that are known for
their routine use of torture for interrogation purposes, such as
Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. The U.S. has also
unlawfully rendered individuals to secret CIA detention centers
overseas where they are held incommunicado. Over one hundred
people have been transferred through unlawful rendition since
September 11. The U.S. transfers persons to another country when
the U.S. believes it is "more likely than not" that a person
will not be tortured in that country and relies upon diplomatic
assurances to assess concerns of torture. Given the record of
torture and lack of legal protections in many receiving
countries, these assurances are virtually meaningless. The U.S.
standard of "more likely than not" is a higher standard for a
person to prove than the "substantial grounds" for risk of
torture in the receiving country that is required by the
H. Failure to Conduct Prompt and Impartial
Investigations (Article 12)
The U.S. military has initiated and completed several
internal investigations into allegations of abuse in
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantánamo. The U.S. Report repeatedly
cites these investigations in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal
to showcase the government’s seriousness in responding to abuse
allegations. The investigations were compromised by the fact
that most of the investigations were conducted by the military
itself. The U.S. has refused to authorize any independent
investigation into abuses.
No high-level officials involved in developing or
implementing policies on the treatment of detainees in the
"global war on terrorism" have been charged with any criminal
activity related to the abuses. The U.S. government continues to
assert that the abuse was simply the actions of a few rogue
soldiers. There has been no investigation into the government’s
secret transfer of detainees and the Office of Inspector
General’s examination of the role of the CIA has not yet been
There have been few prosecutions for homicide compared to the
number of deaths of Afghans and Iraqis in U.S. custody. In most
of the official publicly-known actions taken in response to
allegations of abuse, the punishment has been non-judicial or
administrative. In cases where someone was convicted, the
punishment generally was not commensurate with the graveness of
the crime. For example, despite finding an army interrogator
(the highest-ranking officer prosecuted to date) guilty of
homicide, the punishment was a reprimand and a $6,000 fine.
In another instance, a soldier who admitted to killing an
unarmed handcuffed Iraqi at point-blank received a three-year
Such punishments send a message that torture and abuse committed
by U.S. soldiers will not be severely punished.
Domestically, the United States has no independent, effective
oversight bodies to monitor police departments, jails, prisons,
and immigration detention centers. State laws unduly restrict
access to prisoners by the media and non-governmental human
rights organizations. In the absence of an independent body for
monitoring prisons and jails, federal courts have become the
reluctant overseers. Conditions of confinement in jails and
prisons generally change only after protracted litigation and a
court order. In addition, the ability of courts to protect
prisoners and monitor prison conditions was weakened
significantly by the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"),
which created obstacles for prisoners attempting to file cases,
find lawyers, and obtain meaningful redress.
I. Limitations on the Rights of Redress and Remedy
(Articles 13, 14)
Serious limitations remain on the rights of redress and
remedy for victims of torture and abuse committed by U.S.
officials inside and outside of the United States. The rights of
prisoners inside the United States to obtain redress are
severely limited by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which
requires prisoners to exhaust protracted internal grievance
procedures, and which fails to provide a remedy for mental or
emotional injury without evidence of physical injury.
Victims of torture by U.S. officials outside the United
States face even greater obstacles. The U.S. government
continues to argue that victims have no remedy for torture and
abuse in United States’ courts under domestic or international
law. Most victims from Afghanistan and Iraq also have no remedy
in their home countries or countries of residence. For example,
Iraqi victims of torture cannot seek redress in Iraqi courts
against U.S. personnel under a blanket immunity agreement that
covers all U.S. personnel in Iraq.
J. Admission of Coerced Testimony (Article 15)
Both the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, which review the
status of detainees designated by the U.S. as "enemy combatants"
and held in Guantánamo, and the military commissions, created to
try non-U.S. nationals as "enemy combatants," allow for the
admission of coerced testimony. A new military commission
instruction that would purportedly prevent the admission of
evidence obtained under torture contains few safeguards to make
the prohibition meaningful and does not exclude evidence
exhorted under coercive interrogation techniques that fall short
of torture but are nonetheless prohibited under the Convention
K. Failure to Make Torture a Distinct Crime (Articles
The U.S. government has not made torture a distinct federal
crime, except for acts committed outside U.S. territory (18
U.S.C. § 2340A). Notably, despite evidence of torture committed
by some U.S. forces, no U.S. official has been charged under
this law. Following reports of torture and abuse, a few
low-ranking soldiers have been court-martialed for offenses
committed overseas under the Uniform Code of Military Justice
("UCMJ"). The UCMJ prohibits many acts such as assault, cruelty,
and murder, but fails to prohibit "torture" as a distinct crime.
L. Failure to Adequately Educate and Train Government
Officials (Article 10)
The U.S. government has failed to adequately educate and
inform relevant personnel involved in the custody and
interrogation of detainees about the absolute prohibition of
torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Rather,
selective interpretations of treaty obligations were adopted by
the U.S. to create vague and impermissible guidelines on
detainee treatment. Although the President in 2002 said that
detainees will be treated "humanely," the White House failed to
provide any guidance regarding the definition of inhuman
The government’s own investigations into abuse in Iraq and
Afghanistan and documents produced through the ACLU Freedom of
Information Act litigation show gross deficiencies in training
of U.S. personnel involved with detainees.
Government investigations concluded that soldiers and private
contractors were not given adequate guidelines for the humane
treatment of detainees, nor about acts prohibited by the Geneva
Conventions. In one case, soldiers reported that prior to
deployment in Iraq they did not receive specific training on
detainee operations in the field and were thus relying on
"techniques they literally remembered from the movies."
In some instances, soldiers were told that the "gloves need to
come off" in their treatment of detainees and that soldiers
should "beat the fuck out of detainees."
Recommendations to the United States
Withdraw reservations and understandings and make
- Withdraw reservation to Article 16 and understanding to
Article 1, which have been relied upon to limit the
definition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment, and to limit extraterritorial
application of the Convention Against Torture.
- Withdraw legal opinions that permit torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and
replace them with an interpretation that is consistent with
the Convention Against Torture.
- Make declarations according to Article 22 of the
Convention Against Torture to recognize the competence of
the Committee Against Torture to consider individual
Amend and enact laws to criminalize torture
- Amend 18 U.S.C. § 2340-2340A to define torture as
broadly as the definition provided in Article 1 of the
Convention Against Torture.
- Enact a new federal law prohibiting torture and cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment as defined by the Convention
Against Torture, and make it applicable in the United
- Amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically
to criminalize torture as defined by the Convention Against
Ensure access to all prisoners and detainees in U.S.
- Grant full access, including private visitation rights,
by United Nations’ independent human rights experts, the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and other
independent human rights monitors to all prisoners and
detainees in the custody of the United States.
- Grant all prisoners and detainees prompt access to legal
counsel, independent doctors, and relatives.
- Grant all prisoners and detainees access to courts to
challenge the legality of their detention. Presume detainees
captured on the battlefield during international conflicts
to be prisoners of war unless and until a competent tribunal
determines otherwise under the Geneva Conventions.
- End the use of military commissions.
- Grant all Guantánamo detainees a speedy and fair trial
before an impartial body, in accordance with internationally
recognized due process guarantees, or release them.
- Ensure compliance with international juvenile detention
and trial standards for child detainees.
End secret detentions
- Cease all secret detentions, including in all detention
facilities under the effective control of the United States.
- Hold all detainees only in officially recognized
detention facilities, disclose the location of all detention
facilities, and articulate the legal basis under which each
detainee is being held.
- Allow immediate and unfettered access to all secret
detention facilities by the ICRC and other independent human
- Clarify the whereabouts of all persons detained after
September 11, 2001 who are in the custody of the United
Interrogations must comply with human rights
- Ensure that all interrogation rules, instructions,
methods and practices prohibited by the Convention Against
Torture are not utilized by United States’ officials in any
End practice of unlawful renditions
- Immediately end practice of rendering individuals to
secret detention facilities or to countries where torture is
a serious human rights problem.
- Ensure effective judicial review of all transfers of
persons between the United States and other countries, and
prohibit transfers unless there are "substantial grounds" to
believe that a detainee will not be tortured if transferred.
- End reliance on diplomatic assurances to facilitate the
transfer of detainees to a country where there are
substantial grounds for believing that such persons might be
subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
Bring conditions of confinement into conformance with
the Convention Against Torture
- Ensure that all prisoners and detainees are confined in
conditions consistent with their human dignity. No prisoner
or detainee should be confined in overcrowded, dangerous,
filthy, or intolerably hot or cold cells.
- Ensure that all conditions of confinement at the
federal, state, and local level conform to the minimum
requirements of the United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules
for the Treatment of Prisoners and international juvenile
- Ensure that all prisoners and detainees have prompt
access to medical care in prisons and detention facilities,
including psychiatric and psychological care.
Prohibit long-term solitary confinement and sensory
deprivation of persons in custody
- End the practice of long-term solitary confinement and
sensory deprivation for all persons in confinement.
- Initiate a national review of the excessively harsh
regime and conditions in supermax facilities and the
criteria for transferring persons to such facilities.
Monitor and investigate the use of dangerous and
cruel restraint procedures
- Ban the use of Tasers by law enforcement officials and
correctional officers at the federal, state, and local
level, pending outcome of an independent inquiry into their
safety and use.
- Impose nationwide and enforceable standards, with
adequate medical supervision, on the use of restraint chairs
and pepper spray by law enforcement and correctional
officials at the federal, state, and local level.
Investigate and prosecute prison rape and sexual
- Investigate and prosecute all allegations of prison rape
and sexual assault.
- Strictly enforce federal and state criminal laws
prohibiting rape and sexual assault in prisons and other
Abolish life without parole for juveniles
- Abolish the sentence of life without parole for children
convicted of federal crimes. Enable child offenders serving
life without parole to have their cases reviewed by a court
for reassessment with the possibility for parole.
Amend or repeal the Prison Litigation Reform Act
- Amend or repeal the excessive requirement under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)that prisoners exhaust
all internal prison grievance before bringing a federal
- Repeal the PLRA’s requirement that prisoners must show
physical injury to prove mental and emotional injury.
- Develop means of central collection of statistical data
to ensure compliance with the Convention Against Torture in
U.S. prisons, jails and other detention facilities.
Prohibit the use of coerced testimony
- Prohibit the use of any evidence coerced as a result of
torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in any
civilian or military proceeding.
Conduct independent and prompt investigations of all
allegations of torture and abuse of persons in the custody
- Thoroughly and promptly investigate all allegations of
torture and abuse in United States’ prisons, jails and other
detention facilities, including all facilities under the
effective control of the United States.
- Establish an independent commission to investigate the
policies and practices that have led to the widespread and
systemic torture and abuse of detainees in United States’
custody in Afghanistan, Guantánamo, Iraq, and in secret
- Establish independent oversight bodies to investigate
complaints of torture and abuse by law enforcement and
correctional officers and to monitor conditions in all
prisons, jails, and detention centers in the United States.
Hold accountable all perpetrators of torture and
- Hold accountable all individuals, including government
officials, members of the armed forces, intelligence
personnel, correctional officers, police, prison guards,
medical personnel, and private government contractors and
interpreters who have authorized, condoned or committed
torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
- Prosecute crimes of torture and abuse as aggressively as
other criminal actions involving bodily or mental harm.
Provide human rights training to all government
- Provide information and training regarding the
provisions of the Convention Against Torture to all
government officials and private government contractors
involved in the custody of any person by the United States,
including members of the armed forces, intelligence
personnel, correctional officers, police, prison guards,
medical personnel, private contractors and interpreters, and
prosecutors and judges.
- Commit to a nationwide public education program
regarding the provisions of the Convention Against Torture.
U.S. Department of State, Second Periodic Report to the
Committee against Torture, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/48/Add.4 (June 2005)
("U.S. Report"), Sec. I, para. 4 (all references to the Annex to
the U.S. Report herein are to the updated Annex dated October
 Memorandum from Jay S. Bybee, Assistant Attorney
General, Office of Legal Counsel to Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to
the President, Re: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation
Under 18 U.S.C. §§ 23440-23440A (Aug. 1, 2002) (hereinafter
"Bybee, August 2002 Memorandum"), available at
 Dep’t of Defense, Working Group Report on Detainee
Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism: Assessment of
Legal, Historical, Policy and Operational Considerations,
Apr. 4, 2003 (hereinafter "Dep’t of Defense, Working Group
Report"), reprinted in The Torture Papers; The
Road to Abu Ghraib, at 289 (Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L.
Dratel, ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005).
 Responses from Alberto R. Gonzales (then Nominee for
Attorney General) to the written questions of Senator Dianne
Feinstein (Jan. 2005), excerpt available at
ENGAMR510832005?open&of=ENG-IRQ. See also Eric
Lichtblau, Gonzales Says Humane-Policy Order Doesn’t Bind
C.I.A., N.Y. Times, Jan. 19, 2005.
 Detainee Treatment Act, Department of Defense
Appropriations Act, 2006, Pub.L. No. 109-148, Div. A, Title X, §
1003, 119 Stat. 2739 (2005).
 In 2003, the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights,
Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and
Veterans for Peace filed a FOIA request seeking documents from
the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Justice, the
Department of State, the Department of Defense and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, concerning treatment of detainees in
U.S. custody in Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and Iraq. The
vast majority of documents were released only following
protracted and ongoing litigation and court orders directing
government agencies to produce documents. Stipulation and Order,
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation v. Dep’t of Defense,
No. 04-cv-4151 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 17, 2004), available at
eeOrderforResponsivedocs.pdf. The CIA has yet to release any
documents to the ACLU and this issue is currently before the
courts. See generally
for the Torture FOIA legal documents.
 U.S. Dept. of Army, Field Manual 34-52: Intelligence
Interrogation (Sept. 28, 1992) (hereinafter "Army Field Manual
34-52"), available at
 Iraq General’s Killer Reprimanded, BBC World
Service, Jan. 24, 2006.
 Gregg K. Kakesako, Schofield Soldier gets 3-year term
in Shooting, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Aug. 6, 2004.
 Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub.L. No. 104-134, 110
Stat. 1321 (1996).
 See generally Annex B (documents obtained
through ACLU Freedom of Information Act litigation regarding
treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo).
 Annex B49, Excerpt from Memorandum Re: 4th Infantry
Division Detainee Operations Assessment Trip Report (full record
 Annex B1-3, Excerpt from AR 15-6 Investigation Report
(full record available at
Annex B4-5, Excerpt from AR-15 Investigation Report (full
document available at
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