Olc Ltr to Rizzo Re Four Interrogation Techniques 8-26-04
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USDOJ Seal u.s. Department Department of of Justice U.S. Office Office of of Legal Counsel Office Office of the the Assistant Attorney General [fushing/on, Washington, D.C. D.C.20530 20530 August 26, 2004 John A. Rizzo, Esq. Esq. Acting General Counsel Counsel Central Intelligence Agency Agency Washington, D.C. 20505 20505 Dear John: John: _ You have asked our advice regarding whether whether the use of of four particular interrogation techniques (dietary (d~ulation, manipulation, nudity, water dousing, and abdominal of would violate any United States statute slaps) in the ongoing interrogation ot~ould obligation of ofthe (including 18 U.S.c. U.S.C. § 2340A), the United States Constitution, or any treaty obligation the that a high-value al Qaeda operative who is believed United States. We understand that_a believed to information concerning an Imminent imminent terrorist terroris tthreat possess infonnation threat to the United States. This letter techniques outside territory subject confirms our advice that the use of these techniques~utside subject to United of these provisions. We will supply, at a later date, an States jurisdiction would not violate any of opinion that explains the basis for this conclusion. Our advice is based on, and limited limited by, the conditions: following conditions: ---!alhe use of these techniques will conform roode iJ_ The conform to: (i) the representations made in _letters letters to me of July 30,2004 30, 2004 (and attachment) and August 25, 2004; and (ii) the representations made by CIA officials, including representatives of of the Office Office of of Medical 13, 2004 meeting. Based on that meeting, we understand Services, during our August 13,2004 understand that ambient air temperature is the most important determinate for hypothermia in water water dousing. Additionally, we were informed that the Agency has based the safety safety margins set forth fonh in its water of of comparable water dousing procedures on experience with actual extended submersion in water 41 degrees may be used for short periods of temperature. Thus, although water as cold as 41 of time, of these factors and the comparatively slllilll small amount of water used, especially compared in view ofthese ofwater to submersion, we were advised that the dousing technique as it will be employed to employed poses virtually no risk of hypothermia or any other serious medical condition. We were further further advised advised that the dousing technique is designed to get the detainee's attention and it is not intended intended to cause, and does not cause, any appreciable pain. 2. There is no material change in the medical and psychological facts and assessments for ;' ,.;7 L., v- _in ~ ~ in the the attachment to your August 2 letter, and i~ugust in August 25, 2004, contraindications to the use of ofthese letter, in.eluding including that there are no medical ~chological or psychological contraindications these techniques as you plan to employ them on on_ 3. Medical officers officers will be present to observ~henever observe whenever water dousing and/or subject to dietary manipulation abdominal slaps are used and will closely monitor him while he is subject detentio~ (in addition to the normal monitoring orhim of him throughout his detention) to ensure that he does not that can sustain a normal sustain any physical or mental harm. This includes making sure tha~an body temperature after dousing and that his intake of of fluids fluids and nutrition are adequate. ugust 25, 25,2004, 4. We understand the statements in August 2004, letter that the measures are "designed ... to weake hysical ability and mental desire to resist weaken physical "water dousing sessions, in conjunction interrogation over the long run" (Letter at 3), and that ''water motivation to resist with sleep deprivation, facilitates in weakening a detainee's ability and motivation consistent with the prior representations we have received interrogations" (Letter at 4), to be consl'ltent received -i.e., these techniques are not physically painful and are not intended to, or expected to, cause any expected i.e.,· tcclmiques harm. Rather, they are intended to reduce desire to continue physical or psychological harm.. reduce~esire continue to counter-interrogation techniques he has been utilizing to date. Indeed, engage in the counter-interrogation Indeed. you subtle" than some of consider these four techniques to be "more subtle" of the interrogation interrogation measures used 3.) to date (Letter at 3.) ~ We express no opinion on any other uses of of these techniques, tCMlChniues, nor do we address any techniques other than these four or any conditions under which orr Department of o· Justice's usticc's other detainees are held. Furthermore, this letter does not constitute the Department policy approval for use ofthe of the techniques in this or any other case. Sincerely, ~- Daniel Levin Acting Assistant Attorney Attorney General