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Office of Legal Counsel Memo to CIA, May 30, 2002

Office of Legal Counsel Memo to CIA, May 30, 2002

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Published by: Washington Post Investigations on Apr 22, 2009
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OfficeofLeg
a!
Counsel
U.S.
DepartmentofJustice
0000011
/
;
"
O f f i ~
of
the
Principal
Deputy
Assistent
Atto1l1ey
~ l
May
30,
Z005
MEMORANDUM
FORJOHN
A.
RIZZOSENIORDEPUTYGENERAL
COUNSEL,
CENTRALINTELLIGENCEAGENCY
Re:
Application
of
UnitedStates
ObligationsUnderArtick<I6r;;fthe
Convention
Against
Ttmure
toCer/ain
Techniquesthat
May
Be
Used
intheInterrogationo/High
Vallie
at
Qaeda
Detainees
You
have
asked
usto
address
whether
certain"enhancedinterrogationtechniques"
employed
by
theCentralIntelligence
Agency
("CIA")
in
theinterrogation
of
highvalue
at
Qaedadetaineesare
consistent
with
United
States
obligationsunderArticle
16
of
the
UnitedNations
Convention
Against
Torture
and
Other
Cruei,!hhumanorDegradingTreatmentorPunishment,
Dec,
10,
1984,
S,TreatyDoc,No.
100-20,
1465
UNTS.
85
(enteree
into
f,)fCe
fOf
US.
Nov
20,
1994)("CAT"),Weconcludethatuse
ofthcsc
techniques,
subject
to
tbeCIA's
careful
screeningcriteria
and
limitations
and
its
medicalsafeguards,
is
consistent\'lith
United
StatesobligationsunderArticle
16,
I
By
its
terms,Article
16
is
Hmite,d
to
conduct
v.1thin
"territory
under[UnitedStates]jurlsdiction."
Wecondude
that
territory
underUnited
States
jutlsdiclion
includes,
'at
mosf,areas
J
Our
analysis
and
cOllcllJSfons
are
lintHCl:!
to
the
specifich:ga!issues
W((
address
in
th.ls
memQrandUliL
We
note
thllt
we
haveprev'iousiy
concluded
tlUll
useof
these
techniques,subject
to
the
limits
and
safeguards
required
by
Ute
interrogatiol11i1cogram,
does
notviolate
the
federal
prohibition
on
torture,
codifie&
at
18
US,C,
§§
2340-2340A.
See
Memorandumfor
John
A
Ri2.zo,
Senior
Deputy
General
Col.lnsel,
Centra1lntelIigence
Agency,from
StevenG.
Bradbury,PrincipalDeputy
AssistantAttorney
General,
Office
of
Legal
Counsel,
Re:
Application
of
18
U.S.
C
§§
2UfJ-234GA
(0
Certain
Techniques
that
Afay
Be
Used
inthe
Interrogation
a/a
High
Value
al
Qaeda
Detainee
(May
10,
20(5);
seealsQ
MemoranduUl
for
10hn
A
ruzzo,Senior
Deputy
GeneralCounsel,CentralIntelligence
Agency,from
Steven
G.
Bradb\ll)',
Principal
Deputy
Assistant
Attomey
Genera!,
Office
of
Lega!
Counsel,
Re:
Applicafion
of
18
U.S,C.
§§
234fJ·214(}A
tothe
Combined
Use
a/Certain
Techniques
in
the
Interrogation
a/High
Value
01
Qaeda
Detainees
(M3)'
W,
20(5)
(concluding
t!i;,t
the
anticipated
wl1lbincci
use
of
these
tedmiquc.s
would
tlQl
violatethefedemprohibition
on
torture),
The
legal
a.cJvlcc
provided
in
lhis
memorandumdoes
notrepresentthe
policy
viewsoftheDepartmentofJusticeconcerning
theuse
of
any
interrogation
meU,oos,
 
TOP;-tCRBTf
(
over
whic1i
the
United
States
exercises
at
feast
de
facto
authority
as
the
government.
Based
on
CIA
assurances,we
u n d e r s ~ a n d
that
the
interrogations
do
not
take
place
in
anysuch
areas.We
thereforeconclude
.that
Micle
16
is
inapplicable
to
the
CIA'sinterrogation
practices
and
that
thosepracticesthuscannot
violateArticie
16.
Further,
the
United
States
undertookitsobligationsunderArticle
16
subject
to
a
Senate
reservation,
which,
as
relevant
here,
explicitly
limits
those
obligations
to
"the
cruel,unusual
and
inhumane
treatment
...
prohibited
by
the
Fifth
Amendment,
..
to
the
Constitution
of
the
United
States:';!There
is
a
strong
argumentthat
through
this
reserVation
the
Senateintended
to
limit
the
scope
of
UnitedStatesobligationsunder
Artide
16
to
those
imposed
by
therelevant
provisions
of
the
Constitution.
As
construed
by
the
courts,
the
FiahAmcndment
does
not
apply
to
aliens
o u t s j d ~
the
UnitedStates.The
CIAhas
assured
us
thatthe
interrogation
techn.iques
are
not
usedwithin
the
United
Statesor
against
UnitedStatespersons,
includingboth
United
Statescitizens
and
lawful
permanent
residents.
Because
t b ~
geographiclimitation
on
the
face
of
Article
16
renders
it
inapplicabletotbe
CIA
interrogationprogramin
anyevent,we
neednot
decide
in
thismemorandumthe
precise
effect,
if
any,
aftheSenatereservation
onthe
geographicreach
of
United
Statesobligationsunder
Article
16.
Forthesereasons,we
conc!ude
in
Part
n
that
the
interrogation
techniqueswhere
andasusedby
theCIAarenot
subject
to,
and
therefore
do
not
violate,
Article
16.
Notwithstanding
these:
conclusions,
youhavealsoasked
whether
the
interrogationtechniques
at
issuewouldviolate
the
substantivesiandards
applicable
tothe
United
States
under
Article
16
if,
contrarytoourc.onclusiQuinPart
Ii,
thosestandards
didextend
totheCIAinterrogation
program.
Ai>
detailed
below
in
Part
ill,
therelevantconstraint
here,
assuming
Article
16
did
apply,
would
be
the
Fifth
Amendment's
pronrbitkm
'ofexeeuti
ve
conduct
that"shod'-s
the
conscience,"
TheSupreme
Court
has
emphasized
that
wheth.er
conduqt"shocks
the,
conscience"
is
a
highly
context-specific
and
fact-dependentquestion.The
Court,
however,
has
not
setforthwithprecision
Ii
specific
test
for
ascertainingwhetherconduct
can
be
said
to
"shock
the
conscience"
andhas
disclaimed
the
abilityto
doso.
Moreover,
there
are
fewSupre,rne
Court
cases
addressing
whether
conduct
"shocks
the
conscience,"
and
the
few
cases
ttlcrc
are
have
all
arisen
in
very
different
oontc"-isfrom
thatwhich
we
consider
here.
Forthese
reasons,
we
cannot
set
forthorapply
a
precise
test
for
ascertaining
whr:.-ther
conductcanbes.aidto"shock
theconscience."Nevertheless,
the
Court's"shocksthe
con;;cience"
casesdoprovide
some
signpoststhatcan
guide
our
inquiry,
Inparncular,
on
b;J.[apc.e
the
cases
are
be,st
read
torequire
a
determinaHon
whetherthe
(.enduct
is
'''arbitrary
in
theconstltutiOll.alsense,'''
County
of
Sacramcnto
v.
Lewis,
523
U.S.
833,846
(l998)(citation
1
TIlercservatiOI1provides
in
fall:
w : - - _ . · · ~ ~ _ ' ~ ~ ; ; ; · , ~ a t c . i l J ~ 1 t ~ : S t a t ~ m - - m - ~ l f ~ u f f i f f f t n r i ~ ~ c r A i t i S f c 1 ~ ; - ~ ~ ; · · = : ; · · · = = : : : i : = ' =
i..nh\J.luan,or
degrading
treatmentor
P \ l J t i s t , , ' n e n t , ~
only
insofar
as
thetenn
"cruel
inhuman
Qr
...
.
__
q e . . g : ~ : n . e l l t . J : ) C P \ . l 1 l j s h r n e n t ; L m e a n s i . h e ~ l ; u m r ~ W r M u m a r ; C ' t I ~ n e n t ~ ' - '
---
pUll.ish.tnOOt
prohibitedhy
theFLfth,Eighth,
andlof
Four1eenth
Amendnients
to
the
Constitution
of
the
UnitedStates,
136
Congo
Rec.
36198
(1990).
As
we
explain
below,theEighth
and
FOllileenth
Amendments
arc
notapplicablein
thiscontext.
.
T O P ~ R E T
2
 
omitted);that
is,
whether
it
involvesthe
"exercise
of
power
w'ithout
any
reasonable
Justification
in
theserviceofa
legitimate
governmental
objective,"
id.
«rqonduct
intended
to
injure
in
some
way
unjustifiable
by
any
governmentinterest
is
the
sort
of
official
action
most!ike!ytorise
to
the
conscience-shocking
leveL"
ld.
at
849.
Farfrom
beingconstitutionally
arbitrary,
the
interrogation
techniques
at
issuehere
are
employed
by
the
CrA
onlyasreasonably
deemed
necessaryto
protect
againstgravethreats
to
UnitedStates
interests,
a
determination
that
is
made
at
CIA
Headquarters,
with
input
fromthe
on-scene
interrogation
teaIU;c
pursuant
to
careful
screening
procedures
that
,et1."llre
tbattne
techniqueswHlbe
used
as
little
as
possible
on
asfew
detainees
as
possible.
Moreover,
the
techniques
have
beencarefuHy
designed
to
minimize
the'
risk
of
sti.fferjng
or
injury
and
to
avoid
inflicting
any
seriousorlasting
physical
orpsychological
harm.Medical
screening,
monitoring,
and
ongoingevaluationsfurther
lower
such
risk,
Significantly,
youhave
informed
us
that
UleerA
believesthat
this
program
is
largely
responsible
for
preventing
asubsequentattack
within
theUnitedStatesBecause
(heClA
interrogation
program
.is
carefully
limited
tofurthera
vital
government
interest
and
designedto
avoid
unnecessaryor
serious
harm,we
conclude
that
it
cannot
be
said
to
be
constitutionally
arbitrary.The
SupremeCourt's
decisions
also
suggestthat
it
is
appropriate
to
consider
whether,
in
light
of
"traditional
executive
behavior,
of
contemporary
practice,andthe
standards
of
blame
generally
applied
to
thenl,"
USe
oHM
techniques
in
theClAinterrogationprogram
"is
so
,egregious,
so
outrageous,
that
it
Inay
fairly
be
saidtoshock
the
contemporary
conscience,"
ld.
at
847
n.
8.
Wehavenotfound
evidence
of
tr:aditional
execuli
vo
behavior
or
<:ontemporary
practice
eithercondemningor
condoning
an
interrogation
program
carefullylimited
to
further
a
vital
governmentinterest
and
designedto
avoid
unnecessary
or
serious
harm.
Werecognize,
however,thatuseof
coerciveinterrogationtechniques
in
other
contexts-in
different
settings,
for
otherpurposes,or
absent
the
CIA's
safeguards-might
be
thought
to
"shock
the
conscience."
Cl,
Rochin
v.
California,
342U.S.
165,172
(1952)
(finding
that
pumping
the
stomach
oCa
crimina!defendant
to
obtainevidence"shocks
the
conscience");
U.S.
Army
FieldManual34-52'IntelligenceInterrogation
(1992)
("FieldManuaf
34-52")
(detailing
guidelines
for
interrogations
inthe
context.of
traditional
warfare);
Department
of
State,
Country
Reports
on
Human
Rights
Practices(describing
human-rights
abuses
condemned
by
theUnited
States).
We
believe,
however,that
each
oftbese
other
c.ontc)i;ts,
which
we
describemorefully
below,
differs
criticallyfrom
theCIA
interrogation
program
inways·thatwould
be
tlrrreasol1abJc,to
ignore
in
examining
whether
the
condqct
involved
ill
the
CIA
program
"shock[s]
the
contemporaryconsclence."OrdinarycriininaJ
i r r v e s t f g ~ t i o n s
within
the
United
States;
for
example,involve
fundamental]
y
different
government
inter¢.sts
end
implicatespecific
c.onstitutional
guarantees,
s u ~ h
asthe
privilege
againstself-incrimination,
that
are
not
at
issue
here.
Furthermore,
the
CIA
interrogationtechniques
bave
all
been
adapted
from
military
Survival,
Evasion,
Resistance,
Escape("SERE")
training.
Althoughthere
areobvious
differences
betweentraining
exercises
and
actualinterrogations,
tue
fact
that
theUnited
States
uses
sirnilar
techniques
on
its
owntroops
= ~ ~ = - ~ · · · · · · · ~ g = p t n " p ~ r t m g : l r s t ! : g g e s t s = t £ a t = I D e s e - - t ~ " . a r e c n { } ~ e g ~ o n d = t h ~ · ~ - = : : : :
pale.
Given
that
theCIA
interrogation
program
is
carefullylimited
to
further
the
Government's
paramountinterest
in
protectingthe
Nation
whileavoiding
unnecessaryor
seriousharm,we
conclude
that
the
interrogation
programcannot"be
said
to
shockthe
contemporary
c.onscience"
/'
TOPplfCRET
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