Thursday, March 17

ACLU Torture Case Against Rumsfeld Timeline

The Case Against Rumsfeld: Timeline (pdf)

October 11, 2002
Guantanamo officials “request that additional techniques beyond those in the field manual be
approved for use.”

December 2002
FBI officials complain to Defense Department of abuses at Guantanamo. Afghan detainees killed during interrogation in U.S. custody at Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan.

December 2, 2002
Rumsfeld prescribes new interrogation policy for Guantanamo, authorizing “stress positions,” hooding, 20-hour interrogations, removal of clothing, exploiting phobias to induce stress (e.g., fear of dogs), prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, and forced grooming. These techniques soon spread to Afghanistan and later to Iraq.

December 26, 2002
Washington Post reports reg-ular, systemic abuses at Bagram, including “stress and duress” techniques during interrogation.

January 2003
Judge Advocates repeatedly object to aggressive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo but “Pentagon officials ‘didn’t think this was a big deal, so they just ignored the JAGs.’”

January 15, 2003
Rumsfeld rescinds blanket approval of some techniques but indicates techniques may continue based on his individual case approval. Rumsfeld designates “Working Group” to assess legal, policy and operational issues for detainee interrogation in the “war on terrorism.”

January 24, 2003
Afghanistan Commander forwards list of techniques being used in Afghanistan, including some inconsistent with Army Field Manual, to inform Rumsfeld’s Working Group, including the use of dogs to induce fear, the use of stress positions, and sensory deprivation.

April 4, 2003
Working Group issues final report; recommends 35 interrogation techniques to Rumsfeld,
including techniques from Afghanistan inconsistent with Army Field Manual.

April 16, 2003
Rumsfeld approves 24 of the recommendedtechniques for use at Guantanamo, including
dietary and environmental manipulation, sleep adjustment, false flag and isolation.

April 16, 2003
Interrogation policy still in effect. No U.S. official above the rank of Major has been prosecuted.
Rumsfeld still not heldaccountable.

May 30, 2003
FBI reasserts its objections to Guantanamo interrogation techniques to Guantanamo commander.

May 2003
Red Cross reports 200 cases of alleged detainee abuse in U.S. custody in Iraq to U.S. Central Command.

June 2003 - June 2004
Afghan citizens Mehboob Ahmad, Said Nabi Siddiqi, Mohammed Karim Shirullah and Haji Abdul Rahman detained and abused at U.S.-held Kandahar and Bagram facilities.

July 2003
Captain of unit responsible for killing two detainees in Afghanistan proposes interrogation techniques for Abu Ghraib, including stress positions, removal of clothing, lengthy isolation, sensory and sleep deprivation and use of dogs. Lt. Gen. Sanchez approves techniques.

August 2003
Rumsfeld sends Guantanamo commander to Iraq to “gitmo-ize” Iraqi detention facilities, promoting wide-scale deployment of more aggressive interrogation methods in Iraq.

August 31 -September 9, 2003
Guantanamo commander brings policies to Abu Ghraib; uses techniques as “baseline” for
recommending new, harsher interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib.

July/August 2003 – June 2004
Iraqi citizens Arkan Mohammed Ali Al-Hasnawi, Dahi Mohammed Sabbar, Sherzad Kamal Khalid Al-Barwari and Ali H. detained and abused at various U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib.

September 2003
Lt. Gen. Sanchez authorizes 29 interrogation techniques for use in Iraq, including the use of dogs, stress positions, sensory deprivation, loud music and light control, based on Rumsfeld’s April 16 techniques and suggestions from captain of military unit formerly in Afghanistan.

October 12, 2003
Iraqi interrogation techniques modified but still authorize officers to “control” the lighting, heat, food, shelter, and clothing given to detainees and permit the use of dogs in interrogations with prior authorization.

October – December 2003
Torture and serious abuses of detainees take place at Abu Ghraib.

November 12, 2003
Human Rights First writes Rumsfeld as well as Afghan field commander requesting status
of investigations into the deaths of detainees in U.S. custody in Afghanistan in 2002.

December 2003
U.S. Army report details abuses committed against detainees in Iraq by task force of military Special Operations and CIA officers, known as Task Force 121.

January 13, 2004
Joseph Darby gives Army criminal investigators CD containing the Abu Ghraib photographs depicting detainee torture and abuses. Rumsfeld informed.

February 24, 2004
Red Cross issues confidential report to Coalition Provisional Authority documenting
widespread abuse and command failures to take corrective action.

February 26, 2004
Maj. Gen. Taguba completes investigation; reports of “systematic” and “sadistic,
blatant and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib.

April 28, 2004
60 Minutes II airs segment showing Abu Ghraib photos.

August 24, 2004
Rumsfeld-appointed panel reports Rumsfeld interrogation policy led to confusion in the field as to what techniques were authorized; also reports that civilian Defense Department leaders failed in their interrogation and detention duties.

May 2004
Abuse of detainees continues in Iraq.

March 2005
Pending investigative reports on detainee and interrogation operations (promised for delivery in summer 2004) still incomplete.

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