Blog of Rights


Document a Day: Looking for Cover

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 2:55pm
As protests over prisoner abuse mounted, top Bush administration officials produced new rounds of self-serving documents and legal opinions aimed both at preserving the torture program and protecting themselves from possible prosecution.

Document a Day: Not Even if Ordered

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:19pm

The FBI wasn't alone in rejecting torture. One of the most dramatic and stirring of all the torture documents, this Statement for the Record from the Navy's top lawyer, Alberto Mora, chronicles a rebellion within the Defense Department…

Document a Day: A Repentant Prosecutor

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:21pm

Another ringing denunciation from the inside — this one a declaration by a Guantánamo military prosecutor recounting his dawning awareness of the physical and due process abuses those he was assigned to prosecute had endured.


Document a Day: Interrogators Ordered This Treatment

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:23pm

This brief but vivid email sent by an FBI agent posted to Guantánamo gives a glimpse of the SERE techniques in action, and leaves little doubt that the techniques Albert D. Biderman described were in wide use at the…

Document a Day: Old Torture Made New

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:51pm

The torture techniques CIA and Defense Department interrogators used have a specific pedigree: they were developed and promoted by two psychologists who had worked for the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE)…

Document a Day: "If You Think This Is Tough..."

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 5:17pm

These four pages of handwritten notes from May 28 of an unknown year confirm that Mohammed al Qahtani’s brutal interrogation in Guantánamo — which we discussed yesterday — was no isolated incident. The notes…

Document a Day: The Plan Has Been Signed Off On

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:38pm

This email, dated October 1, 2002, announces the beginning of the interrogation of Mohammed al Qahtani in Guantánamo. As with the CIA’s torture of Abu Zubaydah, the Defense Department’s interrogators followed a plan…

Document a Day: Orchestrated Torture

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 5:35pm

In October 2006, four and half years after Abu Zubaydah disappeared into a CIA “black site” in Thailand, the International Committee of the Red Cross was finally allowed to visit him and 13 other “high value detainees…

Document a Day: Calling the Illegal "Legal"

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:25pm

This undated summary of legal advice provided by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) chronicles the systematic manner in which government lawyers authorized abusive interrogations for both the CIA and Department…

Document a Day: "We Need to Take a Deep Breath"

By Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 4:32pm

This remarkable email chain is from April 14, 2003. The original message, from a military interrogator in Iraq to all concerned (ALCON), announces “The gloves are coming off gentlemen regarding these detainees, [redacted] has made…

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