Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are phrases that describe a George W. Bush administration authorization and use of certain severe interrogation methods including hypothermia, stress positions and waterboarding. These techniques were used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) in secret prisons, the Guantanamo Bay detention camps and Abu Ghraib on untold thousands of prisoners after the September 11 attacks in 2001 including notably Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Mohammed al-Qahtani.

Debates arose over the legality of the techniques—whether or not they had violated U.S. or international law or whether they constitute torture. The CIA destroyed many videotapes depicting prisoners being interrogated saying that what they showed was so horrific they would be "devastating to the CIA", and that "the heat from destroying is nothing compared to what it would be if the tapes ever got into public domain." The United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez firmly stated that waterboarding is torture — "immoral and illegal." and in 2008, fifty-six House Democrats asked for an independent investigation.

American and European officials have called "enhanced interrogation" a euphemism for torture. In 2009 both President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder stated certain of the techniques are torture, and repudiated their use. They declined to prosecute CIA, DoD, or Bush administration officials who authorized the program, while leaving open the possibility of convening an investigatory "Truth Commission" for what President Obama called a "further accounting."

Read more about Enhanced Interrogation Techniques:  History of Approval By The Bush Administration, Development of Techniques and Training, Initial Reports and Complaints, Public Positions and Reactions, Legality, Ban On Interrogation Techniques

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... into law, specifically clarifying that interrogations techniques be limited to those explicitly authorized by the Army Field Manual ... On February 13, 2008 the US Senate, in a 51 to 45 vote, approved a bill limiting the number of techniques allowed to only "those interrogation techniques explicitly ... in Langley to discuss "whether a ban on brutal interrogation practices would hurt their ability to gather intelligence", and among the consulted experts On January 22, 2009 President Obama signed an executive ...
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... Center, where he used those same techniques to find members of al Qaeda ... C.I.A employees and contractors took over the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and the F.B.I ... At that point, enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding were used on Abu Zubaydah ...
Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign, 2008 - Debates
... When Brit Hume asked about the use of "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" including waterboarding on captured terrorists, Romney replied that the real key is ... And Enhanced Interrogation Techniques have to be used - not torture, but enhanced interrogation techniques ...

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