The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

George Tenet’s Torture Tutorial

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | April 27, 2009 | Kaleem Kirkpatrick

Forgive me if I’m going over ground other people have covered, but as I was going through the 2005 Office of Legal Counsel torture memos for something else, I came across a mention of something I didn’t think I’d seen put out there. Namely: George Tenet, the director of the CIA from 1997 to 2004, put out two pieces of guidance on January 28, 2003, about how the CIA was supposed to carry out its interrogation program. One’s called Guidelines on Interrogations Conducted Pursuant to the [REDACTED] and the other is called Guidelines on Confinement Conditions for CIA Detainees.

What did they say? Hints are found on page seven of the May 10, 2005 interrogation-techniques OLC memo. From Interrogations Guidelines:

Medical and, as appropriate, psychological personnel shall be physically present at, or reasonably available to, each Detention Facility. Medical personnel shall check the physical condition of each detainee at intervals appropriate to the circumstances and shall keep appropriate records. …

[i]n each interrogation session in which an Enhanced Technique is employed, a contemporaneous record shall be created setting forth the nature and duration of each such technique employed.

That would help explain why the CIA had 92 interrogation tapes to destroy.

Update: Aha! Over at dKos, drational — who’s been doing great work on this stuff — mentioned the Tenet memos in this post, which I should have seen this morning. Sorry D.

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