White House Releases Files on Interrogating Detainees

The Bush administration releases scores of documents reflecting internal discussions about interrogation methods for U.S.-held prisoners believed to have connections to terrorism.

Documents on Detainees
The Bush administration has released a series of documents on the status and treatment of detainees captured in Afghanistan and in the war on terrorism. Below are some of those memos:

DOD Documents
Jan. 19, 2002, Memo from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the Status of Taliban and al Qaida Detainees

Oct. 11, 2002, Defense Dept. Joint Task Force Memo on Interrogation Techniques

Oct. 25, 2002, U.S. Southern Command Memo Endorsing Joint Task Force Recommendations on Interrogation Techniques

Dec. 2, 2002, Rumsfeld Memo Approving Interrogation Techniques

Jan. 15, 2003, Rumsfeld Memo on Establishing a Working Group on Interrogation Issues

April 16, 2003, Rumsfeld Memo Approving Interrogation Techniques for Detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba



DOJ Documents
Jan. 22, 2002, Justice Dept. Memo to White House, Defense Dept. on Effect of International Treaties, U.S. Laws on Taliban, Al Qaeda Detainees in Afghanistan

Feb. 1, 2002, Letter from Attorney General John Ashcroft to President Bush on Afghanistan Detainees

Feb. 7, 2002, DOJ Memo to the White House on the Status of Taliban Forces Under the Geneva Convention

Feb. 26, 2002, DOJ Memo to the Defense Dept. on Interrogation of Afghanistan Detainees

Aug. 1, 2002, DOJ Letter to the White House on Interrogation Methods in the War on Terrorism

Aug. 1, 2002, DOJ Memo to the White House on Standards of Conduct Under U.S. Law (Bush aides have subsequently disavowed this memo.)


The release comes as the administration makes its case that it never gave approval for the torture or abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan or Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Hear NPR's Robert Siegel and NPR's Jackie Northam.

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