Part II of the Senate Armed Services Committee's inquiry into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody included additional testimony and documentation.
Senator Levin's opening statement said,
"In June 2008, this Committee held a hearing on the origins of aggressive interrogation techniques used against detainees in U.S. custody at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. At that hearing, the Committee heard how techniques such as stress positions, forced nudity, and sleep deprivation – used in military Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape or "SERE" training to teach U.S. personnel to resist abusive interrogations, and based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false confessions – were turned on their head and authorized at senior levels of our government for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody. Today's hearing will cover one way that those techniques made their way to Iraq.
While some have claimed that detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere were simply the result of a few bad apples acting on their own, at our June hearing we heard that as far back as December 2001, senior Department of Defense officials, including from General Counsel William J. "Jim" Haynes's office, sought out information from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), the DoD agency responsible for overseeing SERE training. We heard how, when he later reviewed a request from Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) to use techniques similar to those used in SERE training, Mr. Haynes ignored strong concerns from the military services that some of the techniques were illegal, cut short an effort by the Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to conduct a legal and policy review of the techniques, and recommended that the Secretary of Defense approve most of them for use against detainees. In December 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld approved Mr. Haynes's recommendation, sending the message that stripping detainees, placing them in stress positions, and using dogs to intimidate them was acceptable. Policies authorizing some of those same abusive techniques in Afghanistan and Iraq followed the Secretary's decision. We'll hear this morning how one military commander in Iraq sought and obtained interrogation support from JPRA, an agency whose expertise, again, is in teaching soldiers to resist abusive interrogations conducted by our enemies.
We'll hear from Colonel Steven Kleinman, the former Director of Intelligence at the JPRA's Personnel Recovery Academy and retired Colonel John R. Moulton II, former Commander, JPRA. Both witnesses have been cooperative with the Committee's inquiry and I thank them for their appearance here today."