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Report: Wolfowitz Directive Gave Legal Protection to "Physiological Warfare" Experiments

A special investigative report by Joshua Holland and psychologist Jeffrey Kaye looks at how Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz "quietly loosened rules against human experimentation, an apparent recognition of legal problems regarding the novel strategies for extracting and evaluating information from the prisoners."

This "legal cover" was provided by the Wolfowitz directive: Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DoDSupported Research released on March 25, 2002.

According to Leopold and Kaye,

One former Pentagon official, who worked closely with the agency's ex-general counsel William Haynes, said the Wolfowitz directive provided legal cover for a top-secret Special Access Program at the Guantanamo Bay prison, which experimented on ways to glean information from unwilling subjects and to achieve "deception detection."

"A dozen [high-value detainees] were subjected to interrogation methods in order to evaluate their reaction to those methods and the subsequent levels of stress that would result," said the official.

A July 16, 2004 Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) report obtained by Truthout shows that between April and July 2003, a "physiological warfare specialist" atached to the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) program was present at Guantanamo. The CID report says the instructor was assigned to a top-secret Special Access Program.

This is a long report but I recommend it for anyone who, like me, still feels a thorn of injustice under the fingernails whenever I think about torture policies still being sanctioned by the United States.

Also see ACLU's website for articles and videos on their committment to restore the rule of law "because accountability for torture is a legal, political, and moral imperative."

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