Army intelligence officials in Iraq developed and circulated “wish lists” of harsh interrogation techniques they hoped to use on detainees in August 2003, including tactics such as low-voltage electrocution, blows with phone books and using dogs and snakes ? suggestions that some soldiers believed spawned abuse and illegal interrogations.
Apparently these tactics were used on at least two prisoners, one of whom died and one of whom was badly beaten. Not everyone was happy about it:
A military intelligence staff sergeant who supervised the interrogators said a “fear up” approach had been approved for the interrogation. The unnamed sergeant wrote in a rebuttal to a reprimand that senior leaders were blurring the lines between official enemy prisoners of war and terrorists not afforded international protection.
“This situation is made worse with messages from higher echelons soliciting lists of alternative interrogation techniques and the usage of phrases such as ‘the gloves are coming off,’ ” he wrote.
….Another interrogator, with the 501st Military Intelligence Battalion, wrote a response to the headquarters e-mail with cautions that “we need to take a deep breath and remember who we are.” “It comes down to standards of right and wrong — something we cannot just put aside when we find it inconvenient,” the soldier wrote. “We are American soldiers, heirs of a long tradition of staying on the high ground. We need to stay there.”
That’s well said. Too bad there weren’t enough people listening.