Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, Re: Application of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A to Certain Techniques That May Be Used in the Interrogation of a High Value al Qaeda Detainee [May 10, 2005]   [open pdf - 3MB]

This U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency was recently declassified and discusses the legality of torture and interrogations techniques. The following is taken from the memo: "You have asked us to address whether certain specified interrogation techniques designed to be used on a high value al Qaeda detainee in the War on Terror comply with the federal prohibition on torture, codified at I8 U.S.C. §§ 234Q-2340A. Other analysis of this question is controlled by this Office's recently published opinion interpreting the anti-torture statute. See Memorandum for James R Comey, Deputy Attorney General, from Daniel Levin, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: Legal Standards Applicable Under 18U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A (Dec. 30. 2004) ('2004 Legal Standards Opinion'), available at www.usdoj.gov. (We provided a copy of that opinion to you at the time it was issued.) Much of the analysis from our 2004 Legal Standards Opinion is reproduced below; all of it is incorporated by reference herein. Because you have asked us to address the application of sections 2340-2340A to specific interrogation techniques, the present memorandum necessarily includes additional discussion of the applicable legal standards and their application to particular facts. We stress, however, that the legal standards we apply in this memorandum are fully consistent with the interpretation of the statute set forth in our 2004 Legal Standards Opinion and constitute our authoritative view of the legal standards applicable under sections 2340- 2340A. Our task is to explicate those standards in order to assist you in complying with the law."

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