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Attorney General

Lawyers Helped Set Detainee Routine in Painstaking Detail

Posted Aug 26, 2009 7:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Newly released CIA documents illustrate that lawyers helped oversee the smallest details of detention and interrogation for terrorism suspects.

The documents dispel the impression of CIA operatives run wild, according to the New York Times. Instead they make clear that the rules were “dictated from Washington with the painstaking, eye-glazing detail beloved by any bureaucracy.” Those setting the parameters were the lawyers, doctors and managers, the article says.

“From their Washington offices, they obsessed over the smallest details: the number of calories a prisoner consumed daily (1,500); the number of hours he could be kept in a box (eight hours for the large box, two hours for the small one); the proper time when his enforced nudity should be ended and his clothes returned," according to the story.

The American Civil Liberties Union obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act suit. Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU told the Times that the documents show why the Justice Department investigation of interrogations should be expanded. “Any investigation that began and ended with the so-called rogue interrogators would be completely inadequate,” he said.

Related coverage:

Washington Post: “CIA Releases Its Instructions For Breaking a Detainee's Will”

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