Philippe Sands on Torture by U.S.

In his new book, TORTURE TEAM: RUMSFELD’S MEMO AND THE BETRAYAL OF AMERICAN VALUES, Philippe Sands draws on official documents and interviews with key players to explain how the U.S. Military went from interrogations strictly regulated by the U.S. ARMY FIELD MANUAL 34-52 to enhanced interrogations that included sleep deprivation, nudity, stress positions, and water boarding.

As Sands explains in an interview with Scott Horton in THE NEW REPUBLIC: “When the administration released the December 2002 and other memos, it told a story that essentially said this: The new interrogation techniques came from the bottom up and had nothing to do with policy decisions driven from the top. I wanted to explore the truth of that account, by trying to talk to as many of the people involved in the decision as I could.”

The narrative begins December 2, 2002, the day Donald Rumsfeld signed a memo from his legal counsel, William J. “Jim” Haynes. The memo, now referred to as “The Haynes Memo”, recommended blanket approval for 15 of 18 new interrogation techniques to be used in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility while not rejecting the others.

I highly recommend this interview:


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