The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


DoD Seal U.S. Department of Defense>
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Transcript
Presenter: Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, III, Director, Navy Staff; Matthew Waxman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs; Colonel Pete Champagne, Army Deputy Provost Marshal; and Tom Gandy, Senior Human Intelligence Officer, Army Military Intelligence Staff Thursday, March 10, 2005 2:10 p.m. EST

Department of Defense Briefing on Detention Operations and Interrogation Techniques

An executive summary of the results ofthe Department of Defense review of detention operations and interrogation techniques can be found at d20050310exe.pdf

MR. WHITMAN: Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us this afternoon. As you know, Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, the director of the Navy Staff, just completed testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the review of DOD detention operations and detainee interrogation techniques, known more widely as " The Church Report." He's here to share his thoughts with you today about this very comprehensive body of work that he's done.

Additionally, today we have a number of other department and Army officials that are joining him that are going to address some of the many reforms that we've made in detention operations, as well as the importance of interrogations in the global war on terror. Joining him will be Mr. Matthew Waxman, who is the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for detainee affairs; Colonel Pete Champagne, who is the deputy provost marshal for the Army; and Mr. Tom Gandy, who is the senior human intelligence officer for the Army's military intelligence staff. They will talk to you about the action plans for the recommendations that have been made out of the many investigative works that have been done over the many months, and the various lines of inquiry that the department has undertaken since these abuses came to light.

We'll start with Admiral Church. We will have our other officials make a brief statement to you also, and then we will go to our questions. With that, Admiral Church. Thank you.

ADM. CHURCH: Thank you. About 10 months ago the secretary of Defense tasked me with some very specific things. First, to review the interrogation techniques, all the interrogation techniques which were considered, authorized, employed or prohibited throughout the global war on terror; to document those techniques in terms of migration -- what had migrated and where; to review DOD's support to, or participation in, any activities of non-DOD agencies; to work closely with and support the independent panel chaired by the Honorable James Schlesinger, which we did and worked very closely with.

Implicit in that tasking was to determine whether and, if so, to what extent, the nature and migration of interrogation techniques contributed to detainee abuse. And during the course of the investigation, our scope expanded, and we looked at a number of other issues involving ICRC, medical contractors, interrogators and others.

I believe this investigation was thorough and was exhaustive. We conducted over 800 interviews, the majority of which resulted in sworn statements. Interviews or written statements were taken from senior civilian and military leaders in the Pentagon. We reviewed several thousands of pages of documents. We did leverage all the other ongoing or completed investigations -- excuse me. We carefully analyzed the 70 cases of detainee abuse that had been completed as of 30 September last year. And that effort was to determine was there any impact of the authorized interrogation techniques.

Lest I not emphasize it, I want to give you just a few points and backdrop that in the process of this investigation it became very clear to me and to my team the importance of intelligence on the global war on terror and the importance of human intelligence as a subset of that.

It's been said many times, but I'll emphasize again, the overwhelming majority of our service members have served honorably under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions.

And finally, the vast majority of detainees have been treated humanely and appropriately. In those few instances where they weren't, it's been investigated.

My key findings: There was no policy that condoned or authorized either abuse or torture. There was no linkage between the authorized interrogation techniques and the abuses that in fact occurred. We did identify some problems with the development, promulgation, dissemination of interrogation techniques, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we did note a lack of field-level guidance for the interaction of DOD and CIA personnel -- that, again, consistent with some previous reports.

We also, with the benefit of hindsight, identified a couple of missed opportunities, the first of those being the lessons of previous conflicts were never clearly communicated to the field, particularly the risk in dealing with detainees, and no specific guidance on interrogation techniques were given to the theater in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we think that would have been beneficial.

A couple other points. Of the 70 closed cases as of 30 September 2004, six were deaths, 26 were what we called serious abuse, and 38 were what we classified as minor abuse. There are several different breakdowns of these abuse cases. We note that a third of these occurred at the point of capture. And we also note that 20, in the expanded definition of interrogation-related, could in any way even be considered to be related to interrogation. And again, none of those led to the abuse that we've all seen.

We were aware of the FBI document of July of last year that talked about instances at Guantanamo Bay. Two of those instances have been investigated, and a third was under investigation as soon as that memo was received by the Army Criminal Investigation Division. I know there's two investigations ongoing, one by SOUTHCOM and one by the current Naval Inspector General looking at all these documents. And I'll be happy to entertain questions if you have any on that later.

I think we're going to come back to questions, if I understand the format. Thank you.

MR. WAXMAN: I'm Matthew Waxman, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs. My office, the Office of Detainee Affairs, was created in July of last year to advise the secretary on detention policy and strategy and to serve as a focal point for detainee matters within the department. Admiral Church has briefed you on his investigation findings, and I'd now like to just say a few words about what the department has been doing to improve detention operations.

U.S. forces will continue to wage the war on terrorism aggressively, including capturing, detaining and interrogating enemy fighters.

That said, we are also committed to the humane treatment of all individuals in our custody. These two objectives -- effective and aggressive pursuit of terrorists, and the humane treatment of detainees -- are not mutually exclusive, they're mutually reinforcing.

All together, the 10 major reviews, assessments and investigations undertaken by DOD have produced over 400 specific recommendations for improving detention operations, many of which DOD has already implemented. We recognize that policy, doctrine and organization must change, and that we require tactics, techniques and procedures that are effective in the current operational environment.

We have a process in place to formally address every recommendation of each major report, investigation or inspection, and this process involves not only the Office of the Secretary of Defense, but the Joint Staff, the combatant commands, the military services, as well as the intelligence community and the legal community. Admiral Church's report recommendations will be incorporated into that process.

And among the many fixes DOD has already implemented are -- to name just a few: improvements to doctrine and training, which my Army colleagues can speak to. The combatant commands have improved facilities and procedures in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. And DOD has instituted new procedures for handling reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

As I say, Admiral Church's findings will be extremely useful as we continue this process of improvement.

Thank you.

COL. CHAMPAGNE: Good afternoon, and thank you for your interest in this story. My name is Colonel Peter Champagne. I'm the deputy provost marshal general on the Army staff. The provost marshal general is the action agent on the Army staff for the secretary of the Army, who's the DOD executive agent for detainee operations policy.

I note that some of you in the audience today were also at the hearing. And I'd just like to start off my remarks by just noting that one of the senators today said you need to put this issue in proper context. When you consider the fact that we've had about a million servicemen deployed over the last couple of years in the global war on terrorism, and there's only been about 300 cases of detainee abuse, and we've handled over 70,000 detainees, that equates, if you do the math, to less than one-tenth of 1 percent. Of course the department doesn't condone any incident of abuse, and we're aggressively pursuing any allegation of abuse.

One thing to note, I think, is that the focus on the abuse really does overshadow the efforts that these service men and women are performing on a daily basis. Obviously, in the global war on terrorism they continue to serve with honor and distinction. And the service men and women who committed some of these abuses are certainly not characteristic of the great majority of whom that serve with distinction and honor every day in the cause of freedom.

And more importantly, I think, the focus on the abuse really overshadows what the department, and specifically what the Army has been doing over the last couple of years, even before we saw those photos at Abu Ghraib. And when you take a look at the period from April to December of '04, and you look at the incidence of reported abuse, there's a decrease of over 80 percent. And you might ask yourself, what contributed to that decrease? And Matthew Waxman indicated a few changes that have taken place in policy, doctrine and training, and I'd just like to take a second now just to highlight a couple of those that the Army has undertaken.

First of all, we're clarifying policy, specifically the policy as it pertains to the role of the military police, soldier and military intelligence. Our policy is spelled out in Army Regulation 190-8. That regulation is under revision, and it clearly specifies the role of military police. Military police do not actively participate in interrogations. The current or the old 190-8 did not spell that out very specifically, so we wanted to certainly clarify that. So we're clarifying policy. We also clarified, for example, the reporting time line for any ICRC reports. And also, we've clarified command and control. So we think that's very important.

Also, we've trained over 16,000 soldiers. We've done this through developing some training support plans and packages. We've used mobile training teams that have gone out across our Army and trained all components. We've embedded within our basic training environment, non-commissioned officer education system, and professional military education system the lessons that we're learning on a daily basis, that we've uncovered through detailed review and analysis of the 10 reports that have just been mentioned. And more importantly, within all of these training environments we're really stressing five core, basic functions: values, ethics, leadership, the law of war and Geneva Convention.

We're expanding doctrine from two publications to eight. Now, we're not doing that because of the abuse, we're doing that because our soldiers have found themselves in a very challenging and new environment, and as a result of that, we've needed to expand doctrine to take into consideration, for example, how our enemy is adapting to our techniques, tactics and procedures.

And another significant change that has taken place -- and this change started well before Abu Ghraib -- was the initiative to add additional military police force structure to the active component inventory. And I'm happy today to indicate that there's over 35 military police units that will be added to the force structure between now and '08. And this will certainly help the Army continue to provide the combatant commander with trained and ready soldiers.

Another significant factor that I believe that led to a significant decrease in reported abuse is the fact that we've decreased the guard-to-detainee ratio. At Abu Ghraib it was approximately 1 to 75, and now today it's 1 to 8. That's a significant improvement. And as Matthew indicated, there's a well documented, now institutionalized process within the Army to review in a very comprehensive manner all the findings and recommendations in this report. And for the Army, that equated out to about 200 actionable tasks that we work on a daily basis to implement, short- and long-term solutions. And we do this in concert, of course, with our counterparts on the Joint Staff and OSD, and we believe we've made significant progress, and we continue to do so. We remain focused.

Thank you.

MR. GANDY: Hello. My name's Tom Gandy. I'm the Army G-2 director of HUMINT. HUMINT intelligence, human intelligence and interrogation as a subcomponent remain very critical aspects of our war on terrorism and our fights in Afghanistan and Iraq. Even before Abu Ghraib began, we began a doctrinal scrub of our HUMINT, our interrogation training. And once Abu Ghraib occurred, we kind of yanked back that scrub, took another re-look at it, have gathered, as Colonel Champagne has said, all the lessons learned from the many reports and studies and our own investigations, and re-wrapped that doctrine. The new FM is about ready to come out; the date is certainly within the next month or two, barring some editorial changes. And in that doctrine you're going to see the interrogation techniques closely wrapped together with safeguards in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

So, we found our -- in some of our studies and some of our studies that the interrogators knew the Geneva conventions, they knew their interrogation techniques, but they sometimes had trouble connecting the two. So we've taken a very active step to make sure that in the technique A that the Geneva Convention safeguards are trained right side-by-side with that. In the same vein, we're also going to develop and put into an annex to this information left and right boundaries for each interrogation technique, so that interrogators have very specific guidance on which techniques they can and can't use and the context they can use them, so that the probability or the possibility of those ever -- those folks ever stepping over the line, it'll be very, very narrow.

Now, for those times when they get close to the line, we've also made significant improvements in the oversight on interrogations -- enforcing the discipline of interrogation planning, oversight, monitoring of interrogations. You may recall from some reports the chain of command wasn't as active as it should have been. We've made corrections within the chain of command to ensure leaders are involved in interrogations, beginning to end. And we've improved all those oversight techniques.

As Colonel Champagne mentioned earlier, we've also improved training quite a bit, not just soldier training on interrogation, but also leader training for noncommissioned officers and officers; leader training at the senior levels, so the senior officers understand their responsibilities in terms of oversight of interrogations. And we've conducted this training, as Colonel Champagne also said, at the schoolhouse, at places where units prepare for deployment, and even overseas. We have what we call mobile training teams, and we send them out to places where interrogations are being conducted to see, to check, to see how the training's taking; what lessons are occurring, are taking place and which ones aren't; and to make -- take immediate action to fix any discrepancies or shortfalls they see in training. So we've taken a whole lot of steps.

Another portion of our oversight is to make sure that the doctrine and -- that we find at the joint level and the doctrine that we find at the Army level is one and the same, the words are the same, the procedures are the same; they're very well synchronized. So an interrogator or a leader implementing interrogation facility will look at one doctrine and the other, and it'll be as identical as possible with respect to -- the only differences between the echelon of the doctrine. The joint doctrine might be in a joint environment, the Army doctrine in an Army environment, but by and large, they're identical processes and procedures for conducting interrogations.

We've also clearly defined and we're training the role of interrogators with respect to military policemen. They're both key components of effective interrogation operations, and they must work together, and yet they can't assume each other's functions. And we've worked very closely with the Military Police School and the Military Intelligence School to make sure each discipline understands their lanes, their responsibilities and their -- and each other's rules. We have instantiated in interrogators the need to report violations when they see it, and we've trained them in how to do that in multiple different paths, so that if one path appears to be blocked to a soldier who -- he may have seen something he's uncomfortable with, that there are plenty of other paths for the interrogator to report what they believe to be improper techniques being used.

We've also trained people and established procedures and policies with respect to the other government agencies operating within detention facilities. So the bottom line is, other government agencies will follow DOD policies and procedures while in DOD facilities, and that includes the observation of the interrogations, the interrogation planning and everything else. And the other governmental agencies have agreed with this policy -- these policies also.

Thanks very much.

ADM. CHURCH: Okay. How does this work? Left to right, front --

Q Admiral, have you shown this report to Secretary Rumsfeld and/or have you briefed him? And as an inspector general, you get complaints about conflict of interest from time to time. You are subordinate to the secretary of Defense. Isn't there that possibility that somebody could come up or -- wouldn't you be in an extremely uncomfortable position if you found evidence that actually did question some of the policies emanating from the secretary's office?

ADM. CHURCH: To the first question, I briefed Secretary Rumsfeld on my findings. So I have done that.

Secondly, I think the reason I was picked to do this was because I was an inspector general and because they wanted an independent look.

I clearly got that sense from the secretary that that's what he wanted, an independent look at how all this transpired. And to your premise that that put me in a conflicting position, the answer is no. Whatever I found, I found. The facts were the facts. You might -- and some people will, particularly those who haven't read the investigation -- might question the conclusions, but what I found I reported.

Q Admiral, you all stress how valuable HUMINT, or human intelligence, is. And yet we know that, based on the adversaries and some of the mindset of the people that you've taken as detainees, that it's perhaps the most difficult situation in our history. How do you manage to do this without crossing the line? How can you get information from these people who apparently are so unwilling to give anything at all?

ADM. CHURCH: Well, that's the debate we need to have. A number of other investigations have pointed out that direct questioning, you know, generally is the best technique and is the one that often, as you build rapport, works the best. But to your point specifically, many of the adversaries in the global war on terror are trained to resist our techniques, so this is what --

Q (Off mike.)

ADM. CHURCH: Well, this is exactly what led us down the path, the military commanders and the leaders, to look at how we could work within the limits of the law to get the actionable intelligence we needed to prevent further casualty, which we've done to some extent.

I want to defer to maybe Tom on that, because you've asked a good question.

MR. GANDY: That's a great question. And as the admiral said, that's a debate we must have.

We authorize interrogators to use certain techniques to certain limits. And when those techniques are unresponsive, then we tell them they have to cease and we have to back off and go on to basically better sources of information where the techniques do work. In some cases, for instance, of the hardest core of folks, only time and patience will tell. Sometimes not paying attention to people, not giving them -- pressing them very hard, can be valuable. And there are some techniques, without being abusive, that you can use in a longer-term setting to get people to cooperate.

Q Can you give us examples of a couple? Are we talking about wet-boarding or --

MR. GANDY: Oh, no. No, no, no. No, I'm talking about non- abusive techniques. For example, there are examples of some of these folks have egos, strong egos, and simply ignoring them will make them want to talk. And part of this is making them want to talk, even about anything. In other cases, there are stories, there are anecdotes where people of certain professions appreciate discussions about their profession, just not related to the war on terrorism or anything, but that opens up a point where interrogators can build rapport and also establish a kind of a carrot, that says, hey, we can continue to discuss your profession, the technical aspects of it, but, you know, we need some cooperation in return.

Q Admiral, several -- the -- in the questioning before Capitol Hill today, you agreed with the statement that your report exonerated policy. But you also in your report found some failures, and you called them missed opportunities. Specifically you said that there'd been no guidance for interrogation techniques promulgated for Afghanistan or Iraq, either to or by the U.S. Central Command; and that there was no field level guidance for the interaction of DOD and other government agency personnel. Who's responsible for those failures and missed opportunities? And are they going to be held accountable?

ADM. CHURCH: Let me go back to your first premise, which -- that we had exonerated policy. I don't remember that, but I -- that may have been words --

Q Senator Warner held up the Washington Post and read the headline --


Q -- and asked you whether you agreed with it, and you said that the policy -- I think your response was the policy does not contribute to the abuse.

ADM CHURCH: Thank you, because that's what I was -- "exonerating" is never a word that I used. And what we found -- what the facts of the investigation found were that as you looked at -- and this is critically important -- as you look to analyze all 70 of the completed investigations, there was nothing in there, any of them, that talked, that used, that referenced any interrogation techniques whatsoever, which drove us to the conclusion.

Now, to your second question, missed opportunities. Missed opportunities I think probably you can equate to lessons learned. These are things that had something been -- you know, in perfect hindsight, had something been done different then there may have been a different outcome. But I don't think you can hold anybody accountable for a situation that maybe if you had done something different, maybe something would have occurred differently. It's a lesson learned that we need to capture and think about for the future.

Q But when you say -- when you find that they didn't give guidance for how to interact with other government agency personnel, and then as you testified today that results in somebody falling through the cracks, isn't that a failure, and shouldn't someone be held accountable for that? Isn't someone responsible?

ADM CHURCH: That's a -- I don't remember specifically that was a missed opportunity. We did -- that was one of the findings, that there was no guidance issued to the field, that how you would operate that. But I don't know -- you know, I don't know who you would have assigned responsibility necessarily to do that. I think previously -- I didn't look at Abu Ghraib, so let's be clear. I leveraged the other investigations. The primary investigation of Abu Ghraib was General Fay. And, Tom, you can answer that, because they specifically addressed that issue, that somebody should have done that.

Q But, sir, with all due respect, what it sounds like you're saying is that bad things happen, but no person or policy is responsible.

ADM CHURCH: No, I'm saying that bad things happen and that people are -- you know, there's follow-up criminal investigation of misconduct where abuses happen. Then you start looking at were policies somewhat deficient or with perfect hindsight, you know, had we known that ghost detainees, as we say, was going to happen, had -- could somebody have maybe thought about that and issued a policy, I think you start going down a -- you, a road.

Q Isn't that kind of shying away from pinning responsibility on anyone? You never -- you used this phrase "missed opportunities". Why don't you just say there was a failure? Why don't you say it straight out, it was a failure, and assign responsibility, like the Schlesinger panel did? I mean, why --

ADM. CHURCH: Well, as you know, Eric, we worked hand-in-glove with the Schlesinger panel. In fact, we reviewed their report. All their data came from our database. And I've said a couple times that we concurred with the findings of the Schlesinger panel. And they were very clear on responsibility.

Let's go back to what was the tasking here. A lot of people would like this -- you know, this investigation to be a lot of things that it wasn't. It was to document and catalogue all the interrogation techniques, the migration, what was used, what wasn't used. And the report's 378 pages long, and it does that. And we expanded that. I think the areas of responsibility are, you know -- you know, well covered. But you -- you know, when you get in -- you get into the next step, well, you know, could we have, in looking back, have issued guidance? I thought I was clear in my report. And I said, you know, with hindsight I think guidance should have been issued to Afghanistan and Iraq either by the central commander or higher authority. That's the same thing that the Schlessinger panel found, so I'm not in -- you know, I'm in concert with that.

(Cross talk.)

Q Admiral, you made a reference to "ghost detainees". Actually it says on the documents that they've recently gotten -- suggests there was a memorandum of understanding between the Army and the CIA about how they would handle ghost detainees. Was there such a memorandum of understanding?

ADM. CHURCH: I don't believe -- I have no knowledge of that memorandum.



Q You did find that there were ghost detainees.

ADM. CHURCH: Yeah. The -- as I say in the report, and it may be in the unclassified summary, I can't remember, the CIA actually worked with us on that and cooperated with us. And between the two of us, we figured there were about 30 detainees, I think the longest one for a period of about 45 days.

You needed to elaborate, Tom.

MR. GANDY: Just real quick, I was -- served as General Fay's deputy on the Fay report investigation. And one of our findings was -- and this was after exhaustive research; not as much as, perhaps, as Admiral Church's research -- that there was -- that we could not find an agreement with MNFI or the OGA. And one of the fixes we -- that we have had put in place is to have a very specific policy with -- pertaining to the role of OGA inside the facilities. And in hindsight, 20/20 hindsight, knowing what we know now, we would have liked to probably seen something like that before. But we couldn't find it. So the -- whatever, the allegation that there was an agreement I think is not true, at least in my investigation or the investigation I did with General Fay.

MR. WHITMAN: You've been very patient.

Q Admiral Church, what do you say to the human rights groups who are today calling your report a "whitewash," and are asking for an independent investigation into the detainee abuse issue?

ADM CHURCH: Well, first of all, no one has read my report, so I would challenge you. I expect to be challenged on the conclusions of the report, and I've already talked about the responsibility which was done by the Schlesinger panel. But after 800 interviews -- excuse me -- yeah, 800 interviews, several thousand pages of documents that we reviewed over nine months, many under sworn -- many were sworn-to interviews, all senior deputy secretary of Defense, the vice chairman -- no one -- I don't believe anybody can call this a whitewash.

The facts are what the facts are. I was an independent investigator, an IG. I took that very seriously. I've answered that question already, that had the facts and the documentation led me to a different conclusion I would have made that conclusion.

So my sense is that anybody who's unhappy with the report -- and I was very sorry to see anybody use that word -- is unhappy with the findings. So that's my personal view, and maybe that's what you were looking for.

Yes, sir?

Q Admiral, as the principal author of this report, I'd like to ask your opinion. You referenced the fact that the actual report is several hundred pages long. In your opinion, is there any reason if the classified parts were removed that it could not be released in full and not endanger national security? The Pentagon said it's not going to be released.

ADM CHURCH: Let me refer to someone who understands the DOD policy.

Q Aside from DOD policy, I want to know your opinion as the person who wrote the report. Is there anything in it -- is there any reason it couldn't be reported -- released? I'm not saying whether it should -- that's another question. But could it be, without damaging national security?

ADM CHURCH: It would have to be heavily redacted, in my view. Most of it is classified.

Q Without -- okay, redact the classified material, it could be released?

ADM CHURCH: I -- I would have no -- I don't -- I think that would be fine, sure.


Q Two questions. In your report you talked -- you mention that in January General Casey tightened or changed the rules of interrogation. Could you elaborate on that, especially how they've changed since the last round of interrogation guidelines that we've seen?

And also just a numbers question. When you broke down the serious and the not-so serious abuses, how many of those abuses are covered in the Abu Ghraib scandal and how many are outside? I don't know how you count up those incidents.

ADM CHURCH: Well, we try to walk through it in the larger report, because General Fay had 44, and they didn't cross necessarily to the -- what the criminal investigation piece was doing. In the 70 that were completed, most of Abu Ghraib, it was -- there were still open cases as of 30 September.

Q So as we report these 70, we should say that most of the Abu Ghraib cases are not included in that?

ADM. CHURCH: No, I think there may have been a couple investigations completed. Of course, the follow-on legal proceedings hadn't accomplished -- but I think a couple of them were, but I can't remember exactly.

Q And General Casey's new interrogation --

ADM. CHURCH: You know, that happened in January, after we were in actually final draft. Tom, can you talk -- I know generally -- and I read it real quickly one time that, you know, he -- as I understand it, he went back pretty much towards doctrine and tightened up some ambiguities that he felt may be lingering from the prior guidance. But I think you need to ask General Casey or maybe, Tom, you might know --

MR. GANDY (?): I think you hit it, sir.

ADM. CHURCH: Thank you.


Q Admiral, you say that you already got help from the CIA with respect to Iraq. Why did they not give you information on Afghanistan, Guantanamo?

ADM. CHURCH: Well, the -- what I was tasked to do was to look at how DOD interfaced with the OGA, which is primarily CIA. That happens in two places, happens at Gitmo. And we're -- we know what goes on there, and we had good documentation. But it also happens in Iraq, where we have a lot of interface, and DOD provides much of the logistical support to the CIA in Iraq. And at the time, we were also looking very closely at the issue of ghost detainees. In Afghanistan, Bagram and Kandahar, the two internment sites, are strictly DOD-run. And the CIA has independent operations in Afghanistan.

So -- please.

Q Admiral, talking about how thorough the investigation was, you were basically done in December when the reports came out with FBI agents reporting that they saw abusive conduct in Guantanamo. So how thoroughly did you look into those reports that came out of that FOIA case in December? Because there were a number of FBI agents, and I think you said this morning you talked to some of the investigators in that, but not the agents themselves.

ADM. CHURCH: We had a memo that I think you've seen, dated July of last year, that is the basis for most of the e-mails that talked about three incidents. And we were quickly able to correlate two. One, CID had initiated an investigation on.

Subsequent to the completion of our report, as you said, there were additional allegations in the FOIA document, which of course we didn't have access to. So the Southern Command has now looked -- looking into that. The current Naval inspector general is looking at all the FOIA/FBI documents.

Last Friday I had General Furlow in and the Naval IG in to ask them, you know, where they were and learned that the Naval IG, for example, has looked at 16,000 documents so far. They both told me that so far -- not to prejudge the outcome of the investigation, and maybe I shouldn't even go this far -- that it all -- there's no new information at all that relates to the eight incidents that we already knew and had been previously reported at Guantanamo.

But that said, they're both open investigations, so I shouldn't go anymore.

Yes, ma'am?

Q One of the criticisms that you heard this morning in Congress was that they were saying that the issue of personal accountability hasn't been addressed. And I believe the Schlesinger report said it was out of their scope. It sounds like it's out of your scope as well, of this study. Do you know when it might be addressed? You mentioned that there were future studies that were coming down the pike.

ADM. CHURCH: There is a distinction for those of us who serve in uniform between responsibility and accountability. There's a lot of responsibility that is clearly articulated in the Schlesinger report. The issue of accountability follows that determination.

The Army, as I understand it, is -- the Army inspector general is looking at a lot of the conduct of a number of the senior Army officials that -- with respect to any accountability. And I don't want to prejudge that. I've seen the list; it's a couple of pages long. So I think that's coming.

Q Admiral, along those lines, a year into this, are you surprised that nobody along those lines has been charged at the brigade, battalion level, even up to Sanchez's level?

ADM. CHURCH: You're asking me for an opinion.

Q (Off mike.)

ADM. CHURCH: It's not that, you know, action isn't ongoing. There's -- legal processes sometimes, you know, take a while. So, I mean, I just know that, you know, it's proceeding.


MR. WHITMAN: We have time for about two more.

ADM. CHURCH: Okay. I got Eric. I got you. Let me get the gentleman behind you.

Q In August of 2003, the Captain (first name inaudible) -- Woods the military draft policy to CJTF-7, did General Sanchez see that? Did you ask him if he saw that?

ADM. CHURCH: General Sanchez signed out the September memorandum on which that was based. I don't believe he actually saw that. But he saw -- that was one of the inputs into the list of techniques that he approved in September.

Q His staff said that that was posted on the wall with his logo because (name inaudible) Woods had got his logo somehow. Did you ask him about that?

ADM. CHURCH: No, but I asked him a lot of questions. But I don't -- I believe he -- I'm trying to remember, and I'm not evading the question. I just can't remember if I specifically asked him that question. Either in my investigation or previous investigation, I believe he said that he had never seen that. But, you know, you need to -- you make a good point, because those techniques came from Afghanistan. It's important to remember that they were, each and every one of those, reviewed with a Geneva lens before General Sanchez signed those out.

There was a question over here that I haven't --

Q Admiral, why didn't you talk with Secretary Rumsfeld and Chairman Myers for your report? You mentioned you stopped short at Secretary Wolfowitz and the vice chairman. After all, this is a report looking at policy and procedures; why not talk all the way to the top?

ADM. CHURCH: Two reasons. As I was working my way through unanswered questions, I progressively asked questions up the chain of command, and I did need to have some clarification from DEPSECDEF Wolfowitz and the vice chairman, General Pace.

By that point, I had resolved the issues that I needed to have resolved. But it's important, and the secretary of Defense told me this, that had I needed access to interview him, that access was granted. I just had no more questions. Having reviewed the thousands and thousands of documents in the other interviews, I really had no need to go any further. But the opportunity was there.

MR. WHITMAN: Thank you, everyone.

Q Thank you, gentlemen.

ADM. CHURCH: Thank you.

Join the mailing list