AP: Report on FBI Role in Interrogations to be Released Tuesday

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The Justice Department’s inspector general has finally completed its report on the FBI’s involvement in detainee interrogations:

Overall, the report gives the FBI fairly positive marks for repeatedly raising concerns between 2001 and 2004 about interrogation methods at three military prisons: Abu Ghraib in Iraq; in Bagram, Afghanistan; and at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

According to two law enforcement officials who have seen it, the report’s twelve chapters touch on a range of issues, including the interrogations of terror suspects who were thought to have high-value information. The officials spoke about the report on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

“The FBI decided it would not participate in joint interrogations of detainees with other agencies in which techniques not allowed by the FBI were used,” the report concluded, according to one law enforcement official who has seen it.

Fine’s office also concluded that clearer guidance was needed for FBI agents left wondering what to do when interrogation tactics appeared to violate what would be allowed in the United States — as opposed to under military law or in overseas detention centers, according to the second law enforcement official.

And the report raps the FBI in some cases for not immediately reporting the questionable interrogations or leaving the room when they were under way, the officials said.

The IG’s report has been delayed in part because the Pentagon slow-rolled its review of the report for classified information.

FBI Director Robert Mueller testified to Congress last month that he had “reached out” to the Pentagon and the Department of Justice “in terms of activity that we were concerned might not be appropriate — let me put it that way.” But it was clear from his testimony that the Justice Department’s essentially unilateral legalization of torture had prevented the FBI from investigating the abuses its agents witnessed.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.