The Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody

03.19.09 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Last year the Senate Armed Services Committee held two hearings on the detention and interrogation of suspected enemy combatants held by U.S. forces, probing into the origins of military interrogation policy and documenting some of the key decisions that were made.

“Today’s hearing,” said Committee Chair Sen. Carl Levin, “will explore how it came about that the techniques called survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) training, which are used to teach American soldiers to resist abusive interrogations by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions, were turned on their head and sanctioned by Department of Defense (DOD) officials for use offensively against detainees. Those techniques included use of stress positions, … use of dogs, and hooding during interrogation.”

The record of those hearings has recently been published, supplemented by detailed questions and answers for the record and documents obtained by the Committee (in the PDF version).

See “The Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody,” hearings before the Senated Armed Services Committee, June 17 and September 25, 2008.