Dubbed the “Detainee Policies”, WikiLeaks has released over 100 classified documents which detail the Department of Defense procedures for running infamous prisons, including Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca and European US Army Prison facilities.
Directives and manuals which are part of the US military’s policy for treatment of terror suspects and other detainees will be released chronologically over the following month, according to a statement by WikiLeaks.
The first batch released by WikiLeaks is the 2002 Camp Delta (Guantanamo Bay) Standing Operating Procedure manuals.
WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange said, “This document is of significant historical importance. Guantanamo Bay has become the symbol for systematized human rights abuse in the West with good reason.”
Assange further said, “The ’Detainee Policies’ show the anatomy of the beast that is post-9/11 detention, the carving out of a dark space where law and rights do not apply, where persons can be detained without a trace at the convenience of the US Department of Defense. It shows the excesses of the early days of war against an unknown ’enemy’ and how these policies matured and evolved, ultimately deriving into the permanent state of exception that the United States now finds itself in, a decade later.”
According to the WikiLeaks press release, several of the documents slated for publishing “can only be described as ‘policies of unaccountability.’”
An example of this is a document that has been previewed, but not yet published, called the ’Policy on Assigning Detainee Internment Serial Numbers’. According to WikiLeaks this is a manual on how to “disappear” sensitive prisoners “by systematically holding off from assigning a prisoner record numbers”.
WikiLeaks also mentions other notorious instructions to “purge” interrogations tapes, which became a common thing following the Abu Ghraib torture scandals in the mid 2000s.
A further subject of the documents is the 2008 Fragmentary Order, that minimizes the record-keeping surrounding interrogations. FRAGO eliminates “the requirement to record interrogation sessions at Theater Internment Facilities” and states that these should be “purged within 30 days”. However, this policy was subsequently reversed by the new Obama administration.
The documents also detail the promotion of exploitative techniques such as the “Emotional Love Approach.” These techniques involve playing on the love a detained person has for family, homeland or comrades.
By contrast, another is the the “Fear Up (Harsh)” approach, where “the interrogator behaves in an overpowering manner with a loud and threatening voice in order to convince the source he does indeed have something to fear; that he has no option but to co-operate”.
WikiLeaks is calling on NGOs, activists and the general public to thoroughly read the documents in order to gain a better understanding of the evolution of the Pentagon’s post-9/11 attitude towards prisoners.