Former Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Richard Myers quashed legal review of torture techniques.

In 2002, as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “was considering the approval of three categories of interrogation techniques for use at Guantánamo,” military officials raised “serious concerns regarding the legality” of the techniques in a series of memos. As a result, Rear Adm. Jane Dalton, the legal counsel to then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, “began a fresh evaluation of the legality of the interrogation tactics.” But she was soon ordered by Myers to stop the legal review:

But such an analysis threatened to undermine Rumsfeld’s agenda — and that’s when Myers stepped in. Dalton testified that Myers ordered her to stop that review because of a request from Pentagon general counsel William Haynes. Haynes was spearheading Rumsfeld’s efforts to set up a harsh-interrogation program at the Pentagon. “The best of my recollection as to how this occurred is that the chairman called me aside and indicated to me that Mr. Haynes did not want this broad-based review to take place,” Dalton testified. “When I learned that Mr. Haynes did not want that broad-based legal and policy review to take place, then I stood down from the plans.”


Dalton told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month that Myers was “aware” of the concerns about the techniques’ legality when he quashed the review.