The First Rule of Interrogation: Don’t Talk About The Rules of Interrogation

The Pentagon released a report written by it’s own Vice Admiral Albert Church yesterday regarding whether Pentagon interrogation rules led to rampant abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq. No surprise, the whitewash refused to assign any high-level responsibility within the Pentagon for the systematic torture at places like Abu Ghraib prison.

The 21-page report does claim future problems will be avoided due to a new system of interrogation rules put in place by Gen. George Casey, the commander of forces in Iraq. Church claims the new rules system “provides additional safeguards and prohibitions, rectifies ambiguities, and — significantly — requires commanders to conduct training on and verify implementation of the policy.” These new rules weren’t implemented until over a year after the abuses occurred at Abu Ghraib.

An even bigger problem? The rules are classified and no one knows what they are.

According to the New York Times, “Vice Admiral Albert Church III, now director of the Navy staff, admitted…that, well, he had not actually read them.” In the Q&A; session of Church’s press briefing yesterday, when Church was asked about the content of the rules, he punted the question to an aide, Thomas Gandy, stuttering, “Tom, can you talk — I know generally, and I read it real quickly one time…But I think you need to ask General Casey. Or maybe Tom, you might know.”

Like Church and the rest of the American people, Tom, in fact, did not know.