US Torture Program


Al Qaeda carries out terrorist attacks against the WTC and Pentagon

September 11, 2001

Bush signs classified covert action memorandum (MoN) authorizing CIA to detain terrorists

September 17, 2001

Bush signs memorandum stating Geneva Conventions do not apply to the global conflict with al Qaeda.

February 7, 2002

Abu Zubaydah captured in Pakistan and transferred to CIA custody. Intterrogated jointly by FBI and CIA officers

March 2002 - April 2002

CIA officers place Abu Zubaydah in isolation for 47 days. The FBI never returns to the CIA interrogation site.

June 2002

DoJ OLC issues two memoranda (one classified and one unclassified) concluding CIA EITs did not violate federal anti-torture statute. Classified memorandum addressed specific techniques, incl. waterb

August 1, 2002

CIA interrogators subj. Abu Zubaydah to near-constant coercive interrogation techniques, incl first application of waterboarding.

August 4, 2002 - August 30, 2002

SICC Chair and Vicechari first briefed on CIA interrogation program

September 2002

GMTO travel to Fort Bragg, NC for SERE training

September 16, 2002

Interrogators and behavioral scientists from GTMO travel to Fort Bragg, NC for training conducted by instructors from JPRA's SERE school (SASC)

Senior Admin Lawyers (Haynes, Rizzo, Addington) visit GTMO

september 25, 2002


Chief counsel to CIA CTC attends GTMO meeting staff

October 2, 2002

Basically supports Bybee memo findings

CIA detainee Gul Rahman dies while being held and interrogated by CIA

November 2002

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri transferred to CIA custody and transproted to same detention facility AZ located. Al-Nashiri subj to CIA coercive techniques, incl. waterboarding.

November 2002

Al-Nashiri is threatened with a handgun and drill during CIA interrogation.

December 28, 2002 - January 1, 2003

CIA OIG review of CIA DIP

January 2003 - May 7, 2004

KSM captured and transferred to a CIA detention site where subj to CIA coercive interrogation techniques. 183 instances waterboarding.

March 2003

CIA and some NSC members meet, reaffirm use of CIA's so-called EITs

July 2003

CIA first briefs Sec of State and Defense on CIA's so-called EITs, acc to CIA records

September 16, 2003

OLC withdraws unclassified Aug 1, 2002 memo containing legal analysis of anti-torture statute. While office begins to draft a new memo, CIA continues to interrogate detainees in custody.

June 2004

OLC issues letters to CIA adv. use of CIA's so-called EITs against specific, named detainees does not violate federal anti-torture statute.

August 2004 - September 2004

OLC issues revised, unclassified memorandum that supersedes the withdrawn unclassified Aug 1, 2002 memo

December 30, 2004

OLC provides three classified legal memoranda

May 2005

The first two, issued on May 10, 2005, address the legality of the CIA's coercive interrogation techniques, individually and in combination, under the federal anti-torture statute. The third memorandum, issues on May 30, 2005, analyzes the techniques under Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture.

WaPo article about existence of secret, global detention and interrogation program run by CIA

November 2, 2005

CIA National Clandestine Service authorizes destruction of video depicting CIA coercive interrogation techniques

November 8, 2005 - November 9, 2005

Detainee Treatment Act

December 2005

prohibiting the use of "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" against any "individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government"

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

June 29, 2006

OLC issues a memorandum analyzing the application of the Detainee Treatment Act to conditions of confinement for CIA detainees

August 31, 2006

Bush first publicly acknowledges CIA program.

September 6, 2006

Senate Intelligence Committee members other than the chairman and vice are briefed on CIA DIP for first time.

September 6, 2006

Congress passes Military Commissions Act

September 28, 2006 - September 29, 2006

particular violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are subject to criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act. The law provided that that president has the authority "to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions."

President Bush signs EO 13440 stating DIP "fully complies with the obligations of the US under Common Article 3"

July 20, 2007

and authorizes CIA continued use of certain interrogation practices as determined by the CIA director. OLC issues memo analyzing legality of techniques under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act, and the War Crimes Act

NYT reports CIA destroyed interrogation videotapes in Nov 2005

December 6, 2007

CIA acknowledges interrogation videotapes were destroyed.

In hearing before SSCI, CIA Director Hayden offers to allow small number of SSCI staff to review CIA operational cables that describe interrogation sessions that had been videotaped

December 11, 2007

AG Mukasey selects Assn US Att to lead a crim investigation into destruction of interrogation vids by CIA

January 2, 2008

Bush vetoes Intel Authorization Act for FY 2008, which would have limited CIA interrogations to techniques authorized by AFM

March 8, 2008

Obama issues EO 13491, rescininding EO 13440, banning CIA's detention authority, restricting CIA to interrogation techniques authorized by AFM

January 22, 2009