DOD investigation uncovers at least 50 videotaped terror interrogations: NYT

[JURIST] An ongoing Pentagon investigation into the videotaping of terror suspect interrogations has uncovered at least 50 videotaped interrogations, the New York Times reported Thursday. Most of the videotaped interrogations involved two terror detainees, Jose Padilla [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and Ali al-Marri [New York Times profile]. Officials denied that any of the tapes depict interrogation tactics that would qualify as torture, although one does show al-Marri being gagged with duct tape. The investigation, launched in January, was meant to clarify the rules surrounding military interrogations, but officials say it has been hindered by inconsistent practices in the field. The preliminary findings are the first time that the military has acknowledged filming some terror interrogations.

The investigation was launched after controversy surrounding the CIA's admission that it destroyed videotapes [JURIST report] of the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah [BBC profile] and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. The military is currently holding tens of thousands of detainees in custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], and a Pentagon spokesman said that taping interrogations was not a widespread practice. The tapings of Padilla and al-Marri both occurred at a Navy Brig in South Carolina. Padilla has since been transferred to civilian custody and is serving a 17-year sentence on terrorism charges, while al-Marri continues to be held by the Defense Department as an "enemy combatant." He has challenged his detention [Brennan Center materials], and his case is currently being considered [JURIST report] by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The New York Times has more.

 

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