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OLC Memo for John Rizzo re: Application of U.S. Obligations Under Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture to Certain Techniques that May Be Used in the Interrogation of High Value al Qaeda Detainees

May 30, 2005 | OLC | ACLU-RDI 6795
An OLC memo addressing whether certain enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA are consistent with the United States's obligations under Article 16 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and concluding that “the use of these techniques, subject to the CIA’s careful screening criteria and limitation and its medical safeguards, is consistent with the United States obligations under Article 16.” The primary justification is that the interrogations take place outside the jurisdiction of the United States. Other repeated justifications for these techniques are that there is no risk of serious physical or psychological pain and that "the enhanced techniques are all adapted from techniques used by the United States on its own troops, albeit under significantly different conditions."