« Return to Search Results


OLC Memo: Interrogation of Al Qaeda Operative

Aug. 1, 2002 | OLC | ACLU-RDI 4502

This is a heavily redacted version of an OLC memo later released in less-redacted form (at ACLU-RDI 4548).  This unredacted portions of this version of the memo from the OLC to the CIA discuss the anti-torture statute 18 U.S.C. 2340, considering the specific intent requirement.  The document itself is heavily redacted but shows that the Justice Department authorized alternative interrogation methods after concluding that those carrying out these procedures would not have the specific intent to inflict severe physical pain or suffering.  The memo defines prolonged mental harm as substantial mental harm of sustained duration, e.g. harm lasting months or even years after the acts were inflicted upon the prisoner.  The memo is signed by Jay Bybee, although John Yoo, an OLC lawyer, is widely known to have drafted the memo.