After September 11, 2001, U.S. officials authorized the cruel treatment and torture of prisoners held in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, and the CIA's secret prisons overseas.

This database documents the U.S. government's official experiment with torture. At present, the database contains well over 100,000 pages of government documents obtained primarily through Freedom of Information Act litigation and requests filed by the ACLU, and through litigation of Salim v. Mitchell, a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of the survivors and the family of a dead victim of the CIA torture program. To learn more about the database, please read the About and Search Help pages. If you're a developer, you can also access this data through our API.

Search Result (35)

In a letter to Acting CIA Director McLaughlin, Attorney General Ashcroft confirms his advice that the use of certain interrogation techniques (other than waterboarding) in the interrogation of a particular detainee outside territory subject to ...
Aug. 24, 2009
John D. Ashcroft
John E. McLaughlin
John D. Ashcroft, John McLaughlin, John A. Rizzo, Jay S. Bybee
EIT, Use of water, Waterboarding

An OLC memo concluding that the CIA’s proposed interrogation plan for Abu Zubaydah — which contemplates methods including “insects placed in a confinement box” and “the waterboard” — does not violate ...

An OLC memo concluding that, “the President has plenary constitutional authority, as the commander in chief, to transfer such individuals who are held and captured outside the United States to the control of another country.” ...

An OLC memo concluding that “the military has the legal authority to detain [Jose Padilla] as a prisoner captured during an international armed conflict,” and that the Posse Comitatus Act poses no bar.

An OLC memo concluding that the “the President’s authority to detain enemy combatants, including U.S. citizens, is based on his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief” and that the Non-Detention Act cannot interfere ...

An OLC memo stating that "the purpose of this memorandum is to confirm that certain propositions stated in several opinions issued by the Office of Legal Counsel in 2001-2003 respecting the allocation of authorities between the President ...

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, ...

July 24, 2008
Legal Memo
Jay S. Bybee
John A. Rizzo
Jay S. Bybee