SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — FBI agents witnessed “highly aggressive”
interrogations and mistreatment of terror suspects at the U.S. prison camp
in Cuba starting in 2002 — more than a year before the prison abuse
scandal broke in Iraq — according to a letter a senior Justice Department
official sent to the Army’s top criminal investigator.
In the letter obtained by The Associated Press, the FBI official suggested
the Pentagon didn’t act on FBI complaints about the incidents, including a
female interrogator grabbing a detainee’s genitals and bending back his
thumbs, another where a prisoner was gagged with duct tape and a third
where a dog was used to intimidate a detainee who later was thrown into
isolation and showed signs of “extreme psychological trauma.”
One Marine told an FBI observer that some interrogations led to prisoners
“curling into a fetal position on the floor and crying in pain,” according
to the letter dated July 14, 2004.
Thomas Harrington, an FBI counterterrorism expert who led a team of
investigators at Guantanamo Bay, wrote the letter to Maj. Gen. Donald J.
Ryder, the Army’s chief law enforcement officer who’s investigating abuses
at U.S.-run prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantanamo.
Harrington said FBI officials complained about the pattern of abusive
techniques to top Defense Department attorneys in January 2003, and it
appeared that nothing was done”¦