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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chief Guantanamo interrogator says most info not forced from detainees
Eric Firkel at 11:16 AM ET

[JURIST] Paul Rester, chief military interrogator at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] and director of the Joint Intelligence Group, said in an interview with AP published Saturday that most of the intelligence obtained from detainees at the prison has come through non-coercive questioning and "rapport building," not harsh interrogation methods like waterboarding [JURIST news archive] which have featured heavily in media reports. He acknowledged that two Guantanamo detainees were given "rougher treatment": Mohammed al Qahtani [JURIST news archive], the alleged "20th hijacker" on September 11 who was intercepted by US immigration officials, and an unidentified detainee who recruited lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. Rester claimed that accounts by FBI agents and others who claim to have personally witnessed more coercive techniques of interrogation at Gitmo are not credible. AP has more.

A study [PDF text; JURIST report] released Thursday by professors and students at Seton Hall University School of Law revealed that thousands of interrogations of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were videotaped. The study cited internal US military reports saying that more than 24,000 interrogations took place at Guantanamo over a three-year period and that all detainee interviews were recorded.

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