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Files show military rebuffs FBI Guantanamo worries

Written by: Staff

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) FBI agents accused US military personnel at the Guantanamo prison of using illegal ''aggressive interrogation tactics'' on detainees but senior military officials rejected FBI concerns, documents made public today showed.

The documents, released by the American Civil Liberties Union after being obtained under a court order, shed new light on the rift between the FBI and the Pentagon on the treatment of foreign terrorism suspects imprisoned at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

An FBI agent described in one document witnessing two military investigators interrogating a detainee while showing him homosexual pornography movies and using a strobe light in the room.

The agent said military interrogators routinely masqueraded as FBI agents while subjecting detainees to interrogations lasting 16 to 18 hours using tactics such as wrapping them in the Israeli flag and bombarding them with constant loud music.

FBI agents at the prison expressed concern to agency officials in a May 30, 2003, memo about the actions of military interrogators and the rejection of the agents' concerns by the Guantanamo prison commander at the time.

The document said members of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Defense Humint (human intelligence) Service, or DHS, ''were being encouraged at times to use aggressive interrogation tactics in GTMO (Guantanamo) which are of questionable effectiveness and subject to uncertain interpretation based on law and regulation.'' ''Not only are these tactics at odds with legally permissible interviewing techniques used by US law enforcement agencies in the United States but they are being employed by personnel in GTMO who appear to have little, if any, experience eliciting information for judicial purposes,'' said the memo, which had several passages and names redacted.

''Unfortunately, these arguments were met with considerable skepticism and resistance by senior DHS officials in GTMO, despite several attempts to convince them otherwise,'' the memo stated.

The memo said FBI agents took their concerns to Army Maj.

Gen. Geoffrey Miller, prison commander at the time, but Miller ''favored DHS's interrogation methods, despite FBI assertions that such methods could easily result in the elicitation of unreliable and legally inadmissible information.'' Reuters PDS VP0048

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