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Documents show US interrogators' techniques 'remembered from movies' in Iraq

[JURIST] US soldiers serving in Iraq relied on techniques they remembered from movies to interrogate prisoners, according to documents released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] as part of its ongoing Freedom of Information Act requests [ACLU materials; JURIST news archive] regarding treatment of US-held detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The newly-released documents [ACLU materials; press release], reports made during the investigation of Army Inspector General Paul Mikolashek, show that some of the soldiers involved in detainee abuse in Iraq were "engaged in interrogations using techniques they literally remembered from the movies." The ACLU asserts that the reports show that there was no specific training on the treatment of detainees and ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer said "[t]he Mikolashek report [PDF text] concluded that the prisoner abuses were not a result of systematic failures" and the documents therefore "flatly contradict that conclusion, and point to the failure to adequately train soldiers and a failure to require that abuse be reported." Jaffer said that all records released to the ACLU related to detainee abuse "show that the abuse was widespread and that the Mikolashek investigation, like the other military investigations, simply ignored the evidence." Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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